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 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.