In conjunction with the upcoming 2019 Southern Conference Tournament, the league office has announced the 2019 SoCon Softball Postseason Awards on Tuesday afternoon. A trio of Buccaneers garnered recognition on this year’s All-SoCon teams, including a pair on the First Team.
Nikki Grupp (Jacksonville, Fla.) was the first ETSU Buc to be found on the First Team All-SoCon squad after completing an eye-opening junior campaign. Grupp finished the season with a .326 batting average with 46 hits and 36 runs scored. The Florida native led the SoCon in RBIs with 43, while ranking second in the league in doubles (10) and fourth in the conference in home runs with 11. Grupp’s 43 RBIs tied her for second in a single season in program history alongside Danielle Knoetze who tallied 43 in 2017. Grupp also boasted a .631 slugging percentage, ranking third in program history in a single season. The junior infielder also proved difficult to punch out, striking out just nine times in 141 at bats. Grupp also got the job done on the defensive end with 52 put outs and a career-high 81 assists. This is the first postseason honor for Grupp since being named to the All-SoCon Freshman Team and All-SoCon Tournament Team in 2017.
Julia Fritz (Glen Allen, Va.) joined Grupp on the All-SoCon First Team, marking her second consecutive season of making a postseason roster. Fritz was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team in 2018. Fritz made the team as a utility player, batting .333 on the season with 13 hits, three doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs. Fritz also finished with 58 putouts and five assists. Fritz also got the job done in the circle for the Bucs, making four appearances and throwing six and two-thirds innings. Fritz boasted a 3.15 ERA with 11 hits surrendered and two strikeouts. On May 3 against UNCG, Fritz notched her first collegiate save in a 5-4 victory over the Spartans.
Kelly Warren (Mechanicsville, Va.) was the final recipient of a postseason slot for the Bucs, earning a spot on the Second Team All-SoCon. Warren was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team in 2018 alongside Fritz. On the season, Warren posted a .321 batting average with a team-high 51 hits in 159 at bats. Warren also finished with 29 runs scored and 10 RBIs. The Virginia native finished the regular season with a .370 on-base percentage, 18 stolen bases and 74 putouts in the outfield. Warren only surrendered one error on the campaign, turning in a .987 fielding percentage. Warren enters the tournament on an eight-game hitting streak, including a career-best 4-4 in the regular-season finale at UNCG.
2019 SoCon Softball Awards and All-Conference Teams
Player of the Year
Marissa Guimbarda, Furman, So., DH
Pitcher of the Year
Celie Hudson, Chattanooga, Jr.
Freshman of the Year
Emily Coltharp, Chattanooga, SS
Coach of the Year
Janelle Breneman, UNCG
All-SoCon First Team
P – Stephanie Bryden, UNCG, Sr.
P – Celie Hudson, Chattanooga, Jr.
C – Delaney Cumbie, UNCG, Fr.
1B – Emma Sturdivant, Chattanooga, Sr.
2B – Danielle Castleberry, Mercer, R-So.
3B – Nikki Grupp, ETSU, Jr.
SS – Emily Coltharp, Chattanooga, Fr.
OF – Cammy Pereira, Furman, So.
OF – Shaila Warren, Mercer, So.
OF – Hunter Gibbons, Western Carolina, Sr.
DP – Marissa Guimbarda, Furman, So.
UT – Julia Fritz, ETSU, So.
All-SoCon Second Team
P – Emily DeMonte, Furman, Sr.
P – Bailey Pattison, Mercer, Fr.
*P – Mariah Ramirez, Chattanooga, Fr.
C – Amanda Beltran, Chattanooga, Sr.
1B – Marisa Sholtes, UNCG, Sr.
2B – Whitney Hinton, Samford, Jr.
3B – Gabi Howard, UNCG, Fr.
SS – Ashlyn Long, Western Carolina, Jr.
OF – Kelly Warren, ETSU, So.
OF – Micayla Rood, Mercer, So.
OF – Hayleigh Weissenbach, Chattanooga, Jr.
DP – Aly Walker, Chattanooga, Jr.
UT – Morgan Kazerooni, Chattanooga, Sr.
Mackense Greico, Furman
Tori Ash, Mercer
Bailey Pattison, Mercer
Delaney Cumbie, UNCG
Kamryn Graves, UNCG
Gabi Howard, UNCG
Merritt Cahoon, Samford
Emily Coltharp, Chattanooga
Mariah Ramirez, Chattanooga
Bailey Huneycutt, Western Carolina