Duran-Sellers named MVC Player of the Year

Despite finishing second place in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, the Salukis house the most highly regarded player in the league.

Senior outfielder Mallory Duran-Sellers received the MVC Player of the Year honors May 9 at the annual league banquet at the SIU Arena. Duran-Sellers was one of the six Salukis to garner all-conference honors, tied with Creighton for the most selections this season.

Senior outfielder Mallory Duran-Sellers warms up before a game Thursday at Charlotte West Stadium. Duran-Sellers was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year on May 9 during the annual league banquet. Lynnette Oostmeyer | Daily Egyptian

SIU hasn’t had a softball player distinguished as MVC Player of the Year since 2008.

“It’s a huge honor, but I was definitely surprised when I got it,” Duran-Sellers said. “There are a lot of well deserving girls with a lot of talent in our conference.  It’s a huge honor that really topped the years I’ve spent here at SIU.”

In addition to her honors, Duran-Sellers also earned the MVC’s Elite 18 award for having the highest GPA in any conference championship.

The senior was also a 2011 Academic All-American.

“She’s just a good kid,” said coach Kerri Blaylock. “She deserved this award, and I think its great that the league coaches thought she deserved it too because I get to see how hard she works everyday and they only get to see it three times a year.”

Duran-Sellers’ teammates and coaches  are not the only ones impressed by her play.

“I don’t know Mallory personally but I feel like I do,” said Jaye Hutcheson, a senior pitcher and first baseman from Northern Iowa. “I’ve definitely heard her name used by our coach more than any other opposing player in the conference. She’s a smart girl and you can definitely tell by the way she plays softball.”

In a loss Saturday to Illinois State in the MVC Championship game at Charlotte West Stadium, Duran-Sellers went 1-for-3 with a walk in her final game for the Salukis. Despite the end to her final season, Duran-Sellers will stay at SIU as a student until December when she is expected to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English education.

During the 2011 season, Duran-Sellers hit .398, the fifth-highest single season batting average in SIU history. This season, Duran-Sellers hit .382 with four home runs, 22 RBIs and a team-high 41 walks, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

 


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About Caleb Motsinger

Caleb Motsinger can be reached at cmotsinger@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext. 269.

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