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Liberty Softball Earns 11 Big South Honors

May 6, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Megan Robinson was named Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Alexia Taylor was voted Big South Freshman of the Year.

Megan Robinson was named Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Alexia Taylor was voted Big South Freshman of the Year.

Prior to the start of the 2015 Big South Softball Championship, the Liberty softball team received 11 postseason conference honors.

The Lady Flames placed four players apiece on the Big South All-Conference team and Big South All-Freshman team. Additionally, infielder Alexia Taylor was named Big South Freshman of the Year, while senior Megan Robinson was voted Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Robinson, Taylor and redshirt junior pitcher Chandler Ball all earned inclusion on the all-conference second team, while freshman outfielder Tori Zavodny appears on the honorable mention listing. Taylor and Zavodny, along with infielder Madison Kotchey and pitcher Abby Tincher were all named to the All-Freshman team.

Robinson is the first Lady Flame all-time to be voted Big South Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She makes her second appearance on the all-conference team, after a first-team selection last year. This is also her program-record third appearance on the All-Academic team.

Taylor is the fourth Liberty player all-time to earn Big South Rookie/Freshman of the Year, and the second to win it outright. Katrina Johnson was named Co-Freshman of the Year in 2010, the last Lady Flame before Taylor to receive the award.

Liberty's four all-conference honorees are the most for the team since six Lady Flames were voted to the 2011 Big South All-Conference Softball team.

With four honorees, Liberty placed more players on the All-Freshman team than any other conference squad.

Robinson, who hails from Richlands, Va., holds a 4.0 grade-point average as a youth ministries major. Last year, she was voted to the Capital One Academic All-America third team, becoming the first Academic All-American in program history. She bats .317 with five doubles and 19 RBI. Robinson went on a team-best 14-game hitting streak, hitting .435 from March 7 through March 28.

An Oviedo, Fla., product, Taylor leads the Lady Flames in batting average, both overall (.328) and in conference play (.356). She has posted a team-best 19 multiple-hit games, the most by a Lady Flame since the 2007 season.

Ball, a native of Warner Robins, Ga., finished the regular season with a 19-10 record and 3.22 ERA. For the year, she ranked first in the conference with 41 appearances, while ranking second in wins and shutouts.

Hailing from Concord, N.C., Zavodny bats .294 while leading Liberty with 37 runs, three triples, seven homers, a .531 slugging percentage, 26 walks and 24 stolen bases. She ranks second in the Big South in both stolen bases and triples.

Kotchey, a Hummelstown, Pa., native, batted .265 on the season, including .313 in conference play. She is tied for second on the team with 10 doubles and 25 RBI, and leads the squad with six multiple-RBI contests this season.

Tincher, who came to Liberty from Eagle Rock, Va., went 3-7 in the circle this season, also posting a 3.09 ERA in conference play. She pitched a two-hit shutout over Virginia Tech, and also earned victories against Arkansas and Marshall this season.

Longwood earned the remaining three major awards after winning the Big South regular-season championship. Longwood senior catcher Megan Baltzell was named Big South Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Sophomore Elizabeth McCarthy of Longwood received Big South Pitcher of the Year honors. Longwood head coach Kathy Riley was named Big South Coach of the Year.

The 2015 Big South Softball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting begins on Thursday at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium in Buies Creek, N.C. No. 4 seed Liberty takes on No. 5 seed Charleston Southern at noon, Thursday in the first game of the double-elimination portion of the tournament.

2015 Big South Softball Award Winners
First Team All-Conference
Briana Chiusano, OF, Coastal Carolina
Amanda Matsumoto, OF, Charleston Southern
Stephanie Jones, OF, Campbell (tie)
Kellie Beres, OF, Gardner-Webb (tie)
Justina Augustine, OF, Longwood (tie)
Marci Christian, 1B, Charleston Southern
Erin Ruff, 2B, Presbyterian
Emily Murphy, SS, Longwood
Kory Hayden, 3B, Coastal Carolina
Megan Baltzell, C, Longwood
Elizabeth McCarthy, P, Longwood
Julia Callicutt, P, Campbell
Morgan Noad, DP, Coastal Carolina
Cheyenee Gandara, UTL, Charleston Southern

Second Team All-Conference
Shelby Petik, OF, Presbyterian
Glenn Walters, OF, Longwood
Becky Mantel, OF, Radford
Kelsey Sweeney, 1B, Longwood
Megan Robinson, 2B, Liberty
Ericka Nesbitt, SS, Campbell
Alexia Taylor, 3B, Liberty
Amanda Daneker, C, Coastal Carolina
Kiana Quolas, P, Coastal Carolina
Chandler Ball, P. Liberty
Chelsea Sciacca, DP, Longwood
Rachel Cumiskey, UTL, Gardner-Webb

Honorable Mention All-Conference
Tori Zavodny, OF, Liberty

Jill McLean, OF, Presbyterian College
Maddie Antone, SS, Winthrop
Kelsey Dominik, P, Coastal Carolina
Megan Honaker, UTL, Radford

All-Freshman Team
Alexia Taylor, 3B, Liberty

Rachel Cumiskey, UTL, Gardner-Webb
Glenn Walters, OF, Longwood
Kelsey Sweeney, 1B, Longwood
Tori Zavodny, OF, Liberty
Stephanie Baro, 3B, Charleston Southern
Madison Kotchey, 1B, Liberty
Abby Tincher, P, Liberty
K.J. Uyeno, DP, Winthrop
Kailey Mellen, OF, Coastal Carolina
Annie Robinson, 1B, Coastal Carolina
Maggie Rowe, C, Radford

All-Academic Team
Katie Baker, P, Campbell
Jennifer Giles, P, Charleston Southern
Kiana Quolas, P, Coastal Carolina
Savannah Burns, SS, Gardner-Webb
Megan Robinson, 2B, Liberty
Justina Augustine, OF, Longwood
Shelby Petik, OF, Presbyterian
Casey Burns, 3B, Radford
Sutton Watson, P, Winthrop

Player of the Year – Megan Baltzell, Longwood
Pitcher of the Year – Elizabeth McCarthy, Longwood
Freshman of the Year – Alexia Taylor, Liberty
Coach of the Year –
Kathy Riley, Longwood
Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Megan Robinson, Liberty