CULVER CITY, Calif. - For a second straight year, Carson-Newman pitcher Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) opens the year with a preseason All-America honor from Fast Pitch News.
Last season, Rinus represented Carson-Newman on the first team. This year, she earns honorable mention status as a pitcher.
Rinus joined second baseman Whitney Hickam as the only other two-year All-American since Carson-Newman moved to NCAA Division II. Hickam earned third team honors in 2007 before following it up in 2008 with a second team accolade.
Carson-Newman and SAC Hall of Famers Sammi Hatcher (1992-93) and Carol Zachary (1989-91) were multi-year All-Americans for the Eagles during the program's NAIA days.
Zachary is the program's only three-time All-American. Last year, Rinus earned Carson-Newman its 18th all-time All-American honoree. Rinus added 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 joined 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 joined 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 had 70 hits, 19 doubles, three triples and a pair of home runs.
She got on base 52 percent of the time and slugged .656. She led the conference in hits and doubles, was fourth in triples and fourth in the league with 99 total bases. Her 19 doubles were top five in the country and were one away from the single-season school record in Carson-Newman history.
Rinus had 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 led the league in starts (36), complete games (25), shutouts (11), innings pitched (232.2) and strikeouts (223).
She had the fifth best batting average against in the league at .221 and the fifth best ERA in the conference at 2.12. She matched her career high for strikeouts on a trio of occasions this year, striking out 12 against Queens, Wingate and Mars Hill.
Rinus and the rest of the Eagles open up the season Feb. 1 against Young Harris in Milledgeville, Ga.
FPN 2019 NCAA DII Preseason All-Americans
Samantha Reilly - Georgian Court
Lani Van Zyl - Winona State.
Christa Reisigner - Truman
Taylor Morgan - Lee
Hannah Thieroff - California Baptist
Starkeira Daniel - Benedict
Jenna Witt - Concord
Makalya August - Saint Augustine's
Rosa Lynn Burton - Wilmington (DE)
Clara Larson - Colo. School of Mines
Kylee Smith - North Georgia
Callie Nunes - Concordia (CA)
Victoria Taylor - Southern Ark.
Allison Lipovsky - Grand Valley St
Makaleigh Dooley - Tampa
FPN 2019 NCAA DII Preseason All-Americans - Second Team
Isis Cabral - Minot St
Maria Williamson - Coker
Katie Kish - Hillsdale
Kinsie Hebler - Tex. A&M-Commerce
Morgan Atkinson - Salem (WV)
Makray Odom - Trevecca Nazarene
Brianna Billie - Benedict
Carly Esselman - Minnesota St.
Lindsey Stigler, - Chowan
Bri Garber - West Chester
Brooke Larsen - Academy of Art
Jennifer Leonhardt - Southern Ind.
Jordan Withrow - Tarleton St.
Megan Garst - North Alabama
Robyn Wampler - UC San Diego
FPN 2019 NCAA DII Preseason All-Americans - Honorable Mention
Lacie Rinus - Carson-Newman
Elizabeth Perdue - Columbus St.
Abbey Fortin - LIU Post
Kylee Moore - West Tex. A&M
Ragan Broome - Mars Hill
Kala Holder, - Pittsburg St.
Savannah Egbert - Central Wash.
Suka Gurp - West Tex. A&M
Caitlyn Lloyd - California Baptist
Georgia Capell - Tarleton St.
Morgan Perry - St. Anselm
Bekah Slattery, - Lock Haven
Kenzie Mattey - Colo. Christian
Amber Johns - North Georgia
Melanie Murphy - Florida Tech