IRVING, Texas – UTEP softball senior Kawehiokalani Netane was named to the 2016 Conference USA Softball Preseason team as selected by the league’s 12 head coaches on Wednesday.
“After such a successful junior year, we are extremely excited to see what she accomplishes this season,” third-year head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “She had been a tremendous leader on and off the field. Kawehi’s hard work and dedication to the program has helped the team go in the right direction.”
After producing a breakout junior season in 2015, Netane earned a spot on the All-C-USA first team after establishing career highs down the stat line.
The native of Orlando, Fla., set career bests in home runs (eight), RBI (32), hits (56), doubles (10) and triples (four). She led the team with a .357 batting average – also a career high, while it ranked 16th-best in C-USA. Netane hit .388 in C-USA games only, ranking 11th in that category.
She recorded a team and season-high of reaching base in 15 consecutive games from Feb. 22-March 14. Netane hit .476 (20-for-42) with four jacks, 15 RBI and nine walks during that span. Netane also earned C-USA Player of the Week on April 13.
This marks the second consecutive season that a Miner was named to the preseason team. Last year, Ashley Eldridge was tabbed to the preseason team. The previous player named to the preseason squad was Chelsea Troupe prior to the 2012 campaign.
The 2016 season will open in the Sun City for the first time since the 2012 campaign, as UTEP will host Incarnate Word on Feb. 11 in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. The Miners will then travel to Las Cruces to compete at the NM State Invitational against Incarnate Word (1 p.m.) and NM State (3 p.m.) on Feb. 13.
The Miners will close the weekend against the rival Aggies on Valentine’s Day (10:30 a.m.).
2016 C-USA Softball Preseason Team
P – Kylee Hanson, Florida Atlantic, Jr.
P – Jordan Dixon, Marshall, Jr.
P – Lexi Betancourt, Charlotte, Sr.
C – Krysta Tutsch, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
C – Morgan Harris, Middle Tennessee, So.
IF – Caitlin Attfield, UAB, Sr.
IF – Stephanie Texeira, FIU, Jr.
IF – Sara Beth Williamson, UAB, Sr.
IF – Emily Lochten, Florida Atlantic, So.
IF – Elicia D’Orazio, Marshall, So.
OF – Morgan Zerkle, Marshall, Jr.
OF – Kendall Burton, UTSA, So.
OF – Kaelynn Greene, Marshall, Sr.
OF – Christina Martinez, Florida Atlantic, Sr.
DP/UT – Kawehiokalani Netane, UTEP, Sr.
2016 Preseason Player of the Year
Caitlin Attfield, UAB, Sr.
2016 Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Kylee Hanson, Florida Atlantic, Jr.
Author: UTEP Athletics