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
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