Big East

Villanova's Tess Cites Headlines BIG EAST Softball's Regular-Season Awards

Villanova's Tess Cites Headlines BIG EAST Softball's Regular-Season Awards

The 2023 BIG EAST Softball major awards and all-conference selections were released Tuesday, ahead of the BIG EAST Softball Championship Presented by Jeep.

May 10, 2023 by FloSoftball Staff
Villanova's Tess Cites Headlines BIG EAST Softball's Regular-Season Awards

The 2023 BIG EAST Softball major awards and all-conference selections were released Tuesday, ahead of the BIG EAST Softball Championship Presented by Jeep, which begins Wednesday.

Villanovaโ€™s Tess Cites was recognized as BIG EAST Player of the Year.

Top-seeded UConn rookie Grace Jenkins collected BIG EAST Freshman of the Year accolades.

Seton Hall collected the majority of the regular-season awards, as the 2023 BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year led Kelsey Carr to BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year honors and Abby Wingo to the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year accolade.

The All-BIG EAST first and second teams also were named, each consisting of 12 players. Each team is made up of at least two pitchers, with the remaining spots selected at-large.

All-BIG EAST teams and major awards are selected via a vote of the leagueโ€™s head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players or coaching staff.

Cites represented the best of the best at the plate, leading second-seeded Villanova with a BIG EAST-best 0.474 in-conference batting average, behind 36 hits and 27 runs.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the Wildcats led the BIG EAST in in-conference team batting average (.321), hits (205) and runs scored (152). 

Throughout BIG EAST play, Cites batted in 19 runs, while slugging .750, with a conference-best nine doubles. 

She was perfect on steals, taking five in five attempts en route to earning unanimous first-team All-BIG EAST accolades. 

The junior outfielder owned a 0.884 in-conference fielding average, with 38 putouts in 43 chances.

On the other side of the ball, Carr owned a 1.82 ERA in conference play. 

She made nine starts in her 11 appearances, highlighted by seven wins and two losses. 

Over 61.2 innings pitched, the junior struck out 55 and allowed just 16 earned runs. 

A dual-threat who led the BIG EAST in RBIs this season (28), Carr joins Cites as a unanimous first-team All-BIG EAST selection.

Wingo is the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage against BIG EAST opponents. 

The senior registered 31 put outs on 31 chances, making 24 starts in the outfield. 

Wingo further bolstered Seton Hallโ€™s defense with a strong offense, batting .371 (26-for-70) with 15 runs batted in during the regular season. 

On March 28, she set a Seton Hall program-record with an 18-game hitting streak, breaking the previous 16-game record set in 2016.

Grace Jenkins represents the top-seeded Huskies as BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. 

The rookie earned 24 starts behind the plate, while batting .343 (24-for-70) in conference play. 

Jenkins earned a place on the All-BIG EAST second team with 20 RBIs, tying for fifth-best in BIG EAST play, 11 runs scored and eight doubles. The freshmanโ€™s eight doubles are tied for the second-best across the BIG EAST.

In just her second year at the helm, Seton Hallโ€™s Angie Churchill leads the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year.

Supported by assistant coaches Laura Messina and Emily Schaffer, the Pirates produced a record-breaking regular season, highlighted by a program-best 11-game BIG EAST winning streak.

Churchillโ€™s squad swept four consecutive conference series en route to earning the BIG EAST tournamentโ€™s third seed. 

Seton Hallโ€™s three first-team All-BIG EAST selections leads the conference.

Cites and Carr are joined on the first team by fellow unanimous selections Sydney Carter (Butler), Lexi Hastings (UConn), Cameron Kondo (Georgetown), Cayla Nielsen (Creighton) and Anna Wohlers (DePaul).

Wingo, Ava Franz (Villanova), Brooke Johnson (DePaul), Payton Kinney (UConn) and Shelby Smith (Seton Hall) round out the first team.

2023 BIG EAST Softball Regular Season Awards

BIG EAST Softball Player of the Year: Tess Cites, Jr., OF, Villanova
BIG EAST Softball Pitcher of the Year: Kelsey Carr, Jr., P/INF, Seton Hall
BIG EAST Softball Defensive Player of the Year: Abby Wingo, Sr., OF, Seton Hall
BIG EAST Softball Freshman of the Year: Grace Jenkins, Fr., C, UConn
BIG EAST Softball Coaching Staff of the Year: Seton Hall
Head Coach: Angie Churchill
Assistant Coaches: Laura Messina & Emily Schaffer

All-BIG EAST First Team 

*Names appear in alphabetical order

Kelsey Carr, Jr., P/INF, Seton Hall*
Sydney Carter, So., INF, Butler*
Tess Cites, Jr., OF, Villanova*
Ava Franz, So., INF, Villanova
Lexi Hastings, So., OF, UConn*
Brooke Johnson, Sr., 1B, DePaul
Payton Kinney, Jr., P, UConn
Cameron Kondo, Gr., OF, Georgetown*
Cayla Nielsen, Jr., OF, Creighton*
Shelby Smith, Sr., P, Seton Hall
Abby Wingo, Sr., OF, Seton Hall
Anna Wohlers, So., 3B, DePaul*

All-BIG EAST Second Team 

Paige Dorsett, INF, R-So., Butler
Mae Forshey, Gr., INF/C, Georgetown
Kat Gallant, Fr., P, Villanova
Mackenzie Griman, Sr., P/INF, Butler
Jacque Harrington, Jr., INF/UT, Providence
Ryan Henry, Gr., C/DP, Villanova
Aziah James, Gr., OF, UConn
Ally Jones, Sr., C, Villanova
Grace Jenkins, Fr., C, UConn
Cate Lehner, Fr., OF, Butler
Victoria Sebastian, Sr., 1B, Villanova
Kailey Wilson, Gr., INF, Creighton

*Denotes unanimous selection