HANCOCK - Finlandia capped a successful softball season by dominating the Association of Division III Independents all-independent selection process, putting 10 players onto the first and second teams as well as gaining co-player, co-pitcher and co-coach of the year honors.
Completing his fifth year at the helm of the Lions, coach Shawn Hendrickson has a career 90-71 record and took co-coach of the year honors for the second year in a row.
Brittany Garland of Long Beach, Calif., was chosen as co-player of the year for the second consecutive season, co-pitcher of the year and first-team pitcher.
As one of the offensive standouts, Garland recorded an outstanding .432 batting average with 32 RBIs and a team-leading nine home runs in 2012. Garland pitched a majority of the Lions season with 208.2 innings, putting together a 24-8 record with an earned-run average of 2.01 with 91 strikeouts.
Kelsey Williams of Hopkins, Mich., was named to the first team at first base. She batted .289 on the season with a .372 on-base percentage. Her defensive skills proved to be her expertise, finishing the season with a .989 fielding percentage.
Niki Hieda of Corona, Calif., was named to the first team at second base.
This release contains information from the Finlandia University Athletics Department.
Hieda finished the 2012 season with a .317 batting average and crossed the plate 21 times for the Lions. She also was a perfect 10 for 10 in stolen base attempts.
Kayla Sax of Los Angeles was named first team shortstop. Sax lead the team in several offensive categories with a .470 batting average, 35 RBIs, 14 doubles and a .791 slugging percentage.
India Slayback of Belle Center, Ohio, was named a first-team outfielder. After a rookie of the year 2011 season, Slayback returned to the list with a .386 batting average and managed to cross the plate 32 times for the Lions.
Erica Taft of Rowland Heights, Calif., was named a first-team utility player.
As a junior transfer student, Taft managed a great season for the Lions, batting .313 with 12 stolen bases. Taft remained a consistent performer on the defensive side of the ball, fielding an impressive .976 for the Lions while playing several roles through the 2012 season.
Miranda Brewer of Harrison, Mich., was named a second-team pitcher.
As a freshman, Brewer came to Finlandia pitching behind Garland, which is no easy task, but she performed flawlessly. Pitching 16.1 innings for the Lions, Brewer was able to establish an earned-run average of zero while taking two wins for the Lions.
Ashley Benavidez of Phoenix, Ariz., was named a second-team outfielder.
As a sophomore, Benavidez had a .957 fielding percentage with 20 putouts. Benavidez performed equally as well on the offensive side of the game, posting a .292 batting average with 14 RBIs over the 34-game season.
Sarah Cox of Palmdale, Calif., was named a second-team utility player.
As a freshman Cox, hit .265 and went a team-leading 16-for-16 in stolen base attempts during her first season for the Lions.
Paige Yoho of Negaunee was named a second-team utility player. Yoho was given the task to lead an experienced collegiate pitching staff and put up a .205 batting average for the Lions with five stolen bases.