Tysinger Named SAC Softball Pitcher Of The Year


ROCK HILL, S.C. ( -- Catawba’s Carley Tysinger has been named the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Softball Pitcher of the Year, while Wingate shortstop Alexis Burrell was voted the Player of the Year.   In addition, Anderson’s  Cailah Niles was voted the League’s Freshman of the Year and Carson-Newman mentor Vickee Kazee-Hollifield was tabbed the Coach of the Year.  It was announced Wednesday by the league office.

Tysinger was the lone Catawba selection on the All-SAC first team, while outfielder Natalie Naturile and third baseman Katherine Shumaker were second team selections.  Shortstop Gina Gerone was an honorable mention pick.

Tysinger, a junior from Lexington, N.C., closed out the 2015 regular season ranked No. 1 in the SAC in four pitching categories.  She led the League with 253 strikeouts, to go along with 9.6 strikeouts per game to rank No. 1.  She topped the Conference with 21 wins during 2015 and posted an earned run average of 1.53 to lead all pitchers.  Tysinger ranked No. 2 in the SAC with seven shutouts and allowed just a .197 opponent batting average in 191.2 innings pitched.

Burrell, a senior from Chesapeake, Va., finished the regular season ranked No. 10 in the nation with 15 home runs and is currently No. 17 in Division II with 0.34 home runs per game.  She drove in 51 runs on the year to rank 19th in the country, while her 1.14 RBI per game is good for No. 27 in Division II.  She turned in a .383 average at the plate during the regular season, to go along with a slugging percentage of .773.  Burrell posted 54 hits, six doubles and a pair of triples at the plate in 2015 to post an on-base percentage of .436.

Niles, a catcher from Phenix City, Ala., is currently ranked top 10 in the nation in four categories at the plate.  She belted 17 home runs to rank No. 4 in Division II and turned in 0.37 home runs per game to rank No. 9.  Her 60 RBI was good for No. 4 in the country, while here 1.30 RBI per game is No. 8.  In the double-header vs. Emmanuel, Niles batted a perfect 1.000 with six hits and nine RBI.  She also slugged 2.667 in the two-game span.

Kazee-Hollifield, led her squad to their first South Atlantic Conference regular-season championship since the 2008 season.  Her Eagles currently rank No. 14 in Division II with a .345 average at the plate.  Carson-Newman pounded out 1.82 doubles per game this season to finish 11th in the country, while the Eagles’ 0.91 homers per game was good for No. 30 in Division II.  The award is her 11th Coach of the Year plaudit of her career.

Naturile leads Catawba entering the SAC Tournament with a .411 batting average which ranks fifth in the SAC.  The sophomore also ranked in the top 10 in on-base percentage, coming in at seventh with .472 average.  Naturile is second on the squad with five home runs and also added five doubles.  She shares the team lead with 24 runs scored and picked up a dozen RBI.

Shumaker is batting .304 on the season with four homers.  She shares the team lead with 24 RBI and made only three errors while splitting time at third base and at catcher.  Shumaker posted seven doubles and shared the team lead with 24 runs scored.

Gerone has hit for a .330 average this season and is second on the team with 38 hits.  The junior has connected on four home runs with five doubles and is second on the team with a .478 slugging percentage.  Gerone has 17 RBI and 19 runs scored.

2015 South Atlantic Conference Softball All-Conference Teams
1st Team
Catcher: Cailah Niles, Anderson
1st Base: Sydney Landreth, Lenoir-Rhyne
2nd Base: Mellena Helms, Wingate
SS: Alexis Burrell, Wingate
3rd Base: Robyn Stanek, Mars Hill
OF: Bre Lockett, Carson Newman
OF: Gabby Bedard, Newberry
OF: Molly Child, Anderson
DP: Amanda Snow, Lincoln Memorial
UT: Elayna Siebert, Carson Newman
Pitcher: Carley Tysinger, Catawba
Pitcher: Sarah Howard, Carson Newman

2nd Team
Catcher: Taylor Laskey, Wingate
1st Base: Emily Usiak, Wingate
2nd Base: Jessica Neidigh, Anderson
SS: Kaytlin Stroinski, Tusculum
3rd Base: Katherine Shumaker, Catawba
3rd: Ashley Gallman, Coker
3rd: Brooke Ramsey, Carson Newman
OF: Natalie Naturile, Catawba
OF: Morgan Hendrix, Wingate
OF: Aleshia Peek, Mars Hill
DP: Taylor Rosenbalm, Queens
DP: Christina Walker, Lenoir-Rhyne
UT: Chelsea Jones, Anderson
Pitcher: Stacey Houser, Wingate
Pitcher: Lindsay Dean, Carson Newman

Honorable Mention
Catcher: Treslyn Reese,  Tusculum
1st Base: Ann Dee Priest,  Newberry
2nd Base: Tayler Barcomb,  Coker
SS: Gina Gerone, Catawba
OF: Ashlen Ayres, Newberry
OF: Haley Taylor, Carson Newman
OF: Carolyn Williamson, Tusculum
OF: Riley Morris, Coker
UT: Maude McCourry, Newberry
Pitcher: Jamie Hrobak, Brevard
Pitcher: Maryann Hoskins, Lenior Rhyne

Freshman of the Year: Cailah Niles, Anderson
Player of the Year: Alexis Burrell, Wingate
Pitcher of the Year: Carley Tysinger, Catawba
Coach of the Year: Vickee Kazee-Hollifield, Carson-Newman

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Softball Team Photo