Robinson Named First Team All-Region; Griffin Second Team Selection
Spartanburg, S.C. - Capping a tremendous freshman campaign that culminated in earning A-Sun Freshman of the Year honors, USC Upstate outfielder Shellie Robinson was named a First Team All-Region selection by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), released the organization Thursday. Robinson becomes the first Spartan softball player to earn first team honors since moving to Division I in 2008.
In addition to Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) earning first team honors, fellow freshman Cheyenne Griffin (Moore, S.C.) was a Second Team All-Region selection by the NFCA. It marks the first time since 2008 that Upstate has had two players earn all-region honors. Both players earned selection in the Southeast Region with most of the all-region players coming from top-ranked programs in the SEC and ACC. As a first team selection, Robinson will automatically be put in the pool for All-America consideration.
"Shellie and Cheyenne were two of our leaders this season and are very deserving of this honor," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "Despite being freshmen, they played with a confidence and determination of players much older and more experienced. Whatever the situation, they always seemed to deliver. I am certainly proud of their accomplishments this season and the acknowledgement of their abilities.
"For us to have a first team all-region selection in Shellie playing in the same region as some of the nation's top-ranked teams is truly something special. Shellie was an accomplished player coming out of high school and lived up to all of the hype, if not surpassing it this season. She has a bright future with us and will be a cornerstone of the program in the future."
The A-Sun had eight all-region selections. Robinson was the only league player to earn first team honors. The seven other conference players were second team selections. Joining Robinson and Griffin on the all-region team were Kelsey Cartwright (Lipscomb, Southeast Region), Jessica Cross (Kennesaw State, South Region), Shelby Morgan (Florida Gulf Coast, South Region), Sharon Swanson (Kennesaw State, South Region), McKenzie Woody (Mercer, South Region) and Chelsea Zgrabik (Florida Gulf Coast, South Region).
Robinson was a first team all-conference and all-freshman selection in the A-Sun, while earning Freshman of the Year honors. She finished the year with a gaudy .405 batting average and a Division I era school record 66 hits, 17 home runs and 49 runs scored. She also drove in 41 runs and posted an .816 slugging percentage. A true five-tool player, she ranked second on the team with 14 stolen bases and posted a solid .982 fielding percentage with six outfield assists and just one error. She also had 14 doubles on the year.
Robinson currently leads the A-Sun in doubles, runs scored, slugging percentage and total bases, while ranking second in home runs and batting average. She has also ranked in the top 50 in the nation in five different categories.
Griffin was simply solid as the starter at first base for Upstate. She hit out of the cleanup spot for most of the season and ranked third in the A-Sun with a .384 batting average. She was a unanimous first team all-conference selection in the A-Sun and also earned all-freshman honors.
Griffin finished the season with 61 hits, 12 doubles, four home runs, 30 RBIs and 19 runs. She was simply outstanding defensively, finishing the year with a .987 fielding percentage. She was equally as strong during conference play as well, hitting a team-best .389 with three of her home runs coming against A-Sun foes.
Robinson and Griffin are the first Upstate players other than former all-time great pitcher Morgan Childers to earn all-region honors from the NFCA since 2008. Childers was a second team selection on two occasions, earning her first honor as a freshman in 2008 and the second as a senior in 2011.