Brewer, Campbell, Smith earn top honors; school record eight Scots earn USA South All-Conference

Brewer, Campbell, Smith earn top honors; school record eight Scots earn USA South All-Conference

The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2018 All-Conference awards for softball, as Maryville College saw a total of eight players awarded.

That mark is the most Maryville has seen on the USA South All-Conference Softball list, topping the six players honored in 2016. Those eight honors come after the Scots earned their first-ever USA South Regular Season Western Division Crown and the squad's first conference title since 2009.

The Maryville College trio of Morgan Brewer, Taylor Campbell and Katlyn Smith were named Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Rookie Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Piedmont College's Melissa Eckman earned Pitcher of the Year while Salem College's Scott Long was named Coach of the Year to round out the individual awards. Also, the USA South recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team, consisting of one member from each competing school.

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.

Brewer, a sophomore third baseman from Maryville, Tennessee becomes the first Scot in program history to be named USA South Player of the Year. She currently has a .393 batting average, .471 on-base percentage and .573 slugging percentage with 30 RBI and two home runs. Brewer is within the top-five of five offensive categories including plate appearances (137), at-bats (117), runs scored (42), hits (46) and stolen bases (17). 

"The year she had, it was expected," Head Coach Leah Kelley said. "She started out a little bit slow, but she got it together. The year she had, she deserves this recognition. She deserves this as a player and a person. She had a great freshman year, and she's had an even better sophomore year. She's going to just keep getting better. The kid is just a sophomore. To get recognized as a player of the year as a freshman, that's outstanding. That just shows the growth that we're having as a program."

In USA South-only action, Brewer led the Conference with a .588 batting average, a .625 on-base percentage, 26 runs scored, 30 hits, nine doubles and 44 total bases. Additionally, Brewer's 13 stolen bases tied for the Conference-high while her .863 slugging percentage ranked second in the League against USA South opposition. For her efforts this season, Brewer collects her first First Team All-Conference honor to go along with a First Team West Division accolade at third base. Last year she earned Second Team All-West Division honors. Finally, Brewer was named USA South Player of the Week once this spring.

Campbell, a freshman second baseman from Afton, Tennessee, becomes the first Scot to earn USA South Rookie of the Year honors. Campbell currently boasts a .391 batting average, a .456 slugging percentage and a .682 slugging percentage which ranks fifth in the League to go along with 33 RBI and 25 runs scored. Her 13 doubles are tied for the Conference lead while her 75 total bases are tied for second among all USA South hitters.

"Taylor is an outstanding kid, first – an outstanding person," Kelley said. "For her to get that recognition on the field for her accomplishments, that's huge for a freshman. She's had a great freshman campaign. She hits the ball really well. She's one of the best hitters I've ever seen. She hits the ball hard every single time, and she's hard to pitch against. She just has a great presence in the box as a freshman. That's something you can't coach."

In Conference-only play, Campbell lead the League with a .955 slugging percentage which was helped by her four home runs which tied for the USA South lead. For her efforts, Campbell collected First Team All-Conference and First Team West Division honors at second base. Finally, she was named USA South Rookie of the Week once this spring.

A freshman pitcher from Loganville, Georgia, Smith becomes the first Maryville softball player to earn USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Year accolades. She has posted an 11-1 record in 17 appearances, 13 starts, over 81.0 innings. She has compiled a 2.51 ERA with 74 strikeouts as opponents are hitting .248 against her.

"She stepped up," Kelley said. "We asked a lot from her as a freshman, and for her to come in and step up on the mound and get that done for us, that's huge. She pitched a lot for us. To have an experienced staff like we did, and for her to get so many innings, that's awesome. To not only get those innings, but succeed in those innings, she's on par to have a great career here at Maryville College. We talk about it all the time about stepping up in conference games – those are the games that truly matter. You can see a different presence from her during conference games. She brought a different element, and it shows in her stats."

In USA South-only action, her ERA dipped to a 0.54 as she posted a 6-0 record with 35 strikeouts and six shutouts in six starts. For her efforts this season, Smith collected First Team All-Conference and First Team West Division honors as a pitcher as well as one USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Week accolade.

In all, the Scots saw eight players recoginzed by the USA South. MC's Ashton Hayden earned First Team All-Conference Overall along side Brewer, Campbell and Smith. All four earned First Team All-Western Division, as Essence Strambler also earned Western Division top honors. Sarah Gordon, Christina White and Nicole Blackburn also earned Western Division accolades as Second-Team members.

"It's awesome, and it's great being recognized by our conference," Kelley said. "I believe that is the highest number we've ever had recognized. All of those kids that were awarded will be back next year. That is a pretty cool thing to see and realize that I'm lucky enough to get all of those kids back next year. I get coach them again next year. It's great for the program, and it's great for the school."

A junior pitcher from Perry, Georgia, Eckman earns Conference Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive year. She becomes the first player in Conference history to be named Pitcher of the Year twice along with Rookie Pitcher of the Year in her career. She currently has posted a 13-6 record with a 1.61 ERA in a Conference-high 126.1 innings pitched. Eckman has tossed 15 complete games, including four shutouts, and struck out 88 batters. In Conference-only action, she leads the League with a 9-0 record and a Conference-low ERA of 0.45. Eckman earns First Team All-Conference and First Team West Division honors as a pitcher for the second time after collecting All-Conference Honorable Mention accolades her freshman season. Finally, Eckman was named USA South Pitcher of the Week once this season.

In his sixth season at Salem, Long collects his first USA South Coach of the Year honor. Long has guided the Spirits to a 21-15 overall record which included a 12-4 USA South mark, good for the Conference East Division championship, the program's second consecutive regular season title. In the USA South Preseason Coaches Poll, Salem was picked to finish fourth in the division. Long now takes his squad into the USA South tournament as the East Division's top-seeded team.


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

Morgan Brewer

Melissa Eckman

Taylor Campbell

Katlyn Smith

Scott Long

The 2018 USA South Softball All-Conference Team:

First Team All-Conference
1B - Hannah Hoban, Piedmont
2B - Taylor Campbell, Maryville
3B - Morgan Brewer, Maryville
SS - Jennifer Vitarelli, Salem
C - Shannon Schmitt, Covenant
DP - Jessica Bagwell, Piedmont
Util - Miranda Barker, Salem
OF - Ashton Hayden, Maryville
OF - Mariann Kennison, Piedmont
OF - Erica Occena, Meredith
P - Melissa Eckman, Piedmont
P - Katlyn Smith, Maryville

First Team East Division Second Team East Division First Team West Division Second Team West Division
1B - Julia Allsbrook, Meredith
2B - Cheyenne Strickland, Ferrum
3B - Amanda Dacunto, Salem
SS - Jennifer Vitarelli, Salem
C - Rachel Peel, Meredith
DP - Alexa Nemeth, William Peace
Util - Miranda Barker, Salem
OF - Kaitlyn Checkan, N.C. Wesleyan
OF - Searria Fisher, Methodist
OF - Erica Occena, Meredith
P - Miranda Barker, Salem
P - Beth Braswell, N.C. Wesleyan
1B - Cassie Collins, Greensboro
2B - Ashley Carbajal, Averett
3B - Brittany Bucklin, Meredith
SS - Kelsey Mabe, Meredith
C - Tori Scott, Ferrum
DP - Andrea Grant, Averett
Util - Kristina Mojica, William Peace
OF - Maria Annunziata, Meredith
OF - Sarah Watson, Meredith
OF - Jasmine Worthy, Greensboro
P - Taylor Jackson, Meredith
P - Courtney Rudd, Ferrum
1B - Hannah Hoban, Piedmont
2B - Taylor Campbell, Maryville
3B - Morgan Brewer, Maryville
SS - Alyssa Singleterry, Huntingdon
C - Shannon Schmitt, Covenant
DP - Jessica Bagwell, Piedmont
Util - Emily Barrs, LaGrange
OF - Ashton Hayden, Maryville 
OF - Mariann Kennison, Piedmont
OF - Essence Strambler, Maryville
P - Melissa Eckman, Piedmont
P - Katlyn Smith, Maryville
1B - Taylor Tallant, LaGrange
2B - Allyson Gentry, Piedmont
3B - McKenzie Ridgway, Huntingdon
SS - Jada Allmon, Covenant
C - Cecilia Siegel, Agnes Scott
DP - Sarah Gordon, Maryville
Util - Tiara White, Agnes Scott
OF - McKenzie Brunel, LaGrange
OF - Rayne Ellis, Huntingdon
OF - Christina White, Maryville 
P - Nicole Blackburn, Maryville
P - Madison Hunt, Huntingdon


Kayla Quesenberry, Agnes Scott
Amanda Wright, Averett
Abby Nash, Berea
Ricki Kuhn, Brevard
Hannah Talley, Covenant
Haley Blaisure, Ferrum
Kelsey Emrich, Greensboro
Claire Tomberlin, Huntingdon
Emily Cauldwell, LaGrange
Kate Dickinson, Mary Baldwin
Taylor Campbell, Maryville
Brittany Bucklin, Meredith
Savannah Dunn, Methodist
Ashlyn Gosnell, N.C. Wesleyan
Bailey Sherrill, Pfeiffer
Haley McCurry, Piedmont
Brittany Morton, Salem
Savanna Boyette, Wesleyan
Amanda Ludlum, William Peace