Rinus named SAC Tournament MVP

Rinus named SAC Tournament MVP

ROCK HILL, S.C. – For the second straight year, Carson-Newman pitcher Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) has been named the South Atlantic Conference's Tournament MVP.

Rinus was recognized by the league office along with Katie Pritchett (Ringgold, Ga.), Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) and Haley Caldwell (Kenova, W.Va.) as all-tournament selections. 

Rinus becomes Carson-Newman's fifth tournament MVP.  She joins Catawba pitcher Carly Tysinger and Lenoir-Rhyne pitcher Audrey Kreske as the only players in league history to win the award in back-to-back seasons (or multiple times in general). 

Rinus pitched all 21 innings, allowing just four earned runs on 16 hits with 22 strikeouts.  She posted a 1.33 ERA for the tournament and she averaged 7.33 strikeouts per game. She struck out eight against No. 9 Lenoir-Rhyne to open the tournament, bookending the performance with eight Ks against Coker in the title game. 

Fiessinger went 7-for-11 at the plate for the tournament and came within a double of hitting for the cycle in the title game.  She drove in two for the weekend and rounded out the tourney with multi-hit efforts in the semifinals and title game. 

Caldwell was 5-for-11 at the plate with two RBI for the weekend.  She had multi-hit efforts against both Lenoir-Rhyne and Anderson in the quarters and semis. 

Finally, Pritchett led the tournament with seven RBI.  She came through with massive clutch hits against Lenoir-Rhyne and Anderson.  Pritchett hit a grand slam, the first of the year for any Carson-Newman player, in the third inning in the quarterfinals against Lenoir-Rhyne. 

She came up with the bases loaded again in the semifinals against Anderson in the top of the seventh inning.  She ripped a double down the left field line to clear the bases and provide Carson-Newman with a three-run cushion to break open a tie game.

Pritchett, Fiessinger and Caldwell all earn all-tournament honors for the first time in their careers. 

The Eagles await their NCAA tournament fate Monday morning at 10 during the NCAA's selection show.

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