CULVER CITY, Calif. – Carson-Newman sophomore pitcher Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) has tacked on to her preseason accolades with an All-America first team honor from Fast Pitch News, the organization announced Wednesday morning.
The preseason All-America honor comes on the heels of Rinus being selected to the South Atlantic Conference's preseason all-league first team.
Rinus logged a litany of honors in her freshman season. She was named SAC and TSWA Pitcher of the Week on three occasions.
Last season, Rinus became the fourth Eagle pitcher to be recognized as an All-American with second team accolades from the NFCA and third team honors from the D2CCA. She joins Heather Randolph (1995), Zoe Heim (2008) and Carol Zachary (1989-1991). Rinus is the first Eagle to ever earn All-America honors as a utility/pitcher.
Rinus adds the All-America accolade to all-region and region Pitcher of the Year plaudits in a prolific year where she has already stuffed her trophy case with placards for SAC Freshman of the Year, SAC Pitcher of the Year and SAC Tournament MVP. She is the first player in league history to win all three of those awards in the same season.
Rinus is the just the second player in the league's history to take both Freshman and Pitcher of the Year honors in the same season. She joins Catawba's Carly Tysinger (2013) as the only other player to receive that distinction. She becomes the second Carson-Newman pitcher to earn the league's top honor for hurlers, joining Megan Elliot, who did it in 2005.
Rinus is the fifth Carson-Newman player recognized as the league's freshman of the year and the most recent since Elliot was lauded in 2003. She joins Elliot and SAC Hall of Famer Marci Mitchell as the only two C-N pitchers to receive the accolade.
The Murfreesboro, Tenn.-native led the conference in strikeouts (232), batting average against (.205), earned run average (1.56) and wins (26). She also led the league in shutouts, overtaking first place with back-to-back scoreless outings to clinch C-N the SAC tournament title.
Rinus and the rest of the Eagles debut on Feb. 3 against Lees-McRae. First pitch against the Bobcats is set for 1 p.m. Coverage of the doubleheader will be available on the Eagle Sports Network at cneagles.com/live.