May 20, 2002
This marks the first year that athletes from NCAA Division I Independent softball programs have been recognized for their athletic accomplishments. The schools that participated in this new event include: Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Ala.), Centenary College (Shreveport, La.), Gardner-Webb University (Boiling Springs, N.C.), Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Lipscomb University (Nashville, Tenn.), Morris Brown College (Atlanta, Ga.), Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, Calif.), and Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi, Texas).
Salas' standout performance both offensively and defensively earned her a spot on the first team. She picked up where she left off last season, leading the team with 61 hits, including 6 doubles, 10 triples, and 1 homerun. This season Salas went 2-for-3 three times and 3-for-4 twice. At the WISL tournament held in Moraga, Calif., Salas went 4-for-4 against Loyola Marymount in the championship game with a double and a triple to seal the victory and 1st place. On March 13th, in the second game against UNC Greensboro, she started the one run rally with a single that led to the Broncos 1-0 victory. Salas had a hand in three of the Broncos four runs scored against Miami (Ohio) on March 9th leading to their 4-0 win. She maintained a .305 batting average and lead the team in individual runs scored with 27. She also anchored the outfield starting all 63 games.
Smale lead the team with a .314 batting average. She came through in the clutch for the Broncos leading the team in runs batted in with 32. Smale went 2-for-3 in eight games this season and 3-for-3 against Western Washington on March 25th, aiding the Broncos in their 3-0 win. Despite the loss against Portland State on April 7th, she had a two-out triple to tie the game in extra innings that kept the Broncos alive. Tied 2-2 in the top of the seventh against Sacramento State on February 3rd, she doubled bringing in two runners to secure the victory for the Broncos. Smale has tallied a total of 50 hits, 9 doubles, 4 triples, and one homerun. She has been a mainstay in the infield seeing most of her time at first base and has registered 477 putouts in 2002 with a .992 fielding percentage.
Salas and Smale led the Broncos in their 25-38 season, the most wins in a season since the 1986 record of 26.