Four Big South Softball Players Garner All-Region Accolades
Four Big South softball players were recently named to the NFCA Division I All-Mid-Atlantic Region Teams, it was announced Thursday morning. Gardner-Webb sophomore second baseman Samantha Meenaghan and Radford senior shortstop Nichole Beall were named to the First-Team, while freshman utility/designated player Amanda Gomes and Radford junior hurler Jackie Jenkins were named to the Second-Team.
Meenaghan, the 2012 Big South First-Team selection at second-base, led GWU and the Big South with a .409 average and 74 hits overall on the season. Meenaghan was also third in Conference play with 24 hits, while leading the Runnin' Bulldogs and was third in the Conference with 35 runs score on the season. The sophomore lead-off hitter had three triples on the year overall and hit .343 in Conference play which ranked 10th overall in the Big South. She was third in League play with 15 runs scored, posted a hitting streak of 11-games and one of eight-games this season, while also recording 21 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games on the year. Meenaghan, who hit her first career home run in a win over N.C. A&T, was second on the team with a .492 slugging percentage and in stolen bases with five on the season. The 2011 Big South Freshman of the Year, the 2011 Big South First-Team All-Conference pick and the 2011 Big South All-Tournament, selection hit over .500 in the Conference tournament this year for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
In her first year at GWU, Gomes was named to the 2012 Big South Conference Second-Team, as she was fifth in League play with 17 RBI and hit .327 in Big South action. Gomes finished tied for ninth in Conference play with three home runs and ranked second on the team with four home runs and 23 RBI on the season. The freshman, who split time at both catcher and designated player throughout the season, was fourth on the team with a .394 slugging percentage, posting a .558 slugging percentage in Conference play. She was also third on the team with six doubles, had a total of 11 extra base hits on the year and posted a season-high five-game hitting streak. On the season, Gomes recorded six multi-hit games and five multi-RBI games. She recorded her first career home run in a win over UNCG on 3/22, was just a triple shy of the cycle in a 7-1 win over PC at home.
Beall, whose name is littered all over the Radford record books, became the first Highlander to be named Big South Player of the Year twice and earn first-team accolades all four years. She was also the eighth Big South player to earn four first-team nods, and just the third to do so since the League started recognizing two teams (1994). For the season, Beall led the Highlanders with a .340 batting average, 51 runs, 14 doubles and 13 home runs. She also walked 30 times, swiped 31 bases in 32 attempts, slugged .698 and recorded a .478 on base percentage.
Starting every contest (225) since her first game as a Highlander, Beall is the program's all-time leader in home runs (52), doubles (53/tie), RBI (158/tie), walks (96), slugging (.686), on base percentage (.442), total bases (459) and consecutive starts (224). She also finished in the top five in runs (2nd/177), hits (5th/232), batting average (3rd/.347), triples (t5th/9), hit by pitches (2nd/24), sacrifice flies (3rd/7), stolen bases (3rd/79) and assists (4th/401).
Jenkins, the second pitcher in program history to win back-to-back Big South Pitcher of the Year honors, was stellar in Conference play, posting a League-best 10 wins and 1.37 ERA, while posting two shutouts and walking a Big South-low 1.28 batters per seven innings. She concluded her junior campaign 17-9 with a 2.16 ERA in 162 inning of work.
Ranked third in wins and fourth in ERA, Jenkins tied for second in the League with five shutouts, including a three-hit performance in the Big South Tournament opener against Winthrop. Named to the all-tournament team, she also picked up another win with 2.2 innings of shutout relief in a 10-inning thriller against Gardner-Webb.
It is the third First-Team selection, a first in program history, for Beall, while Jenkins garners Second-Team recognition in back-to-back seasons.