There was no question Andi Williamson had a big year for the Marshall University women’s softball team in 2012.
As the 2013 softball season is set to begin this weekend in Tampa, Fla., with the USF-Demarini Tournament, the awards are still coming in for Williamson, the senior Marshall pitcher.
Williamson, a Harts native and former prep player at Chapmanville Regional and the old Harts High School, was recognized last weekend as the Marshall University Female Student Athlete of the Year for 2011-12.
Williamson was honored at the Marshall-UCF men’s basketball team and joined Marshall Men’s Student Athlete of the Year Vinny Curry of the Herd football team.
Williamson had a record-breaking season last year for the Herd as she won 25 games to lead Conference USA and ended up breaking Marshall’s single-season wins record at 23.
The 1.50 ERA posted last year by Williamson was the fifth-best number in Marshall school history. Her 268 strikeouts was also top among Conference USA pitchers. Williamson held opponents to a .195 batting average, the lowest number in school history and the only one ever below .200.
At season’s end, Williamson was named Second-Team All-Conference USA and was named to the NFCA Mideast All-Region Second Team.
The Marshall male award is named for longtime Herd coach and administrator Ed Starling, while the female award is named for Dr. Dorothy Hicks, who founded women’s athletics at Marshall and is a member of the Marshall Athletics Hall of Fame.
Curry just completed his rookie season with the Philadelphia Eagles after being selected 59th overall by the team in the 2012 National Football League Draft.
The Neptune native was selected to six All-America teams (FWAA, Walter Camp, Associated Press, CBSSports.com, Phil Steele and College Sports Madness) in 2011 while being earning Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors from the league’s coaches.
Curry tied for second nationally with seven forced fumbles, tied for third with 22 tackles for loss and tied for sixth with 11 sacks during his senior campaign. He finished his Herd career with 49 tackles for loss (seventh in MU history) and 26.5 sacks (fourth all-time).
For Williamson and the Marshall softball team the new season is almost here.
Even though snow hit the area hard last weekend, the Herd have been practicing indoors and are set to take their game south to Florida over the weekend.
Marshall is scheduled to open the season on Friday against Big Ten powerhouse Michigan at the Tampa tourney.
Michigan, led by 27th-year head coach Carol Hutchins, is one of the top women’s softball programs in not only the Big Ten but also the Midwest. Michigan has made 20 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1992 and have made it to the Women’s College World Series nine times. The Wolverines won the national championship in 2005 with a 65-7 record.
Last year, Michigan went 42-17.
After taking on the Wolverines, Marshall then plays South Florida, Samford and Florida Atlantic twice in the Tampa tourney, Feb. 8-10.
The Herd then heads to Atlanta to take part in the Georgia Tech Classic, Feb. 15-17. There, the Herd are set to face the host Yellow Jackets, Indiana twice and Miami (Fla.) twice.
Then its on to a third road trip on Feb. 22-24 as Marshall is scheduled to play in the Spartan Classic in Greensboro, N.C. The Herd are slated to face Drexel twice, host UNC Greensboro twice and Quinnipiac.
Marshall is then set to have its home opener on March 1 against Buffalo in the annual Dot Hicks Invitational in Huntington. The Herd are also scheduled to play Robert Morris and Eastern Illinois.
Williamson and the Herd played well all season in 2012, advancing all the way to the C-USA championship game.
Marshall, however, lost 3-2 to Tulsa in the conference championship game and were not picked to play in the NCAA Tournament.
The Herd finished 36-21 overall and 15-9 in the conference.