Robinson Leads Team North Florida to ASA Gold National Championship
Spartanburg, S.C. – Incoming USC Upstate softball student-athlete Shellie Robinson garnered much attention during her senior season at DeLand High School in Florida this past spring, and she continued a tremendous year by helping lead the Team North Florida 18U Gold travel ball team to the ASA Gold National Championship two weeks ago.
Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins, entering his 18th season at the helm of the program, has built the softball program into a consistent winner. The Spartans are arguably the top program in the state, have claimed one A-Sun regular season championship and played for an A-Sun Tournament title in the last four years, and have cemented itself as one of the strongest mid-major programs on the East Coast. Much of that success had to do with the arm of Morgan Childers (Kings Mountain, N.C.) and the rest of the 2008 recruiting class that contained the likes of Kim Brasil (Mississauga, Ontario) and Lauren Quevedo (Wellington, Fla.).
With those three players gone from the program, Hawkins turned his attention to building for the future and brought in a 14-player recruiting class for 2011-12. Robinson may very well turn out to be a key piece of the recruiting class and for the future of the program.
"Shellie has the ability to play any position, with the exception of pitcher, and play it well," said Hawkins. "She works extremely hard and I hope her intensity and work ethic will help set the tone for practices and games in the fall. We have a lot of incoming players who have enjoyed individual and team success like Shellie has achieved, and I look forward to all of them helping build our program for the future."
Robinson joins a talented newcomer class that includes several people with individual honors. Several Players earned All-State recognitions in their respective states, including Dana Landers (4A, Simpsonville, S.C., Mauldin HS), Hayley Reinfeld (6A, Parkland, Fla., Marjry Stoneman HS), Lindsey Greeson (4A, Stanley, N.C., East Gaston HS), Morgan Brookshire (3A, Enka, N.C., Enka HS) and Kara Lohr (2A, Lexington, N.C., Central Davidson HS).
Robinson, a catcher and outfielder, hit .500 in two pool play games at the ASA Gold Tournament in San Diego, Calif., before helping Team North Florida to an 8-1 record in bracket play. She hit .346 with eight RBIs, five runs and two walks. She hit a double, triple, home run and six singles to account for her nine hits in the bracket portion of the tournament.
Robinson's top performance in bracket play came against Newton Rocks 18U Gold when she went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run. She hit a home run and collected a triple as well, but the team took a 5-4 loss, the only blemish for the team during bracket play. Facing elimination the rest of the way, Team North Florida won three-straight to claim the national championship. Robinson scored the game-winning run in the 4-2 victory over Texas Impact Gold in the game following the loss to Newton Rocks.
Robinson and Team North Florida then had to play back-to-back games against Newton Rocks to decide the national championship. She had an RBI on a squeeze bunt to help TNF to a 5-2 victory to force the deciding game for the title. She was 1-for-3 with a walk in the championship game as TNF took a 2-1 victory over Newton Rocks.
Robinson's strong summer was an extension of a tremendous year. She led DeLand HS to the regional semifinals of the 6A State Tournament. DeLand won the district championship with a 15-0 record and finished 2011 with an overall record of 24-4. Robinson was simply spectacular. She hit .595 with 17 home runs, 52 RBIs, 51 runs and 21 stolen bases. She garnered a tremendous amount of honors, including earning All-America honors from MaxPreps. She was also the 6A Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team 6A All-State selection. The Orlando Sentinel Central Florida Player of the Year, she was named the Athlete of the Year by the Daytona News Journal.
Robinson finished her prep career with strong numbers. She hit .515 with 26 home runs, 122 RBIs, 147 runs and 66 stolen bases in four years with the Bulldogs. She struck out just 19 times in her career, less than five times per season. A gifted athlete, she earned 12 varsity letters. In addition to the four in softball, she also lettered in volleyball and soccer.