Becca Taylor, Pitcher of the Week For the fourth time this year, University of West Florida pitcher Becca Taylor was named the Gulf South Conference Pitcher of the Week on Wednesday. Taylor, the league leader in wins (23), now has more weekly conference honors this season than any other softball student-athlete in the GSC. Taylor would be the first Argonaut pitcher to lead the GSC in wins since Amber Browning had 35 victories in 2005. The honor comes after Taylor tossed her 22nd and 23rd wins of the year against Lee in the final series of the regular season. The Panama City, Florida, native threw 11.1 shutout innings against the Lady Flames, picking up her GSC-best fifth shutout of the season on Saturday. Taylor allowed just seven hits and held Lee to a .179 batting average on the weekend. For the year, Taylor also leads the conference in batters struck out looking (36), ranks second in innings pitched (175.2) and total strikeouts (124), and ranks fifth in opponent batting average (.230) and ERA (2.07). She is third in UWF history in walks per seven innings and ranks in the top 10 in wins, games started, and innings pitched. About the GSC Tournament PENSACOLA, Fla. – With a 23-9 Gulf South Conference record, the 10th-ranked University of West Florida softball team enters the GSC Tournament in Huntsville, Alabama, as the No. 2 seed. UWF will open tournament play against Shorter at 11 am on Friday, May 5, at the Huntsville Sportsplex, and the Argonauts will play either Mississippi College or Lee at 2 pm on Friday at the same location. About Shorter, Again #ARGOS#Print Friendly Version FULL PDF NOTESVIDEO/STATSGSC TOURNAMENT HOMEPAGE Tournament action will move back to Charger Park on the campus of tournament host Alabama Huntsville on Saturday and Sunday. Daily pass prices for each day of the Tournament shall be $8 for adults, $5 for children 6-17, $5 for students (with GSC Student ID) and free for children 5 and under. All ticket revenue is retained by the GSC. All Tournament passes can also be purchased for $20. The 10th-ranked University of West Florida softball team saw five student-athletes earn All-Gulf South Conference honors on Wednesday. Becca Taylor, Rhiannon Sassman and Jacey Castro were each first team selections, and Caitlin Steel and Meghan Toney were second-teamers. UWF’s five All-GSC selections are the most for the program since 2009, when the team also had five honorees. West Florida now has 88 all-conference performers in its history. Becca Taylor was a four-time GSC Pitcher of the Week selection during the year and led the GSC in wins (23), batters struck out looking (36) and shutouts (5), while playing a role in five other UWF shutouts in the regular season. She also ranked in the top 5 in the league in innings pitched (175.2), total strikeouts (124), ERA (2.07) and opponents batting average (.230). Taylor strung together 31.1 consecutive scoreless innings from March 12 through March 30, a streak that ranks 10th in conference history. This is Taylor’s first all-conference honor, having posted career bests in ERA, wins, shutouts, strikeouts and opponent batting average. Rhiannon Sassman picks up her second All-GSC honor after being an all-conference third baseman as a freshman last year. The shortstop from Orlando earned an at-large spot on the first team this season. Sassman was named the GSC Player of the Week on March 21 and ranks 10th nationally with seven triples on the year. Those seven three-baggers lead the conference, and she ranks in the top five in the league in on-base percentage (.505), slugging (.678), batting average (.403), walks (29) and runs scored (47). She reached base in 23 consecutive games to start the year and topped 100 total bases for the year against Lee last weekend, becoming the first UWF player to do so since Shannon Miles in 2009-10. Jacey Castro was selected to the first team as a DP/utility player, after splitting time in left field and first base during the season. The senior has been a defensive asset at both positions, with a combined .981 fielding percentage in 51 games. Castro ranks sixth in the conference in hits (64) and ninth in batting average (.381), and leads UWF with 19 multi-hit games on the year. She has found a home at the leadoff spot in the lineup, hitting .391 and slugging .600 with nine doubles and five home runs from the top spot. Castro picked up her 100th career hit against Delta State on April 14 and is a career .339 hitter over her two years at UWF. Caitlin Steel led all GSC catchers in batting (.343) during the regular season, adding seven doubles, two triples and a home run at the plate. The Concord, North Carolina, product has also established herself as one of the top defensive players behind the plate in her time at UWF, leading the GSC in runners thrown out (25) and percentage of runners caught stealing (32 percent) over the last two years. Meghan Toney earned All-GSC honors for the second time in her career on Wednesday, after ranking sixth in the GSC in stolen bases (22) and totaling 13 multi-hit games for the Argonauts. Toney led conference second basemen in batting (.356), stolen bases, assists (84) and double plays (14), while ranking second in runs scored (29), on-base percentage (.401), and putouts (107). An All-South Region selection in 2016, Toney and Sassman are the first UWF student-athletes to earn two All-GSC nods since 2011. Our All-GSC Honorees Shorter enters the tournament playing some of its best softball of the year, having won six of its last eight games including a victory over UWF. Shorter had three All-GSC selections, in Ericka Bynum, Kalei Clark and Tiffany Holland. Bynum hit .371 with 10 home runs, earning an at-large spot on the first team, while Holland hit .365 with 26 stolen bases and Clark posted a 2.84 ERA in 26 games as a relief specialist for the Hawks. Missing from the all-conference team was Kameron Carter, who hit .424 with 9 home runs and led the league with 15 doubles. UWF and Shorter are quite familiar with each other by now, matching up six times in UWF’s final 12 games last year and meeting in Rome, Georgia, just two weeks ago. West Florida holds the series lead 5-3 over the last two seasons. The Hawks were one of Rachel Wright’s favorite teams to play last year, as the Tate HS product hit .478 with three home runs, two doubles, eight RBI and a .957 slugging percentage. That included a two-homer game in the GSC Tournament. No. 10 UWF is going for its fourth Gulf South Conference Championship and is making its 20th appearance in the GSC Tournament, and the Argonauts have the fourth-most wins (42) and the fourth-best winning percentage (.609) in the tournament’s history. Eight teams make up the GSC Tournament field, with Shorter, Mississippi College and Lee joining UWF in the bottom half of the double-elimination bracket. Host Alabama Huntsville, North Alabama, Valdosta State and West Georgia make up the top half. The two sides of the bracket will not meet until the GSC Championship game on Sunday. West Florida is 5-3 against Mississippi College, Lee and Shorter this year, most recently sweeping Lee at the UWF Softball Complex. The Argonauts have out-hit those three opponents .308 to .274 and outscored them 37-18. The UWF pitching staff has also outdueled those three, posting a 1.92 ERA and striking out 36 batters in 51 innings. UWF took three wins in the tournament last year, defeating Shorter twice and knocking out Alabama Huntsville with a 9-1 win. The Argonauts fell twice to Valdosta State before getting revenge in the NCAA South Regional. Rachel Wright and Kathleen Smiley earned spots on last year’s All-Tournament team after going a combined 18-for-36. Wright hit .526 over five games and led UWF with 10 hits, 3 home runs and a 1.053 slugging percentage. Smiley added two bombs and led UWF with nine RBI. Caitlin Steel and Meghan Toney also stood out, hitting .467 and .400, respectively. Toney had a team-high six runs scored in Florence, Alabama, and steel picked up seven hits. In the South Region Rankings Live stats and video will be available for all UWF games this weekend, and links will be made available at GoArgos.com when possible. Friday’s doubleheader will be streamed at the video/stats link above. UWF’s sweep over Lee last weekend was enough to push the team to No. 1 in this week’s NCAA South Region Rankings. UWF has also jumped up to No. 10 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 poll, which is the program’s highest ranking since 2005. West Florida has been No. 2 in the regional rankings in each of the first two polls, and this is the first time UWF has held the top spot in the region since entering the NCAA Tournament at No. 1 in 2005. The region rankings are filled with teams from the Gulf South Conference, as Alabama Huntsville, Valdosta State, Mississippi College, Lee and North Alabama were ranked third through seventh. Shorter came in at No. 9, while Sunshine State Conference schools Saint Leo, Palm Beach Atlantic and Tampa were Nos. 2, 8 and 10, respectively. The South Region is made up of the Gulf South, Sunshine State and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic conferences, with eight total teams reaching the South Region Tournament. Each of the three conferences earns an automatic qualifier, leaving five at-large bids for the remaining spots. The GSC has sent the region’s representative to the Division II Softball Championship every year since 2009, with a GSC team making an appearance in the national championship in six of those eight seasons. Valdosta State (2013) and North Alabama (2016) have won national championships. UWF ranks third in GSC history with 22 wins in the NCAA Tournament, averaging two per trip. West Florida ranks seventh or better among South Region teams in winning percentage (first; .765), shutouts (first; 14), ERA (fifth; 2.36), and batting average (sixth; .323).