Rinus, Fiessinger add to postseason accolades

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - For the second time in a week, Carson-Newman softball sophomores Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.) have made an all-region team. 

The Division II Conference Commissioner's Association named Rinus a first team utility/pitcher.  Fiessinger earned first team accolades as a utility/non-pitcher.  They both make the organization's first team for a second consecutive year.  They also both featured on the NFCA's all-region first team in the same positions before the regional tournament got underway. 

Rinus earned her spot as a utility/pitcher.  Fiessigner as a utility/non-pitcher. This marks Rinus' second consecutive all-region first team accolade from the NFCA.  Fiessinger was a second-team second baseman a year ago before elevating to the first team as a utility player. 

Carson-Newman and top-ranked North Georgia were the only two teams in the region to place multiple players on the all-region first team. 

Rinus adds the accolade to her SAC Player of the Year and SAC tournament MVP honors. 

Rinus is 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 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 .435.  She has 70 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 (36), complete games (25), shutouts (11), innings pitched (232.2) and strikeouts (223).  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 adds the all-region honor to a first-team All-SAC accolade.   

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.  Fiessinger was also a member of the SAC All-Tournament Team.

DISTRICT 3 - Southeast Region
Pitcher of the Year: Kylee Smith, North Georgia
Player of the Year: Elizabeth Purdue, Columbus State
First Team
C Shelby Hammontree North Georgia
1B Elizabeth Purdue Columbus State
2B Ty-Kella Goins Lincoln Memorial
3B Jamie Johnson UNC Pembroke [1]
SS Calli Starr Columbus State
OF Hannah Riddle King
OF Erin Boone Lenoir-Rhyne [1]%
OF Holland Coursey Georgia College
DP Haley Simonds Newberry [1]
UT Lacie Rinus Carson-Newman [1]
UT non P Abby Fiessinger Carson-Newman [1]
P Kylee Smith North Georgia [1]
P Amber Johns North Georgia
P Emily Kenley Lenoir-Rhyne
Second Team
C Cailah Niles Anderson [2]^#
1B Maria Williamson Coker
2B Ashley Parnell Limestone
3B Jenna Burnett King
SS Natalie Willis Newberry [2]
OF Kia Smith Columbus State
OF Delaney Guerrero Tusculum
OF Hannah Harrison Young Harris
DP Alishia Frierson North Georgia [2]
UT Aubrey Reep Wingate
UT non P Kelsie Hocutt Lincoln Memorial
P Courtney Smith Limestone
P Amanda Coffrin North Greenville [2]
P Christine Carver Coker
[1] first team in 2017
[2] second team in 2017
% first team in 2016
^ second team in 2016
# first team in 2015

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