Softball Takes Three Top Big South Awards


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  headlines May 10, 2006
Softball Takes Three Top Big South Awards

Meagen Johnson Named Player of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year; Dannelly Named Coach of the Year for the Seventh Time

RADFORD, VA. – The Coastal Carolina University softball team had six players selected to the All-Big South First and Second Teams and had the Big South Player of the Year, Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year, the conference office announced at the softball tournament banquet before the start of the 2006 Aeropostale Big South Softball Tournament, May 10.

Senior Meagen Johnson (Georgetown, S.C./Georgetown (Furman) was named the Big South Softball Player of the Year. She is the seventh Coastal softball player to win the award and fourth in the last six years. She also earned First Team Honors as a designated player. This season, Johnson leads Coastal in batting average (.400), hits (52), home runs (20), slugging percentage (.938), on-base percentage (.506), runs batted-in (56), total bases (122) and walks (30). She leads the Big South in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage while placing second in walks and third in batting average. Johnson’s 20 home runs this season set the all-time Coastal single season mark and her RBI total is the third best in a single season at CCU. She was named the Big South Player of the Week three times while also winning Big South Pitcher honors once. She became the first player in league history to ever be named both the Player and Pitcher of the Week in the same week, March 27. From the circle Johnson had a record of 9-3 with a 1.65 earned-run average. In 89.1 innings pitched this year, Johnson amassed 98 strikeouts while only allowing 70 hits. Johnson was also honored by the league as the 2006 Scholar-Athlete of the Year with cumulative grade-point average of 3.86 in history.

Coastal head coach Jess Dannelly earned Coach of the Year honors for the seventh time in his career. He guided the Lady Chanticleers to a 35-20 regular-season record and a 10-2 Big South record, winning the regular season championship for the seventh time in school history. Dannelly’s team won its last five Big South regular season games to close the season and earn a first round bye in the Aeropostale Big South Softball Tournament. Dannelly earned Coach of the Year honors in 1992, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Coastal had three more first team members and two second-team honorees. Senior Sara Hostetler (Albuquerque, N.M./Valley), senior Kelly Feely (Livermore, Calif./Granada) and redshirt junior Christine Doyle (Rio Rico, Ariz./Immaculate Heart Academy) were first team selections, while junior Danyelle Gerdts (Colorado Springs, Colo./Air Academy) and junior Kristina Sheppard (Galveston, Texas/Ball) were named to the second team.

Hostetler, a third baseman, was a First-Team Big South selection for the third consecutive season and an All-Big South Selection for the fourth time in her career. This season Hostetler is hitting .275 with two home runs, 23 RBI and 34 runs scored. She is tied for fourth in the conference in runs scored and since moving to the leadoff role Coastal has gone 27-8 this season. Hostetler was named the Big South Player of the Week on March 20. She had a team-best 10 game hitting streak from March 11-22. In Big South games this season, she is hitting a team-best .400 with a home run, six RBI and 10 runs scored.

Feely earned first team honors as an outfielder, hitting .262 with six home runs and 30 RBI. In conference games this season she is hitting .325 with six RBI. Feely had memorable three home run doubleheader against Elon on April 11. Feely was named the Big South Player of the Week on April 17.

Doyle earned first team honors as a pitcher. The redshirt junior is 17-7 this season with a 1.29 ERA and three saves in 33 appearances. The 17 wins are tied for the conference lead while her ERA is the second best in the league this season. Doyle’s three saves are tied for 23rd nationally. She was also a two-time recipient of Big South Pitcher of the Week honors this season. She threw the second no-hitter of her career against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this season on March 17. In Big South games, Doyle is 6-1 with a 0.48 ERA and has only allowed three earned runs in 44 innings from the circle.

Gerdts made the second team as an outfielder. The junior has appeared in 49 games, hitting .256 with 33 hits, five triples, 17 RBI and 34 runs scored. She is tied for the conference lead in triples while ranking tied for fourth in the Big South in runs scored. In Big South play, Gerdts hit an impressive .300 with seven runs scored. She has had nine multi-hit games and six multi-RBI games this season. Gerdts went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored against North Florida, March 22.

Sheppard earned second team honors as a second baseman. The junior appeared in 54 games this season with 40 hits, seven doubles, two triples, six home runs and 29 RBI. In Big South games this season, Sheppard is hitting .286 with four doubles and four RBI. She is second on the team with 10 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI games. She went 2-for-3 with a career-best five RBI against Ohio State, March 5.

In other specialty awards, Radford’s Ashley Taylor earned Pitcher of the Year honors and Winthrop’s Tessa Thomas was named the Freshman of the Year.

Coastal Carolina’s softball team, who are the #1 seed, will begin play in Aeropostale Big South Softball Tournament on Thursday, May 11 against the winner of #4 seed Birmingham-Southern and #5 seed Winthrop at 5 p.m.

2006 Big South All-Conference Awards

First Team

OF Kelly Feely-Coastal Carolina

OF Ann Tatum-Radford

OF Tessa Thomas-Winthrop

1B Nikki Rombough-Birmingham-Southern

2B Dawn Jeffs-Liberty

3B Sara Hostetler-Coastal Carolina

SS Jessica Moore-Liberty

C Amanda Walling-Radford

DP Meagen Johnson-Coastal Carolina

UT Jill Shondell-Charleston Southern

P Christine Doyle-Coastal Carolina

P Ashley Taylor-Radford

Second Team

OF Kelly Backlund-Birmingham-Southern

OF Ashley Robinson-Charleston Southern

OF Danyelle Gerdts-Coastal Carolina

1B Hilary Peacock-Winthrop

2B Dorothy Page-Charleston Southern

2B Kristina Sheppard-Coastal Carolina

3B Heather Fox-Birmingham-Southern

SS Cassie Rhodes-Radford

C Ashley Williams-Liberty

DP Laura Hill-Winthrop

UT Danielle Tompkins-Radford

P Kristina Villavicencio-Birmingham-Southern

Academic All-Conference

Jennifer Welborn-Birmingham-Southern

Katie McKay-Charleston Southern

Meagen Johnson-Coastal Carolina

Sarah Swor-Liberty

Michelle Carlson-Radford

Erica Armenta-Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Laura Hill-Winthrop

Player of the Year

Meagen Johnson-Coastal Carolina

Pitcher of the Year

Ashley Taylor-Radford

Freshman of the Year

Tess Thomas-Winthrop

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Meagen Johnson-Coastal Carolina

Coach of the Year

Jess Dannelly-Coastal Carolina

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