Southern Utah freshman Kalei Watkins has been named 2018 Freshman of the Year by the Big Sky Conference following the conclusion of a softball season that saw her lead the Thunderbirds in multiple categories.
The Las Vegas native played in all 47 games during the season and led the team in RBIs (30) and home runs (9). The freshman finished second on the team in batting average (.360), slugging percentage (.648), on base percentage (.413), and doubles (10). Watkins had the fourth highest batting average in the Big Sky and finished third in home runs and slugging percentage and sixth in RBIs.
Watkins also appeared in 19 games in the circle for the Thunderbirds finishing with a 6.22 ERA and the second most wins on the team. She threw four complete games, including a shutout of Idaho State, a game in which she also went 3-for-3 with three doubles at the plate.
This is the first Freshman of the Year award for Southern Utah softball since joining the Big Sky Conference.