Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sito notches yet another accolade for her outstanding season at Cleveland State

Tess Sito, of Elyria, has reached yet another milestone.

In just her freshman year at Cleveland State, she has added another accolade as she was named to the All-Midwest Region Second Team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, released Monday.

"I’m happy with my individual success, but I definitely wish we would’ve made it to that next level and made it to the tournament," said Sito, whose team was eliminated by No. 2 seed Wright State in the Horizon League Championship last week. "I’m not too worried about what I can do individually, as long as I can help the team out."

Sito, who earlier this month was named both the Horizon League Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, set records for runs scored (51), hits (74), home runs (18), slugging percentage (.773) and on-base percentage (.495). She is also second all-time in stolen bases (39) and third in batting average (.409), RBIs (45) and walks (29).

Although Sito basically re-wrote the CSU single-season record book, she remains focused on what she wants to do to be a better player and help her team.

"I definitely want to become a better fielder for next year," Sito said. "I wasn’t too good at shortstop this year. I made a lot of errors, but hopefully I’ll work on that this summer, along with working on my pitching."

Sito ranked in the top 40 nationally in six stat categories and started the season with an 18-game hitting streak, which is also a school record. She led the league in nine of the 12 major offensive statistics.

"Tess had a phenomenal freshman season but she has barely begun to achieve all that she is capable of," Cleveland State softball coach and Elyria-native Angie Nicholson said through a press release. "She is a very special player and I look forward to seeing how much better she can become in the next three years."

Cleveland State missed a berth to the NCAA Division I National Tournament by losing the Horizon League title game to Wright State. Sito only had two hits in her last 14 at-bats.

"Hopefully next season, I’ll come out strong and stay strong throughout the year," Sito said. "Everyone has slumps, but this year I was really mad, because I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in the tournament when it really counted. I’ll work a lot in the summer and hopefully I’ll be better than I was last year. Obviously you always want to be better than you were the year before."

The Vikings record-setting season ended with an impressive 44-15 record, which was the sixth time in eight years that Cleveland State played in the title game, last winning the championship in 2009. Nicholson has played a big part in Sito’s success at the college level.

"Angie (Nicholson) is awesome," Sito said. "You can talk to her whenever. Whenever you have a problem, she’s like another mom at college. She knows everything about hitting, she knows everything about fielding and she gives us little tricks here and there to do. She’s great. Everything about her is awesome. I just love her. She’s just really always there for us and that’s the main thing. And we had a lot of fun, and that’s the most important thing too."

For her high school career at Elyria, Sito went 75-9 on the mound with 814 strikeouts in 531 innings pitched. Her senior year, she helped lead the Pioneers to a state championship after losing the state championship game three years prior. At the plate, she batted .470 with 107 RBIs and 143 runs scored in her career. She also stole 46 bases in 48 attempts.

"(College softball) is a lot quicker," Sito said. "When I went back to watch Elyria, everyone is bigger and stronger in college. In high school, everything seems slower, while college is quick paced and you got to be ready all the time."

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