Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Atlantic Sun announced the 2011 baseball postseason awards on Tuesday and Lipscomb’s M.L. Williams earned second-team all-conference honors as an outfielder.
Williams played left field and served as the Bisons lead-off batter. Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand said he was happy for Williams and thought he deserved the accolade.
“From start to finish M.L. was one of our best performers on offense,” Forehand said. “He can do so many different things at the plate. I’m happy for him. I think he deserved it. He had a very solid year for us.”
Williams hit .354 from the plate and led the Bisons with 84 hits. The junior left fielder also finished the season with a .977 fielding percentage. Williams led Lipscomb with 17 doubles, 24 stolen bases, and 48 runs scored. Williams’ 84 hits is the second most in a single season by a Bison since Lipscomb made the transition to NCAA Division I in 2001.
“He was a very solid player at the top of our order,” Forehand said. “He is a good runner, he can hit with power, and even at the top of our order he was an RBI producer.”
As a fielder, Williams often used his impressive speed to cover ground quickly in the outfield. Along with making difficult plays look easy; Williams also provided a level of consistency for the Bisons outfield. In 55 games, he only committed two errors.
This is the second post-season award for Williams. He was named to the A-Sun All-Freshman Team in 2009 as an infielder. Last season Williams made the transition to left field and has played there ever since.
“M.L. has not been an outfielder very long,” Forehand said. “He quickly is becoming as good of an outfielder as he is an offensive guy. He has learned his angles and his routes. Overall he was just one of our best players all year long.”
Williams also managed the unique task of batting in the lead-off slot for the Bisons throughout the majority of this season.
“He is a different type of lead-off hitter,” Forehand said. “He didn’t have very many walks. Instead, he was a run producer. Because of his speed, we continued to play him at the top so that we could get the best of both worlds. Guys at the bottom of the order could get on and then he could knock them in.”
“For him and the speed that he has, we felt like batting first was the best spot for him. We tinkered with moving him to the two or three spot in the order, but it always came back to us wanting him at the top of the order.”
Other A-Sun award winners include Jacksonville's Adam Brett Walker who won Player of the Year; Stetson's Kurt Schluter grabbed Pitcher of the Year; UNF's Alex Bacon earned Freshman of the Year and the Hatters' Pete Dunn garnered his sixth Coach of the Year award.