▶ Damain Benefield of Ranburne, MUW (Columbus, Miss.) Owls baseball infielder, and Cara Hopper, Owls softball pitcher received national recognition following the 2018 USCAA National Championship tournament. The two student-athletes stood out among their teammates and competitors to be named to the Small College World Series All-Tournament Team.
The Owls baseball team went 2-2 during the event with two wins over Florida National and a near miss against Selma University. Benefield, a freshman infielder, played in all four games for a .333 batting average, six hits, and five RBIs. Despite the loss, the Ranburne native's standout game was against Selma where he went 2-for-2 with a home run and a double for two runs and one RBI.
The all-tournament recognition was not the first honor for Benefield this season. The Owls power hitter was named to the 2018 USCAA Baseball All-American First Team, grabbed a USCAA Player of the Week honor, and was named as the April Renasant Bank Athlete of the Month. During the 2018 season, Benefield maintained a .437 batting average and a .757 slugging percentage with 45 hits, seven home runs, 12 doubles, and 37 RBIs.
Benefield, a freshman infielder, has received high athletic honors as the USCAA baseball first team All American and MVP, with this accomplishment, Benefield’s athletic ability ranks him nationally among the top 16 players. The Ranburne native led his team in almost all offense categories and attended the College world series in Pennsylvania where his team placed 5th in the series. He attends MUW in Columbus, Miss., where he is pursuing a degree in physical therapy. His stats for the season were as follows: batting average 437, on-base percentage 538, and a 757 slugging percent.
Benefield is the son of Daniel Benefield and Lynn Benefield and has a sister, Tristen Benefield.