Spartanburg, S.C. – Two days away from beginning the A-Sun Tournament and a day away from the A-Sun announcing its postseason awards and all-conference teams, sophomore pitcher Hannah Alexander and freshman outfielder Shellie Robinson have been named the College Sports Madness Conference Pitcher and Field Player of the Year in the A-Sun, released the organization Monday.
College Sports Madness is a leading internet site devoted to promoting college athletics. Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) and Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) were also named to the first team all-conference team and were joined on the first team by freshman first baseman Cheyenne Griffin (Moore, S.C.). Junior catcher Ericka Harris (Piedmont, S.C.) and freshman outfielder Hayley Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla.) were second team all-conference selections by CSM.
"It's a credit to our entire team and how hard these players have worked to be recognized by any organization as a player or pitcher of the year or an all-conference selection," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "Hannah and Shellie have both been tremendous leaders on our team this season, both on the field and off, and I think that played a big role in their performance and ability to earn such lofty awards from CSM. Cheyenne, Ericka and Hayley have also been important to the success of the team and I am proud that they are receiving the recognition they deserve."
Alexander led all A-Sun pitchers with 26 wins on the season and was the only pitcher to reach 10 victories during A-Sun play, two more than the next closest pitcher in the league. She finished the regular season with a 26-5 overall record, 1.56 ERA, 21 complete games, nine shutouts, 199 strikeouts in 192.1 innings pitched and a .203 opponent batting average. She tossed four one-hitters this season. She was also named the A-Sun Pitcher of the Week on two occasions and the College Sports Madness A-Sun Player of the Week once.
Robinson had a tremendous freshman campaign for the Spartans. She finished the regular season leading the A-Sun with 16 home runs, 14 doubles, 48 runs, 128 total bases and a .821 slugging percentage. She ranks second in the league with a .410 batting average and .481 on-base percentage, while ranking third with 64 hits. A complete player, she ranks sixth with 14 stolen bases and owns a .981 fielding percentage. She has been named the A-Sun Player of the Week on three occasions and the College Sports Madness A-Sun Player of the Week twice.
Griffin has also turned in a strong freshman season. She ranks second on the team and third in the A-Sun with a .392 batting average. She hit .389 during A-Sun play. She ranks among the A-Sun leaders in several categories, finishing the regular season with 12 doubles, four home runs, 30 RBIs, and a .549 slugging percentage. The starter at first base, she has been strong defensively with a .986 fielding percentage.
Harris has been a standout defensive catcher since her freshman season in 2010. She has been solid at the plate as well. She finished the regular season with a .329 batting average, fourth on a stout Upstate offensive unit. She added 10 doubles, two home runs, 28 RBIs and 24 runs. She committed just two errors on the year and currently owns a .994 fielding percentage, while throwing out nine base runners.
Reinfeld also turned in a solid freshman campaign for Upstate. She ranks third on the team and fourth in the conference with a .380 batting average. She has started 40 games in the outfield and is fourth on the team with nine stolen bases. She has scored 20 runs and driven in 17 batting up and down the lineup. She has also been strong defensively in committing just one error on the year.
The third seed in the A-Sun Tournament, Upstate will begin tourney play Wednesday evening at 5:30 against sixth-seeded Stetson.
2012 College Sports Madness A-Sun All-Conference Teams
Field Player of the Year: Shellie Robinson, USC Upstate
Pitcher of the Year: Hannah Alexander, USC Upstate
Freshman of the Year: Shelby Morgan, Florida Gulf Coast
Coach of the Year: Scott Whitlock, Kennesaw State
College Sports Madness First Team All-Conference: Hannah Alexander (P, Upstate), Shelby Morgan (P, Florida Gulf Coast), Whitney Kiihnl (P, Lipscomb), Kelsey Cartwright (INF, Lipscomb), Cheyenne Griffin (INF, Upstate), Casey Horner (INF, ETSU), Sharon Swanson (INF, Kennesaw State), Chelsea Zgrabik (INF, Florida Gulf Coast), Kayla Ouellet (OF, Jacksonville), Shellie Robinson (OF, Upstate), McKenzie Woody (OF, Mercer) and Jessica Cross (UTL, Kennesaw State).
College Sports Madness Second Team All-Conference: Courtney Brandt (P/OF, Stetson), Brittany Eppley (P, Jacksonville), Kayle Wallace (P, North Florida), Ashley Byers (INF, Belmont), Haley Elliott (INF, Lipscomb), Ericka Harris (INF, Upstate), Sarah Simon (INF, Jacksonville), Lindsay Vollmer (INF, Kennesaw State), Jessica Barnes (OF, Florida Gulf Coast), Caroline Mason (OF, Lipscomb), Hayley Reinfeld (OF, Upstate) and Mariah Reynolds (UTL, North Florida).
Follow the Spartans on Facebook and Twitter.