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Spring Bears honored for play, classroom efforts; Auton top coach

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Seven student-athletes from the University of Pikeville were honored for their play and 10 were honored 11 times for their work in the classroom by the Mid-South Conference.

In addition, Kevin Auton, head coach of the men’s golf program, was named Co-Coach of the Year in his sport.

The student-athletes and coach were honored at their respective conference tournaments by Commissioner Steve Baker.

Auton is in his second season as head coach of the men’s golf team. The Bears won their first tournament title ever with a championship in the Bluegrass Spring Classic, hosted by Georgetown College, earlier this month. He then guided the bears to a sixth-place finish in the Mid-South Conference Golf Championship.

The men’s tennis team finished its first successful season under the guidance of Tim Alderman. The Bears, who have received votes in every poll this season, won their opening-round match in the conference tournament before falling to Campbellsville in the semifinals by a 5-4 score.

At the banquet on the eve of the tournament, two Bears were name first-team all-conference and a teammate was selected to the honorable-mention list.

Dmitry Babenkov, a freshman from Auckland, New Zealand, and Sergei Kraslinikov, a freshman from Novosibirsk, Russia, were both first-team picks as voted on by the head coaches in the league.

Meanwhile, Sven Rodenbusch, a freshman from Simmern, Germany, was named to the honorable-mention list.

Junior Kayla Morgan of Independence was one of three second-team selections for softball, and was named academic all-conference in both softball and women’s golf.

She was joined on the second-team by Hannah Vinson, a junior from Logan, W.Va., and freshman Brandi Jo Howard of Salyersville.

Morgan was second on the team with a .336 batting average and was tied with Vinson for second with 49 hits this season. Morgan also got the win seven times. Vinson led the club with a .343 batting average and with 37 RBIs. Her home run in the eighth inning of Thursday’s Mid-South Conference tournament game was her fourth, which is also tied for the team’s best.

Howard was third on the club with a .326 average. She had an on-base percentage of .402, scored 17 runs and drove in 13.

Sophomore Kayla Cantrell of Virgie and Shantelle Horn of Louisa were also named to the academic all-conference list for softball.

Pat O’Brien, a senior from Syracuse, N.Y., was named to the second-team all-conference list in baseball. The first baseman finished the season with a .301 batting average. He led the team with 43 hits, 21 runs scored, 23 RBIs, 16 doubles and an on-base percentage of .412.

Four baseball players were named to the academic all-conference list. They were seniors David Bishop of Grandeville, Mich., Kyle Robertson of Hopkinsville and Jason Rosen of Ashland, along with sophomore Luke Wright of Georgetown.

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