Smith tabbed Pitcher of the Year; six Scots earn USA South honors

Smith tabbed Pitcher of the Year; six Scots earn USA South honors

The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2019 All-Conference awards for softball, and Maryville College saw six honorees including the USA South Pitcher of the Year, Katlyn Smith.

All awards are voted on by the softball coach at each institution. The divisional team voting is completed only by those coaches in the particular division. The first team all-conference and individual award voting is completed by all coaches.

Smith was tabbed the Pitcher of the Year, as she was joined on the conference's overall First Team All-Conference by senior Alexus Murray and sophomore Taylor Campbell. Smith, Murray and Campbell were also tabbed First Team Western Division alongside Reid Ballard. Sarah Gordon and Ashton Hayden earned Second Team Western Division honors, as Campbell was named to the All-Sportsmanship squad.

Additionally, Pfeiffer University's Vada Blue Sherrill was named Player of the Year, while Salem College's Brianne Coleman was named Rookie of the Year. Averett's Hannah Thompson was named Rookie Pitcher of the Year, and N.C. Wesleyan College's John Brackett collected Coach of the Year honors. Athletes from five different teams earned the Conference's five individual honors which is a first since the League expanded its individual awards prior to the 2002 season.

Additionally, the USA South recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team, consisting of one member from each competing school.

A sophomore pitcher from Loganville, Ga., Smith, after becoming the first Scot to earn USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Year a season ago, is now the first USA South Pitcher of the Year in Maryville softball history. She currently has posted a 16-3 record with a League-best 1.43 ERA in 112.2 innings pitched.

"That's what she does," Head Coach Leah Kelley said. "By no means is that a surprise, because we know how good she is. I talk about this all the time. It's just how consistent she is on the mound. When you have that consistency in pitchers, it allows our offense to relax. We know what we're going to get, and it also allows our defense to relax. We know she's going to do her job on the mound. She's just a phenomenal kid. She's worked hard. She's been a work horse all year, and we're excited to see how her year continues."

Smith has tossed 16 complete games, including a USA South-high five shutouts, and has struck out 135 batters, the most in the Conference. In USA South-only action, she led the League with an 11-0 record and a 1.07 ERA. Smith earns First Team All-Conference and First Team West Division honors for the second consecutive season while also collecting USA South Pitcher of the Week accolades twice this spring.

 

Campbell - a sophomore at second base - was honored on both the First Team and First Team Western Division squads. The Afton, Tenn. native lead both Maryville College and the USA South Athletic Conference with a .515 batting average, as she raked in 40 RBI. She had 53 hits on the year with 12  doubles and seven homers. She tallied 19 runs, while slugging at a .853 clip.

"I think Taylor Campbell deserved that award," Kelley said. "She deserved to be on First-Team All-Conference. Her stats speak for themselves. She's just a great kid. I talked about this earlier, that even if you take her stats away, she's still contributing to this team because of who she is. She's just a phenomenal kid that's having another outstanding year as a sophomore. She got Rookie of the Year last year, and then she had another great year. This is a huge recognition for her."

Murray - a senior behind the plate - joined both Smith and Campbell on both First Team lists. The Buford, Ga., native led the Scots with 23 stolen bases, while hitting .396 in the leadoff spot. She had two doubles and a triple to her credit, as she tallied a team-leading 31 runs with 24 RBI. She has 199 putouts as a catcher, while fielding at a .991 rate.

"I'm so proud of her and the year she's had," Kelley said. "That was actually a personal goal for her - to get First Team All-Conference. So, for her to get that, it's special. You have to work for that. That's not an easy task to do. It's recognized within our entire 18-team conference. For her to get that award as the best catcher in our league is just phenomenal for her, especially in her senior campaign. She's been working on that since her freshman year, and she deserves every minute of it."

MC's Ballard was also named a First Team Western Division honoree. The junior transfer anchored right field during the second half of the season, as she also spent time as a designated player. Ballard - a Seymour, Tenn. native - hit .347 on the year with 13 hits, six doubles, a pair of homers and 22 RBI. 

The Scots' senior first baseman, Gordon, was tabbed a Second Team Western Division honoree. The Knoxville, Tenn. native anchored first for MC, while hitting .316. She tallied 13 RBI, six runs and five doubles at the plate this season. She posted 144 putouts and six assists, as she fielded at an outstanding .987 clip on the season.

Finally, MC's centerfield Hayden was also tabbed a Second Team Western Division member. The junior from Hendersonville, Tenn., fielded 1.000 on the year with 45 putouts and eight assists. She hit .350 with a .404 on-base-percentage this season. Hayden had 23 runs, seven RBI and an inside-the-park home run to her credit.

"That's great for us when we continue to grow," Kelley said of her six honorees. "It's always huge getting these younger kids recognized, knowing that they are going to be in the program. We're still a growing program. By no means are we where we want to be right now, but it's great that we're getting the recognition for these players. They're making an impact - not just on the team - but in the conference. It's exciting."

Player of the Year Pitcher of the Year Rookie of the Year Rookie Pitcher of the Year Coach of the Year

Vada Blue Sherrill
Pfeiffer

Katlyn Smith
Maryville

Brianne Coleman
Salem

Hannah Thompson
Averett

John Brackett
N.C. Wesleyan


The 2019 USA South Softball All-Conference Team:

First Team All-Conference
1B - Hannah Hoban, Piedmont
2B - Taylor Campbell, Maryville
3B - Brianne Coleman, Salem
SS - Vada Blue Sherrill, Pfeiffer
C - Alexus Murray, Maryville
DP - Miranda Barker, Salem
Util - Annie Nolan, Huntingdon
OF - Mariann Kennison, Piedmont
OF - Allyson Loy, Greensboro
OF - Candice Smith, William Peace
P - Beth Braswell, N.C. Wesleyan
P - Katlyn Smith, Maryville
At-Large - Madison Hunt, Huntingdon
At-Large - Hannah Thompson, Averett


First Team East Division Second Team East Division First Team West Division Second Team West Division
1B - Bryona Knight, N.C. Wesleyan
2B - Makenzie Pennell, Pfeiffer
3B - Brianne Coleman, Salem
SS - Vada Blue Sherrill, Pfeiffer
C - Sara Brown, Pfeiffer
DP - Miranda Barker, Salem
Util - Summer Phillips, N.C. Wesleyan
OF - Hannah Ivester, N.C. Wesleyan
OF - Allyson Loy, Greensboro
OF - Candice Smith, William Peace
P - Beth Braswell, N.C. Wesleyan
P - Kiana Millsaps, Pfeiffer
At-Large - Kaitlyn Aherron, Averett
At-Large - Hannah Thompson, Averett
1B - Kristen Bailly, William Peace
2B - Brittany Morton, Salem
3B - Samantha Jacobs, Methodist
SS - Amanda Dacunto, Salem
C - Kayla Molivas, N.C. Wesleyan
DP - Madison Cash, Mary Baldwin
Util - Kristina Mojica, William Peace
OF - Jordan Miller, Mary Baldwin
OF - Erin Rankin, Averett
OF - Jasmine Worthy, Greensboro
P - Sarah Gundlach, Meredith
P - Maddy Wetherholt, Greensboro
At-Large - Bryce Smith, Meredith
At-Large - Hanna Stackhouse, Greensboro
1B - Hannah Hoban, Piedmont
2B - Taylor Campbell, Maryville
3B - Emily White, Brevard
SS - Taylor Long, LaGrange
C - Alexus Murray, Maryville
DP - Mari Cook, Brevard
Util - Annie Nolan, Huntingdon
OF - Reid Ballard, Maryville 
OF - Mariann Kennison, Piedmont
OF - Brittany Todd, LaGrange
P - Melissa Eckman, Piedmont
P - Katlyn Smith, Maryville
At-Large - Madison Hunt, Huntingdon
At-Large - Audreonna Lindsey, Berea
1B - Sarah Gordon, Maryville
2B - TK Sauls, Piedmont
3B - Ashley Spencer, Berea
SS - Alyssa Singleterry, Huntingdon
C - Faith Manning, Covenant
DP - Kara Winchester, Berea
Util - Kaylee White, Piedmont
OF - Rayne Ellis, Huntingdon
OF - Ashton Hayden, Maryville 
OF - Rebekah Stegmayer, Piedmont
P - Micayla McCoy, Brevard
P - Lauren Melton, Huntingdon
At-Large - KayLeigh Fitzgerald, Agnes Scott
At-Large - Madison Perryman, Huntingdon

 

All-Sportsmanship
Alexei Young, Agnes Scott
Taylor Hodges, Averett
Hallie Mattingly, Berea
Brittany Franks, Brevard
Cassee Wood, Covenant
Daisy Martin, Greensboro
Ashley Carroll, Huntingdon
Sydney Hodorff, LaGrange
Kayley Turner, Mary Baldwin
Taylor Campbell, Maryville
Madison Hamilton, Meredith
Bethany Junker, Methodist
Meredith Smith, N.C. Wesleyan
Sara Brown, Pfeiffer
Taylor Brown, Piedmont
Stephanie Galioto, Salem
Alexia Rivera, Wesleyan
Liliana Berber, William Peace