Rinus named SAC Player of the Year, four Eagles receive postseason laurels  

Rinus named SAC Player of the Year, four Eagles receive postseason laurels   

VIDEO: Abby Fiessinger Interview

VIDEO: Lacie Rinus Interview


ROCK HILL, S.C. – For the 18th time in league and school history, Carson-Newman saw a member of its softball program named the South Atlantic Conference's Player of the Year.

Sophomore pitcher Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) picked up one of the league's top individual honors for the sport a year after she was named the freshman of the year and pitcher of the year for the league. 

Rinus becomes just the second pitcher in league history since the SAC began presenting a distinct Pitcher of the Year award in 2004 to be named player of the year.  She joins Carson-Newman warhorse Mary Shealy who brought home player of the year honors in 2011. 

The sophomore is the first player in league history to win both a pitcher of the year and a player of the year honor in a career.  She joins former Carson-Newman pitchers Carol Zachary, Heather Randolph and Marci Mitchell (all three SAC Hall of Famers), who all won the award before the awards split in 2004, as Eagle hurlers who have taken home the Player of the Year honor. 

Rinus, a second-team selection at pitcher joined All-SAC honorees Abby Fiessinger (first team, utility), Haley Caldwell (second team, outfield) and Katie Pritchett (honorable mention, third base) as players who were recognized in the postseason by the league office.

Rinus was formidable both at the plate and in the circle on the year.  She finished the year second in the league in batting average at .450.  She has 68 hits, 19 doubles, three triples and a pair of home runs.  She has gotten on base 52 percent of the time and slugged .656.  She leads the conference in hits and doubles, is fourth in triples and fourth in the league with 99 total bases.   Her 19 doubles are top five in the country and are one away from the single-season school record in Carson-Newman history. 

Rinus has 19 multi-hit efforts and seven multi-RBI days.  She collected her first career four-hit day against Lenoir-Rhyne in the Eagles' home finale. 

In the circle, Rinus leads the league in starts (33), complete games (22), shutouts (10), innings pitched (211.2) and strikeouts (200).  She has the fifth best batting average against in the league at .221 and the fifth best ERA in the conference at 2.12.  She has matched her career high for strikeouts on a trio of occasions this year, striking out 12 against Queens, Wingate and Mars Hill.

Fiessinger makes her first appearance on the All-SAC first team.  An All-American a year ago, she is 14th in the conference and second on the team with a .382 batting average and 66 hits.  Her 66 knocks rank third in the conference. She has tallied 14 doubles, two triples and five home runs.  She has driven in 23 runs.  Fiessinger has been on fire in March and April.  She hit .400 for the Month of March and has her average at .407 for the month of April. She has registered 20 multi-hit days, and had seven multi-RBI efforts on the year. 

Caldwell has turned morphed into one of the South Atlantic Conference's best hitters.  Caldwell has the fifth most doubles (14) in the league and the second most among freshman in the conference.  She leads Carson-Newman with runs batted in (43), and is fourth in the league in that regard, and home runs (eight).  The Kenova, W.Va.-native has a SAC player of the week honor to her name. She earned the award on March 6. Caldwell helped Carson-Newman to a 3-1 week with a split at Concord and a crucial in-region sweep of Limestone. 

The freshman was 7-for-15 at the plate for the week, hitting .467.  She slugged a stupefying 1.000 over the four games.

She had mult-hit games in three of the four games the Eagles played this week and also drove in multiple runs in three-quarters of the contests. 

Caldwell hit four doubles in the twinbill with Concord.  In fact, six of her seven hits on the week were for extra bases. 

After hitting .279 for the month of February, Caldwell has acclimated well to college softball. She hit .347 in March with a .444 batting average in April. 

Pritchett rounds out her career with an All-SAC honor. Pritchett is a two-time South Atlantic Conference and one-time Tennessee Sportswriters Association Player of the Week selection in her career.  Pritchett has played in 173 games and started 148 in her C-N career. 

She is the seventh player in the last 15 years to hit at least 20 home runs in her career at Carson-Newman. 

Pritchett's final year at Mossy Creek has been her best.  She is hitting a career-best .348 for her senior season.

Pritchett's top moment came against Wingate when she hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Bulldogs. 

2018 SAC Softball All-Conference

All-SAC First Team

OF – Erin Boone, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF – Meghan Majeski, Anderson
OF – Delaney Guerrero, Tusculum
1B – Maria Williamson, Coker
2B – Ty-Kella Goins, Lincoln Memorial
SS – Natalie Willis, Newberry
3B – Talon LaClair, Lenoir-Rhyne
DP – Haley Simonds, Newberry
UTL – Abby Fiessinger, Carson-Newman
C – Mackenzie Cates, Lenoir-Rhyne
P – Emily Kenley, Lenoir-Rhyne
P – Christine Crver, Coker

All-SAC Second Team

OF – Haley Caldwell, Carson-Newman
OF – Sara Ingoldsby, Queens
OF – Allie Jones, Lincoln Memorial
1B – Kylee Leonhardt, Lenoir-Rhyne
2B – Madison Poe, Lenoir-Rhyne
SS – Madison Carter, Lenoir-Rhyne
3B –  Breanna Hagerty, Anderson
DP – Aubrey Reep, Wingate
UTL – Kelsie Hocutt, Lincoln Memorial
C – Cailah Niles, Anderson
P – Lacie Rinus, Carson-Newman
P – Brandi Parks, Lenoir-Rhyne

Honorable Mentions

OF – Taylor Battle, Tusculum
OF – Savannah Moorefield, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF – Allie Baker, Catawba
1B – Kelly Winter, Queens
2B – Sydney Ditto, Queens
SS – Ragan Broome, Mars Hill
3B – Katie Pritchett, Carson-Newman
DP – Christiana Marasa, Mars Hill
UTL – Kaylee Cook, Catawba
C – Jordan Hunt, Queens
P – Harlie Duncan, Anderson
P – Courtney Pearson, Queens

Freshman of the Year

Kylee Leonhardt, Lenoir-Rhyne

Player of the Year

Lacie Rinus, Carson-Newman 

Pitcher of the Year

Emily Kenley, Lenoir-Rhyne

Coach of the Year

Shena Hollar, Lenoir-Rhyne


SAC Statistical Champions

Team Batting Average – Lenoir-Rhyne (.328)
Team Slugging Percentage – Mars Hill (.518)
Team On-Base Percentage – Newberry (.401)
Team Runs Scored Per Game – Queens (6.31)
Team Home Runs Per Game – Mars Hill (1.28)
Team Triples Per Game – Tusculum (0.33)
Team Doubles Per Game – Mars Hill (1.86)
Team Stolen Bases Per Game – Queens (1.96)
Team ERA – Lenoir-Rhyne (1.66)
Team Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio – Coker (2.15)

Batting Average – Maria Williamson (.452)
On-Base Percentage – Sydney Ditto, Queens (.524)
Slugging Percentage – Ragan Broome, Mars Hill (.844)
Home Runs Per Game – Ragan Broome, Mars Hill (0.36)
RBIs Per Game – Haley Simonds, Newberry (1.26)
Runs Scored Per Game – Sydney Ditto, Queens (1.08)
Triples Per Game – Taylor Battle, Tusculum (0.16)
Doubles Per Game – Ragan Broome, Mars Hill (0.47)
Stolen Bases Per Game – Sabrina Martinez (0.57)
ERA – Emily Kinley, Lenoir-Rhyne (1.45)
Strikeouts Per Seven Innings – Courtney Pearson, Queens (6.90)
Pitching Victories – Emily Kinley, Lenoir-Rhyne (21) 


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