Tia Palauni was one of six Ute softball players to earn postseason recognition from the Pac-12 Conference.
May 16, 2012
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Six members of the University of Utah softball team were named to Pac-12 All-Conference teams, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Wednesday. Seniors Whitney Holm, Generra Nielson and Tia Palauni along with juniors Katelyn Elliott and Kelsi Hoopiiaina received Honorable Mention all-conference recognition. Kate Dickman represented Utah on the Pac-12's All-Freshman Team Honorable Mention list.
Holm, a third baseman from Spanish Fork, Utah, led the team in several statistical categories with a .381 batting average, 10 home runs, 43 RBI, 61 hits, and a .644 slugging percentage. She posted a season-high four hits, while going 4-for-4 with four RBI, three runs scored and a home run against UC Riverside. She then went 3-for-3 with four RBI versus Cal State Northridge. Holm strung together a team-high 11-game hit streak from Feb. 25 through Mar. 10. She finished a home run short of the cycle during 3-for-4, one-RBI effort against No. 23 Oregon State on Apr. 28 before going 5-for-9 at the plate for a .556 batting average, 1.222 slugging percentage and four RBI during the series against No. 15/17 Stanford. In the May 12 season finale against the Cardinal, Holm went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI. Holm ends her career third in school history with 38 home runs and fourth with 134 RBI.
Nielson led the Pac-12 and was 10th in the NCAA with a school single-season record 294 strikeouts in 2012. The Blanding, Utah native ranked third in the league with 237.0 innings in the circle and finished fourth with 21 wins. She turned in 17 complete-game efforts and posted three complete-game shutouts to go 11 games of 10 or more strikeouts. She threw her second no-hitter as a Ute and tied the school record for the second time with 16 strikeouts versus Colgate on Mar. 12. In her regular-season finale, Nielson pitched a four-hit shutout in 7.0 innings during Utah's 6-0 win over No. 15/17 Stanford last Thursday. Nielson ends her career fourth in school history with 492 K's over her career, despite just pitching just two years with the Utes.
Palauni, a first baseman from Taylorsville, Utah, led the Pac-12 with 19 double plays turned this season and was eighth in the league with 33 walks drawn. She also tied for eighth in the league with a pair of triples and finished second on the team with a .416 on-base percentage. She went 3-for-3 with a solo homer at UNC Greensboro. Palauni posted a 2-for-3, four-RBI effort, which included a grand slam, against Southern Utah. In Pac-12 play, Palauni went 3-for-4 with two RBI in second game at No. 15/15 UCLA and pounded three hits, two home runs, for seven RBI in final two games of Oregon State series. She was 2-for-3 with three runs driven in to help Utah to its first-ever Pac-12 win in the series opener against the Beavers and then hit a grand slam in series finale against OSU. She ends her career as Utah's school-record holder with 113 career walks.
Elliott emerged as one of Utah's top hitters this season, going for a .336 average at the plate. The outfielder from Spanish Fork, Utah finished second on team with a .582 slugging percentage and had 16 extra-base hits. She connected for eight home runs and 45 hits for 26 RBI. Defensively, she tied for the Pac-12 lead with a flawless 1.000 fielding percentage. She was 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI in the middle game of the No. 15/15 UCLA series, including her fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot. She exploded for a 1.875 slugging percentage and registered a .625 on-base percentage in the series at No. 2/2 Arizona State. During the series finale against the Sun Devils, Elliott tied school's single-game record with three home runs for three RBI.
From her shortstop position in the Ute infield, Hoopiiaina finished second in the Pac-12 with 16 double plays turned. The Riverton, Utah native ranked third on the team with a .322 batting average. `Hoop' tied for third in the Pac-12 in stolen bases with 19 on 19 attempts and tied Holm for team-high honors with 21extra-base hits (11 doubles, nine home runs and a triple). She also led the team with 41 runs scored, 16 multi-hit games and 11 doubles. She finished 2012 second on the club with 56 hits and nine home runs. In Pac-12 play, Hoopiiaina had a 2-for-3 effort with a double at No. 3 Washington on Mar. 25 and went 2-for-3 in the finale of the series with No. 19/15 Oregon. She had two hits in three at-bats with a run scored during series opener against Oregon State and was 5-for-11 at the plate with four runs scored and three RBI during series against No. 15/17 Stanford. In Utah's 6-0 win over the Cardinal in the series opener, `Hoop' went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer.
Dickman earned a spot on the Pac-12's All-Freshmen Honorable Mention team after ending her rookie campaign third on the team with nine doubles and fifth with seven multi-hit performances. The outfielder from Mission Viejo, Calif., also posted five multi-RBI games and put together a season-best six-game hit streak from Apr. 25 through May 5. She sported a .285 batting average in 2012 to go with 21 RBI. Dickman went 3-for-4, including a pair of doubles, with three RBI and two runs scored against Cal State Northridge. In Pac-12 play, Dickman went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in second game of the Oregon State series and collected two hits in series finale against OSU. Dickman connected on a two-run, two-out single in the sixth against Arizona State on May 5 to lead a three-run sixth-inning rally that tied the game at four runs apiece.