Robinson Named A-Sun Freshman of the Year; Five Spartans Earn Conference Honors
Spartanburg, S.C. – After hitting .410 for the season and leading the A-Sun in a number of offensive categories, standout USC Upstate outfielder Shellie Robinson has been named the A-Sun Freshman of the Year, announced the conference in its postseason honors release Tuesday.
In addition to Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) being named the A-Sun Freshman of the Year, four other Spartans received honors from the A-Sun. Robinson was a first team all-conference selection and was joined on the first team by fellow freshman Cheyenne Griffin (Moore, S.C.), who was a unanimous selection. Standout pitcher Hannah Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) was a second team all-conference pick. Robinson, Griffin, Maddision Kieffer (Middleburg, Fla.) and Hayley Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla.) earned A-Sun All-Freshman honors. Robinson, Griffin and Reinfeld were unanimous selections. Alexander was also named A-Sun Academic All-Conference for softball.
"All five of these players helped us to a successful season this year, and all are deserving of these honors," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "They all contributed in a variety of ways, be it their performance on the field, in practice and off the field. They are all leaders and I couldn't be more proud of them."
This year marks the fourth time in five seasons that three Upstate players have earned all-conference honors from the A-Sun. It also ties the 2008 squad for the most all-freshman selections in the A-Sun. The 2008 squad went on to win one regular season A-Sun title and play for the 2010 A-Sun Tournament championship.
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 an .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.
Robinson, who was named the Player of the Year in the A-Sun by College Sports Madness, leads Upstate with 10 multi-RBI games. She ranks second with 17 multi-hit games and posted an eight-game hitting streak this season. She currently is on a seven-game hitting streak. She also owns the team lead by reaching base in 18 consecutive games this year. She is one of four Spartans to earn all-conference and all-freshman honors in the same year since joining the A-Sun.
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.
Griffin leads Upstate with 18 multi-hit games and ranks second with seven multi-RBI outings. She tied Robinson for third on the team with an eight-game hitting streak during the season. She is one of four Spartans to earn all-conference and all-freshman honors in the same year since joining the A-Sun.
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.
Alexander, who was named the A-Sun Pitcher of the Week on two occasions and the College Sports Madness A-Sun Pitcher of the Year, earned her first all-conference honor this season after earning all-freshman honors in 2011.
Kieffer has been one of the most dominant defensive players on the Upstate team this season. Her range has been tremendous. She is currently hitting .294 on the year, raising her average by 54 points since the start of the A-Sun season and is hitting .320 in league play. She ranks third on the team with two home runs during league games and fourth with eight RBIs. She has posted seven multi-hit games and four multi-RBI outings.
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 times and driven in 17 runs batting up and down the lineup. She ranks second on the team with a nine game hitting streak during the season. 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 A-Sun All-Conference Teams
Player of the Year: Jessica Cross, Kennesaw State
Pitcher of the Year: Shelby Morgan, Florida Gulf Coast
Freshman of the Year: Shellie Robinson, USC Upstate
Coach of the Year: Scott Whitlock, Kennesaw State
A-Sun First Team All-Conference: *Chelsea Zgrabik (C, Florida Gulf Coast), *Sharon Swanson (INF, Kennesaw State), *Cheyenne Griffin (INF, USC Upstate), Kelsey Cartwright (INF, Lipscomb), Ashley Byers (INF, Belmont), Kaylee Williams (INF, Kennesaw State), Shellie Robinson (OF, USC Upstate), McKenzie Woody (OF, Mercer), Jessica Barnes (OF, Florida Gulf Coast), Shelby Morgan (P, Florida Gulf Coast), Amanda Henderson (P, Kennesaw State), *Jessica Cross (DP/UTL, Kennesaw State).
A-Sun Second Team All-Conference: Lindsay Vollmer (C, Kennesaw State), Kirsten Bembnowski (INF, North Florida), Haley Elliott (INF, Lipscomb), Karson Tuck (INF, Jacksonville), Ashley Simon (INF, Jacksonville), Kayla Ouellet (OF, Jacksonville), Codi Kelly (OF, Jacksonville), Chrissy Morello (OF, Stetson), Hannah Alexander (P, USC Upstate), Whitney Kiihnl (P, Lipscomb), Brittany Eppley (P, Jacksonville), Emily Lanier (DP/UTL, Florida Gulf Coast.
A-Sun All-Freshman Team: *Shellie Robinson (OF, USC Upstate), *Cheyenne Griffin (INF, USC Upstate), *Hayley Reinfeld (OF, USC Upstate), *Kaylee Williams (INF, Kennesaw State), *Ashley Simon (INF, Jacksonville), *Shelby Morgan (P, Florida Gulf Coast), Courtney Brandt (P/UTL, Stetson), Kaylie Wallace (P, North Florida), Maddison Kieffer (INF, USC Upstate), Ashley Anderson (P, Lipscomb), Gracey Aguirre (UTL, Lipscomb).