SHC Wins SSAC Championship, Earns 17 Awards
The 7th-ranked Spring Hill College softball team won the 2014 Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament championship with a 2-1 victory over the No. 11 William Carey University Lady Crusaders on Saturday afternoon at the Gulf Shores SportsPlex.
After both team's went scoreless through three innings, designated hitter Mary Beth Glass crushed a mammoth two-run homerun in the 4th inning that cleared not only the temporary softball fence, but also the permanent men's fast-pitch fence behind it and staked SHC to 2-0 lead.
SHC starter Caroline Sagrera (36-9) gave up a solo home run to Crusader third baseman Jasmine Shelby with one out in the 7th inning, but a diving stab of a line drive by Badger shortstop Shea Blanchard and a pop-out to the 3rd base foul territory gave the Badgers the 2014 SSAC title
Carey's Brittany LeBlanc (18-7) lasted three innings with five hits with no walks and two strikeouts while Sagrera earned the win by scattering three hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Following the 2014 SSAC Tournament Championship game, the Spring Hill College softball team earned 17 postseason awards from the Southern States Athletic Conference.
Sophomore pitcher Caroline Sagrera of Baton Rouge, La., was named the 2014 SSAC Championship Tournament MVP after a 5-1 record in the three-day event including 32 strikeouts. Sagrera (36-9) also won the SSAC All-West Division Pitcher of the Year Award and a spot on the All-Conference Team in a season in which she struck out an NAIA-leading 406 batters with a 0.97 ERA and held opponents to a .151 batting average.
Junior third baseman Lea Kittrell of Lucedale, Miss., earned a spot of the All-Conference Team after hitting .339 on the season with six doubles, two triples and 23 RBI. She stole 9-of-11 bases and scored 20 runs while fielding her position at a .968 pace with just five errors in 157 chances.
Jenna Charnock, a freshman left fielder from Baker High School in Mobile, won spots on the Gold Glove, All-Freshmen and All-West Division teams by hitting .329 on the year with a double, triple and six RBI. She stole 34-of-36 bases and scored 31 runs from her leadoff position in the Badger line up while committing just one error in 76 fielding chances.
Junior shortstop Shea Blanchard of Breaux Bridge, La., was named to the All-Tournament and All-West Division teams after collecting two game-winning RBI with a .460 batting average en route to the first SHC Conference Tournament Championship in program history. For the year, she led the Badgers with a .349 average at the plate with 10 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 30 runs scored. She fielded the middle infield at a .913 pace and stole five of seven bases.
Junior centerfielder Taylor Webre of Luling, La., won a place on the All-Tournament Team with a .630 batting average, one home run and a stolen base.
Six Badgers earned SSAC All-Academic Team honors as Sagrera and Webre were joined by sophomore pitcher Sarah Bolotte of Marrero, La., senior second baseman Raleigh Downs of Booneville, Miss., sophomore right fielder Taylor Lahasky of New Iberia, La., and junior first baseman Elise deBruler Luling.
Blanchard was also named the 2014 SHC representative on the Musco-Lighting Champions of Character Team.
Spring Hill returns to the diamond on Monday, May 12, in the NAIA National Championship Tournament Opening Round.