Upstate Has Five Softball Players Earn A-Sun Softball Postseason Recognition

May 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

Macon, Ga. – The USC Upstate softball team had five players receive postseason recognition from the A-Sun on Tuesday afternoon as the conference announced its annual awards as voted on by the league’s head coaches.

Upstate had four players named First Team All-Conference and three to the All-Freshman Team. Three of those players were also a unanimous selection on their respective teams.

Holly McKinnon was a unanimous selection on First Team All-Conference as a pitcher, and was joined on the First Team by Megan Obier (infield), Brittany Case (outfield) and Ryan Rector (outfield). Obier and Case were also unanimous selections on the All-Freshman Team along with Ansley Gilstrap.

McKinnon finished the year with a 24-6 record on the mound with a 2.26 ERA in 33 appearances with 23 starts. She logged 18 complete games, six shutouts (one combined) and one save. McKinnon pitched 189.1 innings on the season and struck out 181 batters, while limiting opponents to a .211 average at the plate. In conference play, she went 9-2 with a 2.26 ERA and seven complete games. The junior was named the A-Sun Pitcher of the Week four times this season and the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Co-Pitcher of the Week once. McKinnon led the A-Sun in wins, second in both strikeouts and innings pitched, and fourth in ERA. She tossed her first career no-hitter, and 27th in program history, against Kennesaw State after holding a perfect game for 5.1 innings. McKinnon would record double-digit strikeouts in a game three times highlighted by a season-high 12 versus Central Michigan. The Ocala, Fla. native pitched over 10.0 innings in a game twice, both in conference play, against Lipscomb and FGCU.

Obier started in all 52 games this season at second base. She posted a .336 average at the plate with three home runs and 23 RBI. The Pembroke Pines, Fla. native led the team in hitting during conference play with a .340 average. Obier tallied a .471 slugging percentage and .440 on-base percentage. She committed just two errors defensively on 132 defensive chances, including none against conference opponents. She ranked third in the A-Sun in on-base percentage and tied for ninth with two triples. Obier recorded a career-high three hits and tied her career-best of three RBI against Jacksonville, while also collecting three RBI in game one of a doubleheader with Western Carolina and three hits against North Florida. Obier hit her first career home run against La Salle, and added home runs versus Western Carolina and Jacksonville.

Case compiled 52 starts this season in the outfield, finishing the year with a team-leading .350 batting average with four home runs and 37 RBI. She was second on the team with 12 doubles and three triples, and led the team in hits with 55. The freshman tallied a .541 slugging percentage and .426 on-base percentage. In conference play, she had a .412 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .407. Case ranked in the top 10 for the A-Sun in batting average, hits, doubles, RBI and on-base percentage. The Denham Springs, La. native posted a career-high three hits and three RBI four times each. She hit her first career home run against Oakland, while also recording a homer versus Ohio State, Western Carolina and South Carolina State.

Rector has started and played in 50 games this season, primarily as a right fielder. The Belton, S.C. native was third on the team in hitting this season at .338 with a team-leading 15 home runs and 48 RBI. Rector also led the team with 109 total bases and .681 slugging percentage, while ranking second with 39 runs scored. She hit seven of her home runs in conference play and compiled a .655 slugging percentage in 17 league games. Rector finished the regular season first in the A-Sun in home runs, RBI and slugging percentage, and was fourth in runs scored. Rector was named A-Sun Player of the Week twice. She hit three home runs in a game twice this season against Valparaiso and Stetson, while homering two times against Lipscomb. Rector homered in four consecutive at-bats versus Valparaiso and SIU Edwardsville. She drove in a career-high six RBI against Lipscomb, and had five RBI in the win over Valparaiso.

Gilstrap played in 49 games this season while registering 47 starts at both shortstop and right field. She hit .284 with two home runs and 22 RBI, and led the team with 40 runs scored. The freshman was second on the team with 25 stolen bases, ranking her tied for fifth in the A-Sun. Gilstrap also ranked second on the team with a .325 batting average in conference play. She had the third-longest hitting streak of the season at seven games and ended the season by reaching base in 11 consecutive contests. Gilstrap registered a career-high three hits three times versus N.C. Central, Jacksonville and South Carolina State, and drove in a career-best four RBI versus Oakland. The Blythewood, S.C. native hit her first career home run against Oakland, and also connected on a homer versus Jacksonville.

The Spartans begin play in the 2016 A-Sun Softball Championship on Thursday, May 12 as they will face the winner of the Stetson/Jacksonville game at 10 a.m. from the FGCU Softball Complex in Fort Myers, Fla.

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2016 A-Sun Softball Postseason Honors and Awards
First Team All-Conference
Holly McKinnon, P, USC Upstate*
Riley Randolph, P, FGCU
Abby Fenichel, C, Lipscomb
Racquel Fournet, INF, FGCU*
Louie Ross, INF, FGCU
Brittany Elmore, INF, Lipscomb
Megan Obier, INF, USC Upstate
Jessie TenBroeck, INF, Stetson
Makensie McAvoy, OF, FGCU
Shelby Duncan, OF, North Florida
Brittany Case, OF, USC Upstate
Ryan Rector, OF, USC Upstate
Kelsey Waters, OF, Stetson
Victoria Brown, UTIL/DP, Jacksonville
* – Denotes a unanimous selection to All-Conference Team
** – A tie in voting resulted in a 14-person team

Second Team All-Conference
Kelly Young, P, Lipscomb
Logan Viers, P, Kennesaw State
Courtney Sutter, C, Kennesaw State
Danielle Baker, INF, Jacksonville
Kara Chambers, INF, Kennesaw State
Sarah Higgins, INF, Lipscomb
Navia Penrod, INF, North Florida
Kelsey Huff, OF, FGCU
Victoria Brown, OF, Jacksonville
Destinee Brewer, OF, Lipscomb
Bri Innamorato, UTIL/DP, Jacksonville
Taylor Denton, UTIL/DP, Kennesaw State
** – A tie in voting resulted in a 12-person team

All-Freshman Team
Riley Randolph, P, FGCU*
Racquel Fournet, INF, FGCU*
Sarah Higgins, INF, Lipscomb*
Minnie Cocuzza, OF, North Florida*
Navia Penrod, INF, North Florida*
Brittany Case, OF, USC Upstate*
Ansley Gilstrap, UTIL/DP, USC Upstate*
Megan Obier, INF, USC Upstate*
Destinee Brewer, OF, Lipscomb
Brooke Hutto, P, Stetson
Tori Perkins, P,  Stetson
Ashly Smith, INF, Stetson
* – Denotes a unanimous selection to All-Freshman Team
** – A tie in voting resulted in a 12-person team

Player of the Year:  Louie Ross, FGCU
Defensive Player of the Year:  Brittany Hawn, Stetson
Pitcher of the Year:  Riley Randolph, FGCU
Freshman of the Year:  Riley Randolph, FGCU
Coach of the Year:  David Deiros, FGCU^
^ – Denotes a unanimous selection for award