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Sheppard earns Utility POY accolades
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ATLANTA, Ga. - The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference today announced its 2014 SIAC Softball All-Conference Teams, as voted by the SIAC Softball Coaches Association.

Markea Sheppard of Claflin University has been selected as the 2014 SIAC Utility Player of the Year.

Sheppard, a junior from Covington, Georgia, registered 63 hits in 132 at bats (.477), with nine home runs, 12 doubles, three triples and 52 runs scored for the Lady Panthers.

Sheppard also drove in 63 runs, secured 22 walks and stole 17 bases as Claflin won the Eastern Division title.

Sheppard ranked nationally in multiple categories, including average RBIs per contest (1.5 - third), batting average (.477 - 10th), runs per game scored (1.24 - 12th), on base percentage (.548 - 18th) and slugging percentage (.818 - 27th).

This is Sheppard's second conference player of the year award, as she earned Freshman of the Year honors following the 2012 season.

Headlining the list of award recipients is Jasmine McNeal of Lane College.

McNeal, a junior from Los Angeles, California, has been named the 2014 SIAC Softball Player of the Year.

McNeal hit .481 (37-of-77) from the plate in 27 games, scoring 41 runs and posting 37 RBI's, 10 home runs, 10 doubles, one triple and nine stolen bases for the Lady Dragons.

Her average of 1.52 runs per game scored led the nation, while her slugging percentage of 1.026 ranked third. She also ranked nationally in RBI's per game (1.37 - seventh), batting average (.481 - ninth), home runs per game (0.37 - 13th) and on base percentage (0.554 - 14th).

 For the second consecutive season, Latifah Kelly of Tuskegee University has been chosen as the SIAC Starting Pitcher of the Year.

Kelly, a senior from Sylacauga, Alabama, pitched 107.0 innings over 18 appearances for the Tigerettes, recording a 13-4 mark with 15 complete games and four shutouts.  She notched 122 strikeouts on the season as Tuskegee captured the Western Division title.

Kelly's average of 4.38 hits allowed per seven innings ranked 13th nationally, while her average of 8.0 strikeouts per seven innings ranked 30th.

 Helen Keevy of Claflin University has been named the 2014 SIAC Relief Pitcher of the Year.

Keevy, a freshman from Savannah, Georgia, made 22 appearances for the Lady Panthers, securing a 15-1 record. Keevy pitched nine complete games with two shutouts over 104.0 innings, recording 51 strikeouts.

Matisse Lee of Claflin University and Roger Ogden of Lane College have been named the 2014 SIAC Co-Coach of the Year, respectively.

Lee guided her Lady Panthers to a conference-best 21-3 mark and an overall record of 41-6, capturing the Eastern Division title in the process. Ogden led his Lady Dragons to an overall record of 20-12,  a 17-plus game turnaround after finishing 3-27 in 2013.

 The Lady Bears of Miles College were named the 2014 SIAC Softball All-Academic Champions.