College Softball

USC Beaufort softball players honored; Layman named top Sun Conference pitcher

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 1, 2014 

USC Beaufort's Ashlie Layman was named the Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday.

USCB ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT — Photo courtesy of USC Beaufort

CLERMONT, Fla. -- The quest for team superiority begins Thursday, but the top individual awards were handed out Wednesday night at the Sun Conference softball tournament banquet hosted by the National Training Center.

The University of South Carolina Beaufort was well-represented among the honorees, with sophomore Ashlie Layman's selection as the league's Pitcher of the Year highlighting the Sand Sharks' awards. Senior Alexandria Simmons and juniors Taylor Triplett, Mariaha Sanborn and Sammi Shaffren joined Layman on the All-Sun Conference first team, and junior Shelby Zipperer earned honorable mention. USCB juniors Maddie Byrd and Chelsey Blasingame were named to the All-Academic Team.

Layman has compiled a 16-1 record and a 2.11 ERA in 21 games. She has thrown 12 complete games -- four of them shutouts -- and racked up 111 strikeouts in 116 innings. It's the second straight year a Sand Shark sophomore has earned the league's Pitcher of the Year award, as Kristy Cook picked up the top pitching honors a year ago.

Embry-Riddle's Sarah Lockett was named the Coach of the Year after leading the Eagles to a 23-16 overall record in the program's second season. Embry-Riddle enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed after posting a 12-4 mark in league play this year. Player of the Year honors went to Southeastern outfielder Kim Pierce. The senior from Brandon, Fla., boasts an .807 slugging percentage and a .462 batting average with nine home runs, 31 RBIs, 41 runs scored and 22 stolen bases. Southeastern's Nicci Hopps was tabbed as the league's Champions of Character Award winner.

Tournament play begins at 9 a.m. Thursday with No. 4 seed Southeastern taking on No. 5 Warner. USCB is the No. 2 seed and is slated to take on No. 7 Ave Maria at 11:30 a.m., but the start time for that game is likely to be moved up to 9 a.m. and played on a different field because of rain in the forecast later Thursday. The schedule will be updated as necessary at the tournament headquarters on the Sun Conference website.

The tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round, which will be held at 10 campus sites around the country May 12-14.

All-Sun Conference First Team

C - Dee Espinosa (Embry-Riddle)

C - Danielle Borrelli (St. Thomas)

IF - Taylor Triplett (USCB)

IF - Sarah Huey (Embry-Riddle)

IF - Cassidy Miller (Northwood)

IF - Mariaha Sanborn (USCB)

OF - Kim Pierce (Southeastern)

OF - Kingsley Avery (Ave Maria)

OF - DeVyn Barker (Southeastern)

P - Ashlie Layman (USCB)

P - Lauren West (Southeastern)

P - Alexis Estrada (Embry-Riddle)

DP - Alex VanWagner (Thomas)

At-Large (IF) - Alexandria Simmons (USCB)

At-Large (IF) - Cat Maldonado (Southeastern)

At-Large (IF) - Talia Barraco (Embry-Riddle)

At-Large (OF) - Sammi Shaffren (USCB)

At-Large (OF) - Christina Horton (St. Thomas)

Honorable Mention

C - Jen Hedrick (Southeastern)

DP - Taylor Stoltz (Southeastern)

IF - Stefani Bonilla (Warner)

IF - Cheyenne Benson (Ave Maria)

IF - Jessica Adams (Warner)

IF - Summer Rose (Thomas)

OF - Shelby Zipperer (USCB)

OF - Jessica Matias (St. Thomas)

OF - Alex Hartley (Northwood)

P - Alexis Estrada (Embry-Riddle)

P - Emily Bryant (Southeastern)

P - Beth Vaccarezza (Ave Maria)

Player of the Year

Kim Pierce (Southeastern)

Pitcher of the Year

Ashlie Layman (USCB)

Champions of Character Award

Nicci Hopps (Southeastern)

Coach of the Year

Sarah Lockett (Embry-Riddle)

All-Academic Team

Sarah Vinci (Ave Maria)

Erika Avery (Ave Maria)

Emily Lemin (Ave Maria)

Beth Vaccarezza (Ave Maria)

Taylor Sterling (Ave Maria)

Alex Wood (Embry-Riddle)

Rae Heuer (Embry-Riddle)

Ariel Brayer (Embry-Riddle)

Robi Zimmerman (Embry-Riddle)

Jessica Osteen (Embry-Riddle)

Haleigh Lewis (Embry-Riddle)

Hailey Cusimano (Northwood)

Stefanie Self (Northwood)

Christina Horton (Northwood)

Carson Catasus (Northwood)

Cristina Sacramento (Northwood)

Maddie Byrd (USCB)

Chelsey Blasingame (USCB)

Emily Bryant (Southeastern)

Nicci Hopps (Southeastern)

Katelyn Baxley (Thomas)

Danielle Lower (Thomas)

Jessica Johnson (Thomas)

Jelisa Potter (Warner)

Lindsey Martin (Warner)

Stefani Bonilla (Warner)

Tiffany Porter (Warner)

Hannah Sikes (Warner)

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