Upstate Softball’s Robinson Earns All-America Honors
Spartanburg, S.C. – After finishing the season with a .410 batting average and helping lead USC Upstate to its most accomplished season in program history, standout centerfielder Shellie Robinson has been named an NCAA Division I Third Team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Wednesday.
Robinson is one of only 10 players from mid-major institutions to earn All-America honors among the 54 selected to the first, second and third teams. She is one of two players from the A-Sun to be named as well, joining Stetson pitcher and utility player Meredith Owen on the third team. In all, Upstate faced eight players who were named All-America in 2014.
"I am blessed to receive this honor and very excited," said Robinson. "I would not be in this position if it were not for our entire team. We have done so well the last couple of years and people know who we are. I think this is a big step for our program to get this kind of recognition and helps get our name out there even more. It's awesome. It's awesome for the program. It's a blessing."
"I am ecstatic Shellie has been named an All-American," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "Outside of being named the national player of the year, being named an All-American is the highest honor you can receive in the college game. That says a lot about what Shellie accomplished individually and how she helped the team reach national notoriety. She is the first Division I All-American in our program and at our school, and that is something she should be very proud of. I know I am. She has natural talent bolstered by a lot of hard work and dedication which has helped her reach the level she is at. I am proud of her and thrilled she has received the recognition she rightfully deserves."
Robinson, a junior from DeLand, Fla., earned All-America honors after leading a potent offensive attack at Upstate. Seven regular Spartan hitters finished the season with a batting average over .300 and Robinson led the way at .410. She topped the Spartans in nearly every major statistical category, finishing with a team-high 73 hits, 18 home runs, 15 doubles, 48 RBIs, 55 runs and a .809 slugging percentage. She also topped the club with 26 walks.
Robinson led an Upstate team that reached new heights in an already accomplished program. She helped lead the Spartans to a 46-9 record, breaking the old program record for wins on the Division I level by four games and coming to within one of the all-time record of 47 by the 2007 squad (final year of Division II). The Spartans broke the program's season record for home runs, belting 60 with Robinson accounting for one-third of that total. The squad also broke it's A-Sun wins record, finishing the season with a 22-2 mark en route to winning the regular season championship and earning the program's first-ever No. 1 seed in the A-Sun Tournament. The Spartans went on to become the first A-Sun school (along with Lipscomb) to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, playing in their second straight tournament in the Tuscaloosa Regional at national No. 2 seed and College World Series participant Alabama Crimson Tide.
Robinson was named the 2014 A-Sun Player of the Year and earned her third straight first team all-conference selection. She also earned her third consecutive all-region honor, taking home her second first team selection in the Southeast Region. Robinson finished the season leading the A-Sun in runs, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases. She is second in batting average, on-base percentage and home runs, third in hits and fourth in RBIs.
Robinson has also been ranked among the nation's leaders in several statistical categories throughout the season and currently sits 15th in the nation in home runs while ranking in the Top 50 in home runs per game, runs per game and slugging percentage.
Robinson broke several Division I era school records this season, moving to the top of the lists for RBIs and runs, and sits atop the batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage lists. She broke the program's all-time home runs record as well after blasting a solo homer off of Alabama All-American Jaclyn Traina in the NCAA Tournament to move into sole possession of the record with 47.
Robinson has the distinction of becoming the first All-American in the Upstate athletic department since moving to Division I in 2007-08. Men's basketball standout Torrey Craig has earned several mid-major All-America honors and baseball pitcher Chad Sobotka was a Freshman All-American, but Robinson is the first to earn All-America honors.
Robinson is the seventh Upstate softball player to earn All-America honors in the history of the program with the previous six earning the recognitions on the Division II level. She joins Beth Bayer (2000), Jessica Addison (2002), Krista Altom (2004), Vanesa Flores (2007), Heidi Gibbs (2007) and Shay Slater (2007) on the softball All-American list.
Robinson is the second Upstate softball player to earn a major national postseason award this season. She joins Anna Miller, who was selected as a Capital One First Team Academic All-American after turning in a 19-5 record, earning A-Sun Pitcher of the Year honors, tossing four no-hitters and graduating with a 3.97 GPA in Business Administration (marketing).
2014 NFCA All-America Teams
P - Lacey Waldrop, Florida State
P - Cheridan Hawkins, Oregon
P - Jaclyn Traina, Alabama
C - Taylor Edwards, Nebraska
1B - Hallie Wilson, Arizona
2B - Alex Hugo, Georgia
3B - Courtney Ceo, Oregon
SS - Sierra Romero, Michigan
OF - Haylie McCleney, Alabama
OF - Branndi Melero, Auburn
OF - Victoria Hayward, Washington
UTL/P - Ally Carda, UCLA
DP or UTL/Non-Pitcher - Stephany LaRosa, UCLA
At-Large - Maddie O'Brien (SS), Florida State
At-Large - Madison Shipman (SS), Tennessee
At-Large - Whitney Canion (P), Baylor
At-Large - Shelby Pendley (3B), Oklahoma
At-Large - Kelsey Stewart (2B), Florida
P - Sara Moulton, Minnesota
P - Dallas Escobedo, Arizona State
P - Christina Hamilton, UL-Lafayette
C - Amber Freeman, Arizona State
1B - Micaela Arizmendi, Notre Dame
2B - Hannah Flippen, Utah
3B - Kaitlyn Richardson, Minnesota
SS - Jill Barrett, Tulsa
OF - Janie Takeda, Oregon
OF - Jennifer Gilbert, Ball State
OF - Karley Wester, Notre Dame
UTL/P - Jailyn Ford, James Madison
DP or UTL/Non-Pitcher - Sahvanna Jaquich, LSU
At-Large - Kirsten Verdun (UTL/P), DePaul
At-Large - Kasey Cooper (3B), Auburn
At-Large - Annie Aldrete (C), Tennessee
At-Large - Haylie Wagner (P), Michigan
At-Large - Chelsea Wilkinson (P), Georgia
P - Hannah Campbell, South Alabama
P - Aimee Creger, Tulsa
P - Sara Nevins, South Florida
C - Lexie Elkins, UL-Lafayette
1B - Hooch Fagaly, Washington
2B - Emily Carosone, Auburn
3B - Missy Taukeiaho, Cal State Fullerton
SS - Kellie Fox, Arizona
OF - Emilee Koerner, Notre Dame
OF - Taylor Gadbois, Missouri
OF - Lindsey Stephens, Texas
UTL/P - Tatum Edwards, Nebraska
DP or UTL/Non-Pitcher - Kylee Lahners, Washington
At-Large - Hannah Rogers (P), Florida
At-Large - Lauren Chamberlain (1B), Oklahoma
At-Large - Shellie Robinson (OF), Upstate
At-Large - Cassie Tysarczyk (OF), Texas A&M
At-Large - Meredith Owen (UTL/P), Stetson