National Champs Sweep All-State Softball Awards

National Champs Sweep All-State Softball Awards

National Champs Sweep All-State Softball Awards

ANNANDALE, Va. – The Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) has announced the 2017 College Division All-State Softball teams Thursday afternoon and the No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan softball team swept the major awards as five players were recognized. The five honors ties the 2014 and 2016 squads for the most Marlins on the All-State squad.

The 2017 NCAA Division III National Champions swept the major awards for the second-straight year. Cassetty Howerin won her second-straight Player of the Year award, while Brandon Elliott was named Coach of the Year for the second time in as many years.

Hanna Hull, meanwhile, captured both Pitcher and Freshman of the Year after garnering NFCA National Player of the Year and National Freshman of the Year.

This is the fifth-straight year that the State Pitcher of the Year has donned the Virginia Wesleyan uniform.

Howerin hit .434 as a junior with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs to go along with 26 stolen bases.  Following the season, Howerin was named First Team All-American by the NFCA and picked up a second All-American honor from the FPN. She is currently ranked first all-time in program history in career batting average (.455) and holds the RBI crown with 159. She is four home runs away from the VWU career mark of 31.

Hull was a seven-time ODAC Pitcher of the Week, four-time national pitcher of the week and ODAC Pitcher and Rookie of the Year. She was also selected First Team All-America by the NFCA and FPN. The freshman broke multiple ODAC and school records. She holds the league mark for wins in a season (32), strikeouts in a season (372), and saves in a season (5), and ERA (0.51). She led the nation in wins and ERA, and was second in strikeouts.

She broke a school record with 19 strikeouts against Bridgewater College on April 22. She struck out at least 13 batters in 11 different games and holds 11 of the top 12 single-game strikeout performances in school history.

Elliott, who led the Marlins to a NCAA-record 53-win season in 2017 won his third overall VaSID Coach of the Year honor. After dropping its first game at the NCAA National Championship to Texas-Tyler, Virginia Wesleyan won six straight games, including four elimination games, to claim the national title. He mentored the Marlins to a perfect 20-0 mark in ODAC regular season play.

Sophomore catcher Jessica Lindsay and freshman pitcher Courtney Wright join Hull and Howerin on the All-State First Team.

Lindsay was recognized earlier in the season as an All-ODAC First Team pick after batting .455 in ODAC play, the best mark on the team. Overall, she hit .307 with four home runs and 21 RBI. One of her biggest hits came in the NCAA Super Regional when she connected on the game-winning RBI double to lift the Marlins to the NCAA Championship Tournament.

Wright was a conference and region third-team selection. She went 3-0 on the final two days of the College World Series to claim All-Tournament Team honors which carried over to her First Team All-State selection. Wright went 18-0 on the year with a 1.34 ERA and two saves. She defeated 2016 national champion Texas-Tyler twice to advance to the Championship Series, winning the second, and final, game over St. John Fisher with five scoreless innings in the circle.

Freshman third baseman Kaylah Duplain rounds out the selections with a spot on the All-State Second Team. Duplain, an All-ODAC First Team pick, batted .277 on the year with two home runs, 25 RBI, 17 runs, and 10 stolen bases. She was one of the most sure-handed fielders in the ODAC, handling 136 chances to a .949 fielding percentage.

VaSID names 27 all-state teams in 15 sports each year, as well as an Academic All-State squad and an all-sports champion in both the University and College Divisions. Membership to VaSID is open to all media relations professionals working at a University or conference in the state of Virginia.

VaSID Major Awards

Player of the Year - Cassetty Howerin, Virginia Wesleyan
Pitcher of the Year - Hanna Hull, Virginia Wesleyan
Coach of the Year - Brandon Elliott
Rookie of the Year - Hanna Hull

First Team VaSID

P Hanna Hull Virginia Wesleyan
P Taylor Brandts Virginia-Wise
P Courtney Wright Virginia Wesleyan
C Jessica Lindsay Virginia Wesleyan
1B Cassetty Howerin     Virginia Wesleyan
2B Sam Bird Mary Baldwin
3B   Mariah Foltz Eastern Mennonite
SS Jessica Long Averett
OF Leah Andrews Christopher Newport
OF Samantha Hall Averett
OF Rachael Shiflett Christopher Newport
DP Kaitlyn Aherron Averett

Second Team VaSID

P Candace Whittemore   Randolph-Macon
P Aubrey Bates Christopher Newport
P Emily Kendrick Emory & Henry
C Calah Savage Christopher Newport
1B   Caley Hodge Emory & Henry
2B Grace Wild Christopher Newport
3B Kaylah Duplain Virginia Wesleyan
SS Rachael Payne Christopher Newport
OF Skylar Dickens Lynchburg
OF Savannah Jones Eastern Mennonite
OF Zoe Millard Virginia-Wise
DP Mikalia Guard Bridgewater