Nine Big South Softball Players Earn All-State Honors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - The Big South Conference had five players named to the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) University Division All-State Softball Team, while four players were named to the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) University Division All-State Softball squad, both organizations announced recently.
Earning VaSID Player of the Year and First Team honors was Radford's Nichole Beall, while Jackie Jenkins earned a spot on the second team.
Liberty led the way with three players being named to the VaSID All-State Softball Team with senior outfielder Meredith Crisante, sophomore outfielder Katie Zavodny and freshman catcher Kelby Allen. Crisante earned all-state honors for the second year in a row, while Zavodny and Allen both appear on the all-state team for the first time. Allen is the first Liberty freshman to be named to the VaSID All-State softball team since Cheryl Wyrick in 2000.
In addition, Gardner-Webb redshirt-senior hurler Cindy Boomhower and sophomore second-baseman Samantha Meenaghan were each named to the NCCSIA University Division I All-State Softball Team. The recognition is the first for Boomhower and the second for Meenaghan, who also received the honor last season.
Campbell softball team members Ericka Nesbitt and Taylor McGee were named to the NCCSIA University Division All-State Softball Team, becoming just the second Campbell duo to be named to the team in the same season as Karlie Love and Brittany Stanley were named to the team in 2009. Last season, CU's Amanda Miller was selected. Nesbitt and McGee are the eighth and ninth Campbell ever chosen for the team.
Beall, who is the third VaSID Player of the Year in program history, concludes her career as a four-time all-state selection, appearing on the first team each of the last three years. The 2012 Big South Player of the Year led the League in runs (51), doubles (14) and stolen bases (31). She was second in home runs (13), slugging (.698), total bases (111) and on base percentage (.478). Last month, the shortstop was also named an NFCA third team All-American (the first in program history) and took first team All-Region honors.
The standout from Culpeper, Va. has her name written all over the Radford record books. She became the first Highlander to be named Big South Player of the Year twice and earn first-team accolades all four years. Beall 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 in 1994.
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 hauls in her second VaSID accolade, having been voted to the first team last year. She became the second pitcher in program history to win back-to-back Big South Pitcher of the Year honors, as she posted a League-best 10 wins and 1.37 ERA, while delivering two shutouts and walking a Big South-low 1.28 batters per seven innings. The Mechanicsville, Va. native 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.
A native of Huntington, W.Va., Crisante was a first team All-Big South selection this season. She batted .295 and led the team with nine home runs, 15 stolen bases, 85 total bases and a .512 slugging percentage. During Conference play, she led the Big South with six home runs and 44 total bases. She was tabbed Big South Player of the Week on Feb. 27.
Zavodny, a Concord, N.C. product, was named to the Big South All-Conference second team this year after providing a spark to the Lady Flames' offense. Zavodny led the team with a .351 batting average, .370 on-base percentage and ranked second with 12 stolen bases. Her biggest impact came during Conference play, where she hit .417 and scored eight runs in 10 Big South games before sustaining a season-ending injury.
Allen, a freshman from Amarillo, Texas, made an immediate impact this season ranking second on the team with a .306 batting average. She had the highest batting average by a Liberty freshman since Ashley Williams hit .317 in 2005, and tied for the team lead with 13 multiple-hit games. Allen went 3-for-3 during the regular-season finale, hitting two homers and driving in four runs against Longwood.
Boomhower, who was named to the Big South All-Conference Second-Team, the Big South Conference All-Tournament Team and the College Sports Madness Big South All-Conference Second-Team, led the Big South with four saves on the season. Boomhower was third in the Conference with a 2.10 ERA, third with 45 batters struck out looking, and fifth with 13 wins. Her team-high four saves is tied for the most in a single-season by a GWU pitcher in the program's Division I history, while both her team-best 2.10 ERA and 13 wins are third in their respective categories in GWU's Division I single-season record books. The two-time Big South Pitcher of the Week also posted her first career perfect game on March 9th, defeating UNC Wilmington 6-0 at the Winthrop/adidas Invitational.
Meenaghan, who was also named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Mid-Atlantic All-Region First-Team, the Big South All-Conference First-Team and the College Sports Madness Big South All-Conference First-Team, led the League with a .409 batting average which ranks second overall for a single season in GWU's Division I record books. The sophomore's 74 hits not only led the Big South, but was also a new single-season school record surpassing the previous record of 73 hits set by Abbie Looper in 2007. She also finished the season tied for third in the Big South in triples with three on the year and was fifth in runs scored with 35, which also ranks fourth overall in GWU's DI single-season record books.
Nesbitt, a Salisbury, N.C. native, earned the award after ranking as one of the top players in the Big South Conference in 2012. Nesbitt ranked second in the Conference in batting average (.402), hits (72), stolen bases (23) and runs scored (42). The freshman also became the first Campbell softball player to ever earn a weekly award from the Conference office when she was named the Big South Player of the Week on March 19. She led the Camels with her 25 multiple hit games including seven games of three or more hits. Her 72 hits this season were the sixth most recorded by a Campbell player in a single season. She was also a Big South Second Team All-Conference selection in 2012.
McGee completed her Campbell career, after hitting 11 long balls as a senior, as the school's all-time leader in career home runs with 42. She broke the school record in the most dramatic way possible with her game-winning two-run extra inning home to catapult the Camels to the 10th inning 3-1 victory over Presbyterian on May 5. McGee had a banner final season in the orange and black and ranked among the Conference leaders in home runs (11), doubles (10), RBIs (36), total bases (90) and slugging percentage (.566). Besides the home run crown, McGee also completed her Campbell career ranking among the top 10 at Campbell in slugging percentage (.504 - t-5th), games played (226 - t-11th), runs scored (105 - 11th), RBIs (120 - 5th), walks (84 - t-4thh), total bases (315 - 4th). McGee also was honored by the League office in each of the final two weeks of the regular-season and named the Big South's Player of the Week on April 30 and May 7. She also stood out in the classroom and was named to the Big South All-Academic team and earned a place on the CoSIDA / Capital One Academic All-District Softball team. Additionally she was a Big South First Team All-Conference selection in 2012.