LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UNCG softball’s Stephanie Bryden, Alicia Bazonski, Gabi Cubbage and Marisa Sholtes were named to the 2018 NFCA Division I All-Mideast Region Teams, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced on Thursday. With a region-high four selections for the Spartans, Bryden was named to the first team in the utility/pitcher slot, Bazonski (pitcher) and Sholtes (first baseman) were selected to the second team and Cubbage (third base) garnered third team honors.
The awards honor softball student-athletes from the Association’s 10 regions with first, second and third-team selections. NFCA member coaches from each respective region voted on the teams, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to the 2018 NFCA Division I All-American squads. The Spartans have put players on the all-region team for six-straight seasons, and the four this year is the most in program history.
In 26 appearances, 11 starts and 121.2 innings pitched, Bryden leads the league in ERA (1.50) and opposing batting average (.153) and is second in strikeouts (159) and least amount of home runs given up (six), third in wins (16) and games in relief (14), fourth in games finished (12) and seventh in strikeouts looking (27). Per seven innings, the Second Team All-SoCon selection ranks in the nation 13th in hits (3.68) and 19th in strikeouts (9.1) and places 30th in ERA and 41st in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.3). Her ERA ranks tied for fourth-best in a single year as a Spartan. As a hitter, she has more than held her own with a .295 batting average, .449 slugging percentage, 23 RBIs and eight extra-base hits.
Bazonski is a three-time all-conference selection, including first team this year, and earned Most Outstanding player in the SoCon Tournament last week. On a team-high 37 starts and 173.2 innings pitched, Bazonski ranks in the nation 74th in ERA (1.89) that’s the ninth-best in a single-season in school history. In the SoCon she placed second in wins (20), third in ERA, fourth in strikeouts (108), tied for fifth in saves (two), sixth in lowest opposing batting average (.232) and ninth in strikeouts looking (23). In conference play, she turned it up a notch with a 7-2 record, 1.29 ERA and six complete games in 10 games started and won pitcher of the week once.
Starting every game this year at first base, Sholtes garnered first team all-league honors at first base for the second-straight season. She leads the league in several categories: slugging percentage (.751), on-base percentage (.490), home runs (16), RBIs (54), doubles (16) and walks (32). She tied for first in runs with Jasmine Palmer (49), second in hits (63), third in batting average (.373) and tied for fourth in hit by pitches (eight). In the nation she places 25th in homers, 24th in total bases (127), 36th in slugging percentage, 56th in on-base percentage and 82nd in runs per game (0.8). She has won the conference player of the week twice this season and was named player of the month in February.
Cubbage earned first team all-conference honors this season for the second-straight year. She ranks fourth in the team in batting average (.295), slugging percentage (.482) and on-base percentage (.368) and has belted seven homers with 33 RBIs. In the league she ranks tied for second in sac flies (three), tied for sixth in doubles (10) and hits (49) and tied for seventh in RBIs. She produced the game-winning run in the SoCon Championship Game with a three-run homer.
UNCG opens the South Carolina Regional against the host school on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
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