Second-year Saints infielder and pitcher Rya Cowan (LaSalle/Sandwich) was named the OCAA Women’s Softball Player of the Year at the Championship Awards Banquet held at London’s Four Points by Sheraton Thursday night. The second-year Graphic Design student and OCAA All-Star became the sixth player in St. Clair College history to achieve this honour and the seventh time a Saint has won the award since Skyler Patteson was a back to back winner in 2014 and 2015.
Cowan batted .449 which was fourth in the OCAA but led the league in home runs with six and nearly eclipsed the record for RBI’s in a season with 36. She also toed the rubber for 46 innings and pitched with a respectable 3.80 ERA and a 5-2 record to go with six complete games thrown.
Joining Cowan as an OCAA All-Star was third-year shortstop Jenna Hillman (Windsor/Tecumseh Vista Academy) who played every inning this past season with the third-best batting average in the league at .453. Hillman was second in stolen bases with 13 and third in runs scored while crossing the plate 30 times for the Saints.
The Baseball Championship Awards were also held Thursday night at the Ajax Convention Centre, with Saints seventh-year bench boss Dave Cooper receiving the highest honour as OCAA Coach of the Year. Cooper has won this award two other times and led St. Clair to within a game of first place with a 13-5 regular-season record.
A trio of St. Clair players were named OCAA All-Stars including first-year pitcher Luis Barrios (Cali, Columbia), first baseman Michael McKay (Miramichi, NB) and centerfielder Brendan Renaud (Amherstburg/St. Thomas of Villanova).
Barrios led the league in strikeouts with 42 total in 30.1 innings pitched, averaging 9.69 strikeouts per nine innings. He was 3-2 on the season which included a no-hit performance and 1.85 ERA, which was the second-best in the OCAA behind teammate Travis Snyder (Battle Creek, MI). McKay anchored the St. Clair infield with speed on the base paths with nine swipes (2nd OCAA) while batting .389 (7th OCAA). Renaud tied for fourth in the league with 15 RBI’s while batting .327 on the season.