Softball: Upstate Grabs 11 Softball Postseason Honors with McKinnon, Obier and Hawkins Earning Major Awards

May 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm

LakePoint, Ga. – After recording its fourth ASUN Regular Season Championship last weekend, the USC Upstate softball team grabbed a total of 11 postseason honors from the ASUN Conference on Tuesday afternoon, highlighted by unanimous Pitcher of the Year Holly McKinnon, Defensive Player of the Year Megan Obier and Coach of the Year Chris Hawkins.

In addition to the individual award winners, McKinnon was named First Team All-Conference (unanimous) along with Ansley Gilstrap and Ryan Rector. Obier was joined on Second Team All-Conference by Lexi Shubert, Abbie Millete and Brittany Case. Alicia Dorgan earned a unanimous spot on the All-Freshman Team.

The Spartans have had double-digit players receive ASUN postseason honors in three of the last four years highlighted by a school record 14 during the 2015 season. Upstate also had 12 players collect postseason recognition in 2014.

Holly McKinnon  |  Unanimous Pitcher of the Year  | Unanimous First Team All-Conference
McKinnon picks up her second straight unanimous First Team All-Conference accolade and becomes the fourth player in program history to be voted ASUN Pitcher of the Year joining Shubert (2015), Anna Miller (2014) and Morgan Childers (2008). She compiled a 23-7 record this season with a 1.28 ERA in 35 appearances with 27 starts. The Ocala, Fla. native won at least 20 games for the second consecutive season, the first by a Spartan since Childers in 2010-11. McKinnon recorded 16 complete games and struck out 201 batters in 186.1 innings of work. She leads the conference in both wins and ERA, and is in the top 10 in games started, saves, complete games, innings pitched, strikeouts and strikeouts per seven innings. Nationally, she ranks in the top 50 for ERA, hits allowed per seven innings, saves, strikeouts, strikeouts per seven innings and wins. McKinnon struck out 10 or more batters five times including tying her career-high of 12 against Iona, and equaled her career-best outing of 11.0 innings at Kennesaw State. She was named ASUN Pitcher of Week twice this season and National Pitcher of the Week by Fastpitch News.

Megan Obier  |  Defensive Player of the Year  |  Second Team All-Conference
Obier is sharing the Defensive Player of the Year honor with Kayla McGory of North Florida and is the first Upstate player in program history to receive the accolade. The ASUN Preseason Defensive Co-Player of the Year, Obier started in all 52 games this season at second base and is hitting .285 with one home run and 13 RBI. She went 12-for-16 in stolen bases and tallied a .978 fielding percentage after committing three errors on the season, including just one in conference play. She committed only one error in her first 30 games of the year. Obier set new career-highs this season with four hits against Dayton, and had two stolen bases each versus Gardner-Webb and Lipscomb. Defensively, she tied her career-high of five assists three times against Army West Point, Saint Joseph’s and Lipscomb. Obier drove in two RBI four times against Howard, Radford and Appalachian State twice.

Chris Hawkins  |  Coach of the Year
Hawkins earned his third ASUN Coach of the Year (2014, 2015, 2017) honor after leading the Spartans to their fourth Regular Season Championship in school history. He coached Upstate to a 14-4 league record this season. His Spartans currently lead the ASUN in ERA and fielding percentage, while the Spartans are currently ranked No. 41 in the latest NCAA RPI. The team has received votes in both national Top 25 polls throughout the season and he has coached the team to non-conference wins over Power 5 conference teams Purdue and N.C. State. He now has 855 career victories, all as head coach at Upstate. He has coached four ASUN Pitchers of the Year, one ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, 44 All-Conference and 20 ASUN All-Freshman Team selections since joining the league for the 2008 season. He has also coached the Spartans to seven conference titles including four regular season crowns in 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017, and three tournament championships in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Upstate has made four consecutive NCAA Regional appearances dating back to 2013.

Ansley Gilstrap  |  First Team All-Conference
Gilstrap has started in all 52 games this season at shortstop and ranks third on the team with a .325 average. She recorded two home runs and 27 RBI, and is second with 13 doubles. Gilstrap leads the team in stolen bases with a 31-for-32 mark, including 11-for-11 in conference play. She reached base in a team-leading 21 straight games this season, and ranks in the top 10 for the ASUN in runs scored, doubles, triples and stolen bases. Gilstrap set new career-highs this season with four hits against Radford and stole three bases versus Purdue. She tied her career-high of four RBI against Georgetown.

Ryan Rector  |  First Team All-Conference
Rector receives her second straight First Team All-Conference honor after starting in all 52 games in the outfield. The senior is hitting .310 this season with five home runs and 30 RBI. She went 10-for-10 in stolen bases and has a team-best 10 game hitting streak while ranking second by reaching base in 13 straight games. Rector ranks in the top 10 for the ASUN in at bats, home runs and triples. Nationally, she is 42nd in toughest to strikeout and 44th in sacrifice flies. She drove in a season-best four RBI in a win over N.C. State after hitting her second career grand slam. Rector added three RBI at Stetson and tied her career-high of two stolen bases versus Howard.

Lexi Shubert  |  Second Team All-Conference
Shubert appeared in 33 games this season with 24 starts, and compiled a 17-4 record with a 1.52 ERA and four saves. She recorded 14 complete games and struck out 153 in 147.0 innings. Shubert was named ASUN Pitcher of the Week three times and ranked in the top 10 for the conference in games started, wins, complete games, innings pitched, strikeouts, strikeouts per seven innings and ERA. She led the conference in saves. Shubert is in the top 50 nationally in ERA, hits allowed per seven innings, saves and shutouts. Shubert threw the second no-hitter of her career on Feb. 22 at Furman and did not allow a run in 19 appearances this season. She pitched a career-high eight innings against Campbell and struck out a career-best 11 twice versus Colgate and Toledo.

Abbie Millete  |  Second Team All-Conference
Millete currently leads the team in hitting with a .336 average and eight home runs, while driving in 30 RBI. She ranks second on the team with 13 multi-hit and eight multi-RBI games, and is third with 11 doubles. Millete ranks in the top 10 for the ASUN in home runs, slugging percentage and defensive putouts. She tallied a career-high six total bases twice against Stetson and Gardner-Webb, while tying her career-best of four RBI versus Presbyterian College. She also tied her career-high of three hits at South Carolina. She concluded the regular season last weekend by driving in three runs during a three-game sweep of North Florida. Millete was named the ASUN Player of the Week on March 27.

Brittany Case  |  Second Team All-Conference
Case was one of seven players to play in all 52 games this season and registered 50 starts. A Preseason All-Conference selection, she is hitting .322 with two home runs and 24 RBI while going 7-for-7 in stolen bases. She recorded 13 multi-hit and seven multi-RBI games, and ended the regular season with a seven game hitting streak while reaching base in 13 straight games. Case ranks tied for ninth in the ASUN in triples. She tied her career-high of three runs scored at Jacksonville and had a season-best two RBI in a game seven times. Case collected a season-high three hits against Stetson and posted two hits in a contest 12 times.

Alicia Dorgan  |  All-Freshman Team
Dorgan appeared in 30 games this season with 17 starts. She ended the regular season hitting .246 with seven home runs, tied for second on the team, and 17 RBI. Dorgan led the team with a .632 slugging percentage and ranks tied for fourth in the ASUN with her seven home runs in just 57 at bats. Six of Dorgan’s first 11 hits this season were home runs. She hit her first career grand slam against N.C. State where she also drove in a career-high four RBI. Dorgan added a three RBI performance at South Carolina.

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ASUN First Team All-Conference
Holly McKinnon, P, USC Upstate*
Alley Cutting, P, Kennesaw State
Courtney Sutter, C, Kennesaw State
Caitlin Plocheck, IF, Lipscomb
Kayla McGory, IF, North Florida
Navia Penrod, IF, North Florida
Jessie Tenbroeck, IF, Stetson
Ansley Gilstrap, IF, USC Upstate
Kelsey Huff, OF, Florida Gulf Coast
Dominica Cocuzza, OF, North Florida
Kelsey Waters, OF, Stetson
Ryan Rector, OF, USC Upstate
Madison Ragan, UT/DP, Jacksonville
* – Denotes a unanimous selection

ASUN Second Team All-Conference
Mandy Jordan, P, Lipscomb
Lexi Shubert, P, USC Upstate
Abbie Millete, C, USC Upstate
Ashly Smith, IF, Stetson
Racquel Fournet, IF, Florida Gulf Coast
Taylor Denton, IF, Kennesaw State
Danielle Baker, IF, Jacksonville
Megan Obier, IF, USC Upstate
Jazz Vasquez, OF, Stetson
Hannah Thomason, OF, Kennesaw State
Noelle Winkles, OF, Kennesaw State
Brittany Case, OF, USC Upstate
Olivia Tamewitz, OF, Kennesaw State
Bri Innamorato, UT/DP, Florida Gulf Coast

ASUN All-Freshman Team
Alley Cutting, P, Kennesaw State*
Kayla McGory, IF, North Florida*
Katey Lynch, UT, Kennesaw State*
Hannah Devault, IF, Lipscomb*
Morgan Blourne, P, North Florida*
Alicia Dorgan, INF, USC Upstate*
Olivia Tamewitz, OF, Kennesaw State
Alyssa Bilodeau, P, Jacksonville
Makenzie Buss, IF, Jacksonville
Blake Crews, C, Stetson
Peyton Ward, IF/OF, Lipscomb
* – Denotes a unanimous selection

Player of the Year:  Courtney Sutter, Kennesaw State
Pitcher of the Year:  Holly McKinnon, USC Upstate*
Defensive Players of the Year:
  Kayla McGory, North Florida/Megan Obier, USC Upstate
Freshman of the Year:
  Alley Cutting, Kennesaw State
Coach of the Year:  Chris Hawkins, USC Upstate