Rinus named to NFCA/Schutt Sports Division II National Player of the Year award watch list

Rinus named to NFCA/Schutt Sports Division II National Player of the Year award watch list

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Carson-Newman sophomore pitcher Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) is one of 50 NCAA Division II softball players named to the NFCA/Schutt National Player of the Year award watch list. 

Rinus, Lenoir-Rhyne outfield Erin Boone and Newberry's Haley Simonds and Natalie Willis are the only players from the South Atlantic Conference to make the list. 

Rinus is 1-1 this season with a 0.54 ERA.  She has struck out 18, the second most in the league, through 14 innings of work.  She won the league's first SAC Pitcher of the Week honor. 

Last year, 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 joined 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 added the All-America accolade to all-region and region Pitcher of the Year plaudits in a prolific year where she had already stuffed her trophy case with placards for SAC Freshman of the Year, SAC Pitcher of the Year and SAC Tournament MVP.  She was 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 became the second Carson-Newman pitcher to earn the league's top honor for hurlers, joining Megan Elliot, who did it in 2005.  Rinus was 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 joined 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.  

On three occasions last year, Rinus garnered AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference and Tennessee Sportswriters Association Pitcher of the Week accolades.  She was lauded with recognition as the Fastpitch News National Pitcher of the Week on April 5th.  She did not allow an earned run from March 22 – April 5th, a streak of 35 consecutive innings.  

Rinus pitched a season-high 12 strikeouts against Erskine on Feb. 22.  She has hit double digit strikeouts on seven occasions this season.  Perhaps more impressive is her strikeout to walk ratio, which sits at 6.75:1.  There have been 13 starts this year where Rinus did not issue a base on balls.  At the plate, Rinus has also proved to be an asset. 

She hit .356, the second highest average among regulars on the team.  Her 12 doubles and three triples are both second on the team.  She hit an inside-the-park home run against Brevard.  She has collected 12 multi-hit games this year, the third most on the team.  She has a staggering seven, three-hit efforts, which is tied for the second most in a single season for a Carson-Newman player in the last seven seasons.

The previous honorees of the award are Courtney Poole, North Georgia (2015), Lyndsay Butler, Wayne State University (2016) and Coley Ries, Minnesota State (2017).

2018 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division II Player of the Year Watchlist
*Denotes returning NFCA All-American

Courtney Barnhill             Outfield                             Sophomore             Angelo State University
Janessa Bassett*              Outfield                             Senior                       Dixie State University
Erin Boone*                        Outfield                             Junior                        Lenoir-Rhyne University
Taylor Brandts                  Pitcher                               Senior                       UVa Wise
Jessica Brown                    Catcher                              Senior                       Cal State San Bernardino
Rosa'Lynn Burton*          Outfield                             Sophomore             Wilmington University
Jayden Chestnut               Pitcher                               Junior                        Central Oklahoma
Haleigh Christopher        Catcher                              Sophomore             University of Charleston
Angelique Elemen*         Utility                                  Junior                        Fort Lewis College
Sara Ercolani                     Second Base                    Senior                       West Chester University
Julia Garcia*                      Third Base                        Senior                       Cal State Monterey Bay
Haley Gilham*                   Pitcher                               Senior                       Chico State
Brooke Goad                      Outfield                             R-Senior                   Southern Arkansas University
Kilee Halbert                      Pitcher                               Senior                       West Texas A&M University
Ashley Hardin*                 Outfield                             Senior                       West Texas A&M University
Morgan Heard                  Shortstop                          Senior                       Central Oklahoma
Brooke Hodgson*            Utility                                  Senior                       Colorado Mesa University
Kala Holder*                      Infield                                 Sophomore             Pittsburg State University
Hanna Holland                  Outfield                             R-Junior                    Humboldt State University
Amanda Houck*               Pitcher                               Senior                       West Chester University
Mariah Jameyson*         Catcher                              Senior                       Texas A&M University-Commerce
Jamie Johnson*                Third Base                        Senior                       UNC Pembroke
Sara Keeny                         Outfield                             Junior                        Kutztown University
Kacie Kelly*                        Second Base                    Sophomore             Saint Leo University
Carly Kingery                     Pitcher                               Junior                        University of Missouri-St. Louis
Taylor Kline                        Shortstop                          Senior                       Ohio Dominican University
Jennifer Leonhardt*       Pitcher                               Sophomore             University of Southern Indiana
Caitlyn Lloyd                      Outfield                             Sophomore             California Baptist University
Brandy Marlett*              Pitcher                               Senior                       Angelo State University
Brenna Martini*              Third Base                        Senior                       Adelphi University
Jess Meidl*                         Outfield                             Senior                       Minnesota State University
Jessica Mohl                      Shortstop                          Senior                       Valdosta State University
Marisa Monasseri*        Catcher                              Senior                       Caldwell University
Emily Price*                       Shortstop                          Senior                       California (Pa.)
Christa Reisinger*           Outfield                             Junior                        Truman State University
Lacie Rinus*                       Pitcher                               Sophomore             Carson-Newman University
Meredith Rousse              Second Base                    Senior                       Saginaw Valley State University
Jill Roye*                             Pitcher/First Base         Senior                       Southern Arkansas University
Rhiannon Sassman         Shortstop                          Junior                        University of West Florida
Julia Seader                       Catcher                              Junior                        LIU Post
Haley Simonds*                Utility/Pitcher                  Sophomore             Newberry College
Allie Smith*                        Infield                                 Senior                       West Texas A&M University
Kylee Smith*                     Pitcher                               Sophomore             University of North Georgia
Sydney Sprague*            Shortstop                          Senior                       University of North Georgia
McKenzie Surface           Pitcher                               Junior                        Colorado Mesa University
AnnMarie Torres*          First Base                          Sophomore             Colorado Mesa University
Hannah Vet*                     Pitcher                               Senior                       West Virginia Wesleyan College
Kelsey Vining                     Outfield                             Senior                       University of Montevallo
Magnolia West                 Outfield                             Sophomore             Palm Beach Atlantic University
Natalie Willis                      Second Base                    Junior                        Newberry College

Cheer camp set for July
April 8, 2018 Cheer camp set for July
Softball shuffles schedule
February 8, 2018 Softball shuffles schedule
Softball signs two for 2019
December 28, 2017 Softball signs two for 2019