Four Spartans Earn A-Sun Postseason Honors
Spartanburg, S.C. - The Atlantic Sun Conference announced its postseason awards Tuesday afternoon and USC Upstate was well represented as Morgan Childers and Crislyn Chewning received first team all-conference honors, Katie Zauner was a second team pick, and Ericka Harris was named to the all-freshman team.
The four postseason selections mark the second-highest total since Upstate joined the A-Sun in 2008. The Spartans had seven total postseason selections in 2008 with three all-conference and four all-freshman picks. However, this year's selection of Childers and Chewning as first team all-conference team members marks a program high.
"I am extremely proud that Morgan, Crislyn, Katie and Ericka have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "It is truly an honor when others around the conference take note of the accomplishments of the individual players and the impact they have on our team. I know that each of the four have played valuable roles to the success of our team this season, not the least of which was qualifying for the A-Sun Tournament in our first year of eligibility.
"Kim Brasil, who did not earn an all-conference honor this season, has been just as important to the success of our team and I feel bad that she did not receive the recognition she deserved. But, there are so many outstanding players in our conference that sometimes these things happen."
Childers, a junior from Kings Mountain, N.C., received her second first team all-conference honor and her third overall. She was a first team selection in 2008 and earned second team honors last year. She turned in not only the top season of her career, but one of the top seasons in the history of the A-Sun. She currently tops the conference with 31 wins and 405 strikeouts, the second-highest single season effort in the A-Sun behind the 437 by Nikki Myers (Florida Atlantic) in 2002. She also ranks among the league leaders in ERA (0.94) and shutouts (16). She has ranked among the top seven in the nation in six statistical categories.
Childers reached several strikeout plateaus this season, breaking the 600-, 700-, 800- and 900-strikeout marks this season. She has 940 career strikeouts and currently stands second on the A-Sun's all-time list. Already Upstate's career leader, she broke her own single-season strikeout record, demolishing her old mark of 277 set last year. She also broke two other career records at Upstate, standing atop the all-time wins list with 81 and shutouts list with 31. Those figures, along with her 1.30 ERA, also rank in the top seven all-time in the A-Sun.
Childers has now received six postseason awards from the A-Sun. She was named the pitcher of the year, freshman of the year, first team all-conference and all-freshman in 2008, earned second team all-conference honors last year and first team all-conference honors this season.
Chewning, a senior from Willamina, Ore., earned her first A-Sun all-conference selection after turning in one of the top performances in the league this season, and the best performance in Upstate's three-year history in Division I and the A-Sun. A California JUCO All-American at the College of Siskiyous before transferring to Upstate for the 2008 season, she led the league in hitting for most of the last month and currently stands third with a .363 batting average. She ranks among the league leaders in hits (5th, 58), on-base percentage (10th, .406) and total bases (8th, 81). She ranks as the fifth-toughest batter to strikeout in the country.
Defensively, Chewning is the captain of the outfield unit and has been strong in center field with six outfield assists on the season. She leads the team with 27 RBI and two triples, while ranking second with 31 runs, three home runs and 11 stolen bases. A consistent player, she hits .371 against conference competition. She leads Upstate with seven multi-RBI games and ranks second with 16 multi-hit outings. Her nine-game hitting streak earlier in the year stands as the second-best on the team this season.
Zauner, a junior from Canby, Ore., has been a strong addition to the program after a successful two-year stint at the College of Siskiyous. She stepped into the everyday starting role in right field, replacing one of Upstate's all-time greats in four-year starter Heidi Gibbs. Zauner ranks second on the team with a .324 batting average, and is a solid .293 in A-Sun play. She ranks second on the team with 22 RBI and third with 17 runs. She ranks second on the team with six multi-RBI games and fourth with nine multi-hit performances. She tops the Spartans with a 10-game hitting streak earlier this season. In addition to her performance at the plate, she has been a strong defensive player as well. She ranks second on the team with three outfield assists while teams have routinely decided not to test her strong arm.
Harris, a freshman from Piedmont, S.C., is the first Upstate player to earn all-freshman honors in two years. Despite entering the fall while recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered in January of her senior year of high school in 2009, she developed quickly in the preseason and took over the reigns as Upstate's starter at catcher. Her development allowed Hawkins to move Kim Brasil to left field in order to bolster the defensive unit in the outfield and put the best offensive lineup on the field. She has been nearly flawless behind the plate, committing just one error with a .998 fielding percentage. She has also delivered at the plate. A solid .262 hitter, she hits .283 against conference competition. She has collected five game-winning hits this year, ranks fifth on the team in hitting and has driven in 19 runs.
Lipscomb's Whitney Kiihnl capped a standout season by earning the A-Sun's Pitcher and Player of the Year honors. Her head coach, Kristin Ryman, earned the league's coach of the year award, while Kennesaw State's Ashlee Burkett garnered freshman of the year honors.
2010 A-Sun All-Conference Teams
P - Whitney Kiihnl* (Lipscomb)
P - Morgan Childers (Upstate)
C - Mollie Mitchell* (Lipscomb)
IF - Courtney Billington (Lipscomb)
IF - Ashlee Burkett (Kennesaw State)
IF - Abby Keese (Lipscomb)
IF - Kellie Sirus (Lipscomb)
OF - Crislyn Chewning (Upstate)
OF - Lauren Dortwegt (Lipscomb)
OF - Kayla Ouellet (Jacksonville)
DP/UTL - Jessica Cross (Kennesaw State)
P - Amanda Lindsey (Stetson)
P - Ashley Iveson (Jacksonville)
C - Jessica Lokeinsky (Stetson)
IF - Cheniece Cason (ETSU)
IF - Amanda Miller (Campbell)
IF - Amber Moseley (Jacksonville)
IF - Caroline Torre (North Florida)
IF - Chelsey Trotto (Stetson)
OF - Sarah Forgacs (Campbell)
OF - Amy Joyce (Stetson)
OF - Courtney Platt (Florida Gulf Coast)
OF - Katie Zauner (Upstate)
DP/UTL - Jessica Gary (Florida Gulf Coast)
2010 A-Sun All-Freshman Team
IF - Ashlee Burkett* (Kennesaw State)
OF - Mariah Fernandez (FGCU)
OF - Sarah Forgacs* (Campbell)
C - Ericka Harris (USC Upstate)
IF - Olivia Kline (Jacksonville)
P - Abbey Meixel (Kennesaw State)
P - Devon Schmidt (Belmont)
OF - Lucy Schneider (ETSU)
C - Sarah Simon (Jacksonville)
OF - Sharon Swanson* (Kennesaw State)
IF - Tiffani Upchurch (FGCU)
* Unanimous Selection