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Six Lady Flames Nab Big South Honors

May 12, 2010  Conway, S.C.  RSS
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Tiffani Smith (left) was named the 2010 Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year, while Kat Johnson earned co-Freshman of the Year honors.

Tiffani Smith (left) was named the 2010 Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year, while Kat Johnson earned co-Freshman of the Year honors.

Tiffani Smith was named the Big South Pitcher of the Year and Kat Johnson picked up co-Big South Freshman of the Year honors at the annual Big South awards ceremony held on the eve of the Big South Softball Championship in Conway, S.C.

Four other Lady Flames picked up conference accolades, as senior J'nae Jefferson was named to the all-conference first team as well as the All-Academic team, and Cassie Hendrix, Meredith Baisden and Danielle Howard were each named to the all-conference second team.

Smith leads the Big South with 194 strikeouts and a .197 opponent's batting average, and ranks fourth with a 2.50 ERA in 154 innings pitched this season. The three-time Big South Pitcher of the Week finished the regular season with an 18-6 overall record, and an 8-1 record with one save in conference play. During league action, Smith ranked first in the Big South in ERA (1.20), strikeouts (75) and opponent's batting average (.147).

Smith was also named to the all-conference first team for the second consecutive season. Her Pitcher of the Year award marks the first time a Lady Flame has won the honor.

Johnson posted an 11-4 overall record and a 4-1 mark in conference play for the Lady Flames. She leads all Big South pitchers with a 1.97 ERA and ranks second in the league with a .215 opponent's batting average. Her numbers were even better in Big South play, as she ranked third in the conference with a 1.67 ERA and a .211 opponent's batting average. She recorded 79 strikeouts in 99.1 innings pitched this season. Johnson picked up all three wins in the sweep over Coastal Carolina on May 7-8, and finished the regular season with four consecutive victories. She was also named to the al-conference second team.

Johnson is the third Lady Flame to be named Freshman of the Year. Stacy Radulovich won the Rookie of the Year honor in 1996 and Cheryl Wyrick was the co-Rookie of the Year in 2000.

Jefferson, the squad's lone senior, earns all-conference honors for the first time in her career. She ranks second in the conference with 48 runs scored and is tied for first in the Big South with 26 hits in conference play. She also leads the team with 16 multiple-hit games and ties for first on the Liberty team for the longest season hitting streak (12 games). 

Hendrix, Baisden and Howard also received their first career all-conference accolades. Hendrix, a junior, leads the Lady Flames with a .366 overall batting average, which ranks fifth in the Big South. Sophomores Baisden and Howard ended the regular season batting .324 and .227, respectively.

The No. 2 seed Lady Flames will appear in the first round of the Big South Championship tomorrow morning, facing No. 7 Presbyterian at 11:30 a.m.

2010 Big South All-Conference Teams

First-Team All-Conference

OF: Hope Creasy, Radford
OF: Shannon Keefe, Radford
OF: Jana Matthews, Charleston Southern
1B: Christa Fullwood, Gardner-Webb
2B: Nichole Beall, Radford
SS: Kristen Shifflett, Radford
3B: J'nae Jefferson, Liberty
C: Sarah Himan, Radford
P: Tiffani Smith, Liberty
P: Chelsea Kelley, Radford
DP: Cacia Pierre, Coastal Carolina
UT: McKenzie Morenus, Gardner-Webb

Second-Team All-Conference
OF: Tera Powell, Presbyterian College
OF: Meredith Baisden, Liberty
OF: Lauren Williams, Radford
1B: Megan Hall, Charleston Southern
2B: Cassie Hendrix, Liberty
SS: Jazmin Daigle, Coastal Carolina
3B: Shayla Cullum, Charleston Southern
C: Mandy Ward, Gardner-Webb
P: Kat Johnson, Liberty
P: Cari Wooldridge, Winthrop (tie)
P: Cindy Boomhower, Gardner-Webb (tie)
DP: Kristin Kelleher, Charleston Southern
UT: Danielle Howard, Liberty

All-Academic Team
Caitlin Allen, Charleston Southern
Ashley Frederick, Coastal Carolina
Christa Fullwood, Gardner-Webb
Chelsea Kelley, Radford
Brittany Howell, Presbyterian College
J'nae Jefferson, Liberty
Lauren Levin, Winthrop

Player of the Year
Kristen Shifflett, Radford

Pitcher of the Year
Tiffani Smith, Liberty

Co-Freshman of the Year
Jazmin Daigle, Coastal Carolina
Kat Johnson, Liberty

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Caitlin Allen, Charleston Southern

Coach of the Year
Mickey Dean, Radford