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Zavodny, Nichols Named to VaSID All-State Softball Team
Liberty senior outfielder Katie Zavodny and junior first baseman Hanna Nichols have been named to the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) University Division All-State Softball Team, as announced Wednesday. Zavodny earned first-team mention, while Nichols was voted to the second team.
Zavodny receives all-state honors for the third year in a row, after garnering second-team plaudits in 2012 and 2013, while Nichols appears on the team for the first time. Zavodny is the first Lady Flame since Jessica Moore (2005-07) to be named to the VaSID All-State University Division softball team three straight seasons.
Earlier this spring, Zavodny was named to the Big South All-Conference second team, while Nichols received honorable mention from the Big South.
A three-time all-conference and all-state selection, and 2013 NFCA All-Region choice, Zavodny hails from Concord, N.C. Zavodny was a catalyst for the Lady Flames' offense again during the 2014 season. She paced Liberty in batting average (.349), hits (66), runs (37), stolen bases (32), triples (3), total bases (83) and multiple-hit games (18). She ranked second in the Big South, with 32 stolen bases in 2014. Zavodny is Liberty's career stolen base leader, finishing second in conference history with 111 career stolen bases. She currently owns or shares six program records.
Nichols, a native of Richmond, Va., was one of Liberty's top hitters this season. She hit .289 while finishing third on the team in doubles (6), on-base percentage (.360), home runs (4) and RBIs (18). Nichols recorded eight multiple-hit games, including four hits against UMBC on Feb. 15. She hit a game-winning home run in the eighth inning against Presbyterian College on April 26. Nichols reached base safely in each of the last 10 games of the regular season.
Junior catcher Megan Baltzell of Longwood was voted the 2014 VaSID Player of the Year, after receiving Big South Player of the Year honors and NFCA All-Region second team distinction.
James Madison, 2014 CAA champion, took home the remaining three major awards. Sophomore pitcher/first baseman Jailyn Ford, the CAA Pitcher of the Year and 2014 NFCA All-America second team selection, was named VaSID Pitcher of the Year for the second year in a row. The Dukes' head coach Mickey Dean was tabbed VaSID Coach of the Year for the second straight year. James Madison outfielder Niki Prince, the 2014 CAA Rookie of the Year, was named VaSID Rookie of the Year.
2014 VaSID All-State University Division Softball Team
C - Megan Baltzell, Jr., Longwood
1B – Kayla McNair, Fr., Norfolk State
2B - Kylie McGoldrick, Jr., Virginia Tech
SS – Caitlin Sandy, Sr., James Madison
3B – Brooke Blankenship, Jr., George Mason
OF – Morgan Boyd, Sr., Norfolk State
OF – Tiffany Webb, Sr., George Mason
OF – Vanessa Gonzalez, Fr., Virginia Tech
OF – Katie Zavodny, Sr., Liberty
UT/DP – Jessie Hutchens, Sr., Radford
P - Jailyn Ford, So., James Madison
P - Heather Kiefer, Jr., James Madison
P – Elizabeth McCarthy, Fr., Longwood
C – Katey Smith, R-So., Virginia Tech
1B – Cassidy Clayton, Sr., James Madison
1B – Hanna Nichols, Jr., Liberty
2B – Danielle Budden, Fr., Hampton
SS – Lauren Gaskill, Jr., Virginia Tech
3B - Whitney Williams, So., Norfolk State
OF – Amanda Ake, Sr., Virginia Tech
OF – Taylor Newton, Fr., James Madison
OF – Niki Prince, Fr., James Madison
UT/DP – Logan Spaw, Jr., Virginia Tech
P – Jailynn Jackson, Jr., Hampton
P – Libby Morris, Jr., Longwood
P – Jamie Schulle, Sr., Norfolk State
VaSID Player of the Year – Megan Baltzell, Jr., Longwood
VaSID Pitcher of the Year - Jailyn Ford, So., James Madison
VaSID Coach of the Year - Mickey Dean, James Madison
VaSID Rookie of the Year – Niki Prince, Fr., James Madison