Liberty Earns 19 ASUN Softball Honors, Including 5 Major Awards
The Liberty softball team claimed five major awards and a league-high nine all-conference selections today, as the 2022 ASUN All-Conference Team was announced. In total, Liberty received 19 end-of-year honors.
Ninth-year Head Coach Dot Richardson was named ASUN Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. It was her program-record fourth career conference Coach of the Year honor, as she was voted Big South Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018 and ASUN Coach of the Year last year and this year. Richardson is the first repeat winner of ASUN Coach of the Year since USC Upstate’s Chris Hawkins in 2014 and 2015.
Sophomore catcher Caroline Hudson was named ASUN Player of the Year and ASUN Defensive Player of the Year. Meanwhile, senior Emily Kirby received ASUN Pitcher of the Year honors for the second straight year. Sophomore pitcher Karlie Keeney was named ASUN Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Liberty placed a program-record-tying nine players on the ASUN All-Conference team, including a league-best and program-record five on the first team.
Liberty is the first ASUN team to earn five major end-of-year honors since USC Upstate in 2015, and is also the first team since USC Upstate in 2015 to place five players on the ASUN Softball All-Conference first team.
Liberty’s All-ASUN first-team selections were: seniors Lou Allan (Utility) and Emily Kirby (P), juniors Kara Canetto (OF) and Devyn Howard (INF) and sophomore Caroline Hudson (C).
The Lady Flames were represented on the all-conference second team by: sophomores Karlie Keeney (P) and Mary Claire Wilson (OF) and freshmen Paige Bachman (INF) and Rachel Roupe (OF). In addition to their all-conference second team honors, Bachman and Roupe were both voted to the All-Freshman Team along with teammate Raigan Barrett.
Canetto, Kirby, Keeney, Lipscomb’s Amy Vetula and Kennesaw State’s Taylor Cates are the only two-time ASUN All-Conference players on this year’s list. Liberty’s Lou Allan received her second career all-conference first team honor, also earning first team All-Big Ten accolades last year while at Michigan.
Hudson is the third player in ASUN history, since Defensive Player of the Year was first awarded in 2014, to be named both Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Lipscomb’s Hannah DeVault earned both awards in 2019 and Hudson’s former teammate Amber Bishop-Riley did so last year.
Kirby is the first player to repeat as ASUN Pitcher of the Year in league history. She is one of three conference Pitcher of the Year award winners in program history, joining Tiffani Smith (2010 Big South Pitcher of the Year) and Julia DiMartino (2017 and 2018 Big South Pitcher of the Year).
Hudson is the sixth Lady Flame to be named conference Player of the Year and first since Amber Bishop-Riley was voted 2021 ASUN Player of the Year.
Keeney is the program’s third conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree, joining Big South Scholar-Athletes of the Year Megan Robinson (2015) and Kenzie Friesen (2017).
The Lady Flames (40-16, 23-1 ASUN) are currently preparing for the 2022 ASUN Softball Championship, hosted in Jacksonville, Fla. Liberty earned the No. 1 overall seed and posted a conference-record 23 ASUN victories. The defending tournament champion Lady Flames will open play on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at UNF Softball Complex against either No. 4 seed North Alabama, No. 5 seed Jacksonville State or No. 8 seed Lipscomb. The title game will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m., with the winner claiming the ASUN’s automatic berth to the 2022 NCAA Division I Softball Championship.
2022 ASUN Softball Award Winners
First Team All-Conference
Emily Kirby, Sr., P, Liberty
Morgan Clausen, Sr., North Florida
Caroline Hudson, C, Liberty
Mary Kate Brown, R-So., INF, Central Arkansas
Taylor Cates, Sr., INF, Kennesaw State
Devyn Howard, Jr., INF, Liberty
Emma Broadfoot, So., INF, North Alabama
Tremere Harris, So., Central Arkansas
Kara Canetto, Jr., OF, Liberty
Shannon Glover, Jr., OF, North Florida
Lou Allan, Sr., Utility, Liberty
Second Team All-Conference
Karlie Keeney, So., P, Liberty
Halle Arends, Jr., P, North Florida
Georgia Land, Jr., C, North Alabama
Camryn McLemore, Jr., INF, Jacksonville State
Paige Bachman, Fr., INF, Liberty
Amy Vetula, Sr., INF, Lipscomb
Harley Stokes, Gr., INF, North Alabama
Cana Davis, So., OF, FGCU
Rachel Roupe, Fr., OF, Liberty
Mary Claire Wilson, So, OF, Liberty
Jayle Engelkes, Jr., Utility, Central Arkansas
Kat Carter, P, Jacksonville State
Kylie Griffin, INF, Central Arkansas
Maggie Pertee, Utility, Eastern Kentucky
Madison Bratek, OF, Jacksonville
Sarah Currie, P, Jacksonville State
Paige Bachman, INF, Liberty
Raigan Barrett, INF, Liberty
Rachel Roupe, OF, Liberty
Kate Peters, P, Lipscomb
Hailey Jones, INF, North Alabama
Haley Fox, OF, Stetson
Karlie Keeney, Liberty
Grace Werner, Bellarmine
Jenna Wildeman, Central Arkansas
Cana Davis, FGCU
Tayli Filla, FGCU
Madison Kennedy, Jacksonville
Taylor Cates, Kennesaw State
Caroline Hudson, Liberty
Maci Cunconan, Lipscomb
Emma Broadfoot, North Alabama
Halle Arends, North Florida
Player of the Year – Caroline Hudson, So., Liberty
Pitcher of the Year – Emily Kirby, Sr., Liberty (Back-to-back)
Freshman of the Year – Kat Carter, Jacksonville State
Defensive Player of the Year – Caroline Hudson, So., Liberty
Coach of the Year – Dot Richardson, Liberty (Back-to-Back)
Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Karlie Keeney, So., Liberty
Liberty All-Conference Capsules
Head Coach Dot Richardson
(ASUN Coach of the Year) (Career honors: Big South Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018; ASUN Coach of the Year in 2021 and 2022)
Coach Richardson has guided Liberty to the best conference winning percentage in NCAA Division I softball this season (.958). She has also led the Lady Flames to two wins over Top 25 opponents and nine Power Five victories. Liberty has posted 40 or more wins in each of the last five full seasons, something only five NCAA Division I program can say. The Lady Flames enter the 2022 ASUN Softball Championship as the No. 1 overall seed and have gone 26-4 in their last 30 games overall.
Emily Kirby – Sr., LHP, Greenville, N.C.
(ASUN Pitcher of the Year; All-Conference first team) (Career conference honors: 2021 and 2022 ASUN Pitcher of the Year; 2021 and 2022 All-Conference first team; 2021 ASUN All-Tournament Team)
Emily Kirby repeats as ASUN Pitcher of the Year, with a 12-5 record, 2.06 ERA, five shutouts, an ASUN-leading 8.52 strikeouts per seven innings and 3.97 hits allowed per seven innings (16th nationally). She was lights-out in ASUN play, going 10-0 in conference competition with an ASUN-best 1.02 ERA, .107 opponents batting average and 10.12 strikeouts per seven innings. Kirby tossed four shutouts, including her first career no-hitter, in ASUN games. Also, she struck out double-digit batters in each of her first four ASUN starts this season.
Caroline Hudson – So., C, Paris, Tenn.
(ASUN Player of the Year; ASUN Defensive Player of the Year; All-Conference first team, All-Academic Team) (Career honors: 2022 ASUN Player of the Year; 2022 ASUN Defensive Player of the Year; 2022 ASUN All-Conference first team; 2022 ASUN All-Academic Team; 2021 ASUN All-Tournament Team)
Caroline Hudson finished first in the ASUN with 10 home runs (tied) and 32 RBI in 24 conference games, batting .367 with an .835 slugging percentage (second in ASUN) during that span. Overall, she finished the regular season tied for second in the ASUN with 50 RBI and ranked third with 16 home runs. A standout on defense as well, she led the ASUN with 18 runners caught stealing (tied for third nationally), catching runners at a .409 clip. Her 10 ASUN homers and 32 ASUN RBI shattered program single-season records in conference play.
Kara Canetto – Jr., OF, Sylvania, Ga.
(All-Conference first team) (Career honors: 2021 and 2022 ASUN All-Conference first team; 2019 ASUN All-Freshman Team)
Kara Canetto led all ASUN hitters in batting average during conference play, hitting .441 with six doubles, two homers, 14 RBI and 15 runs scored in ASUN games. A two-time ASUN All-Conference first team outfielder, Canetto batted a team-leading .345 overall during the regular season, tying for the team lead with 11 doubles. She recorded a team-leading 21 multiple-hit games overall, including 11 in ASUN play. Canetto posted a stretch toward the end of the season during which she recorded eight two-hit games in a nine-game span.
Lou Allan – Sr., DP, Hesperia, Calif.
(All-Conference first team) (Career honors: 2021 Big Ten All-Conference first team; 2022 ASUN All-Conference first team)
Lou Allan made a major impact in the middle of the batting order after transferring from Michigan. The 2021 All-Big Ten first team selection batted .377 with three homers and 12 RBI in conference play and finished the season batting .337 overall with nine doubles, eight homers and 32 RBI. At her best against tough competition, she hit five homers this season against Power Five pitchers, including one off of 2021 SEC Pitcher of the Year Mary Haff and one off of 2021 All-Big Ten 1st team pitcher Danielle Williams of Northwestern.
(All-Conference first team) (Career honors: 2022 ASUN All-Conference first team)
Devyn Howard has been one of the top hitters this season, batting .317 with an ASUN-leading 35 walks and a .423 on base percentage. She finished the regular season tied for the ASUN lead with 50 runs scored. In ASUN play, she was third in the conference with 23 runs scored and first with 20 walks. She ranks third nationally with an ASUN-best six sacrifice flies. Earlier this season, she recorded hits in a program-record 11 straight at bats, a streak that was just two shy of the NCAA Division I national record.
Karlie Keeney – So., P, Providence, Ky.
(Scholar-Athlete of the Year, All-Conference Second Team; All-Academic Team) (Career Honors: 2022 ASUN Scholar Athlete of the Year; 2021 and 2022 ASUN All-Conference second team; 2022 ASUN All-Academic Team; 2021 ASUN All-Freshman Team)
Karlie Keeney, a two-time All-Conference second team pitcher, finished with the second best ERA among all ASUN pitchers in conference play (1.08), going 7-1 with four shutouts against ASUN teams. She went 17-7 overall with a 2.43 ERA, tying for third in the ASUN in overall wins. She pitched two no-hitters, no-hitting Maryland and Rutgers. She is the first Lady Flame all-time to no-hit a Power Five team, an earned seven wins against Power Five teams this season. Keeney graduated in two and a half years with a bachelor’s degree in human resources and accounting, earning a 3.96 undergraduate GPA.
Mary Claire Wilson – So., OF, Vestavia Hills, Ala. (All-Conference second team) (Career honors: 2022 ASUN All-Conference second team)
Mary Claire Wilson played her best once ASUN play started, finishing seventh in the ASUN with a .379 batting average in conference play this season. She also posted a .468 on base percentage in conference play, with 14 RBI and 18 runs scored. For the season, she posted 14 multiple-hit games, including three three-hit contests. Her best game to date came on May 3, when she hit two homers and tied a program single-game record with seven RBI in a weather-shortened game at No. 2 Virginia Tech.
Rachel Roupe – Fr., OF, Sharpsburg, Md. (All-Conference second team; All-Freshman Team)
Rachel Roupe finished the season ranked second in the ASUN with 31 RBI in conference play. Roupe leads all ASUN freshmen in both home runs and RBI, both overall (8 HR, 39 RBI) and in conference play (8 HR, 31 RBI). She slugged at a .662 clip in ASUN play. Roupe had two ASUN series this season during which she recorded nine RBI in each series. She tied a program single-game record for RBI as a freshman with six RBI against EKU on March 19.
Paige Bachman – Fr., INF, Fredericksburg, Va. (All-Conference second team; All-Freshman Team)
Paige Bachman made major contributions at first base and at the plate for the Lady Flames, batting .444 (12-for-27) with a double, one homer and nine RBI in ASUN play. She started in 12 out of Liberty’s last 13 ASUN contests. She recorded four multiple-hit games and two multiple-RBI games. Bachman registered two hits each in games against FGCU, Jacksonville, North Florida and Stetson. Bachman went 2-for-3 with three RBI at North Florida on April 30 and hit her first career homer on May 5 against Stetson.
Raigan Barrett – R-Fr., INF, Puyallup, Wash. (All-Freshman Team)
Raigan Barrett has been a strong contributor in the middle infield for the Lady Flames. She batted .267 with three doubles, seven RBI and eight runs scored in conference play. Barrett flashed the leather on many occasions, including a diving catch in right field against No. 12 Tennessee that ended up on SC Top 10 that night. She registered a career-high three RBI against Jacksonville. She also went 2-for-4 with three runs scored at Louisville in a 9-7 win over the ACC’s Cardinals.