GREENSBORO, N.C. – In another championship season where UNC Greensboro softball won its third-straight Southern Conference Regular Season Championship, numerous Spartans racked up accolades. On Monday the Spartans announced its team awards for the past year, as voted on by the 19 players. In all, seven honors were awarded to six different players.
Rookie of the Year Award – Delaney Cumbie
Cumbie made an immediate impact as the starter behind the plate for the Spartans, garnering First-Team All-SoCon, All-Freshman and All-SoCon Tournament Team honors. She placed among the best hitters in the league, leading the SoCon in on-base percentage (.483) and was second in walks (32) and caught stealing by (12-39), tied for fourth in hit by pitches (eight), sixth in batting average (.338) and slugging percentage (.559), tied for seventh in doubles (10) and eighth in fielding percentage (.986). She turned up her performance a notch in conference play with a .508 on-base percentage and .617 slugging percentage.
Replacing a multi-year starter behind the plate, Delaney Cumbie made a tremendous impact in her 1st season to be named Rookie of the Year! She earned recognition as the best catcher in the league by the coaches & has such a bright 🌟future here in Greensboro #letsgoG pic.twitter.com/lMB5n8mOB2— UNCG Softball (@UNCGSoftball) July 29, 2019
Spartan Softball Way Award – Breanna Butcher
The Spartan Softball Way Award is given out annually to the player that displays leadership qualities on and off the playing field. Some of those qualities include: being a good role model, selflessness, respect of teammates, being supportive of teammates, trustworthiness, being a facilitator, communication and being the glue of the team. Giving her all every day in practice and stepping in to play the infield when the team was hit with injuries early in the year, Butcher was the epitome of each of these qualities.
The Spartan Softball Way Award is given out to the player that displays leadership qualities on & off the playing field (selflessness, being supportive of teammates, trustworthiness, etc.). @_brebutcher is the epitome of each of these qualities! #letsgoG pic.twitter.com/5jpciF0Dnq— UNCG Softball (@UNCGSoftball) July 29, 2019
Most Valuable Player and Most Outstanding Offense Awards – Marisa Sholtes
Sholtes wrapped up her career as one of the best sluggers in Spartan history and feared hitters in the SoCon with her third-straight all-league selection to become the seventh Spartan to be named to three all-conference teams. She finished in program history second in career slugging percentage (.675), third in homers (43) and sixth in RBI’s (135). She led the SoCon in RBI’s (48) and was tied for first in homers (17) and total bases (108), second in slugging percentage (.720) and tied for fourth in hit-by-pitches. In the nation she ranked 12th in homers per game (0.35), 30th in homers, 38th in RBI’s per game (0.98) and 58th in slugging percentage. She tied the program’s single-season record for homers and was also fifth in slugging percentage and tied for eighth in RBI’s.
.@mmarisasholtes was voted for MVP & and Most Outstanding Offense! The most feared hitter in the SoCon during her time, Sholtes tied our single-season record for homers (1️⃣7️⃣) 💪💪 #letsgoG pic.twitter.com/IunzxXuZdt— UNCG Softball (@UNCGSoftball) July 29, 2019
Most Outstanding Defensive Award – Makenna Matthijs
Matthijs’ defensive versatility provided a huge value for the Spartans this season where she started in all 51 games played primarily in centerfield. Returning as the starting left fielder, she also made starts at catcher early on in the season like she did in her freshman campaign. When starting centerfielder Jordan Gontram suffered a season-ending injury, Matthijs made a seamless shift to take over the position for the rest of the year. She posted a .977 fielding percentage, racking up two assists and 82 putouts.
.@makennamatthijs was chosen for the Most Outstanding Defense Award! Matthijs’ defensive versatility provided a huge value for us when she slid over from left field to center, where she made a seamless shift to take over the position #letsgoG pic.twitter.com/ZVFuhrFP5N— UNCG Softball (@UNCGSoftball) July 29, 2019
Most Valuable Pitcher Award – Stephanie Bryden
Bryden turned in one of the best seasons by a Spartan pitcher to earn a selection to the All-SoCon First Team and the Most Outstanding player award in the SoCon Tournament. She recorded the second-most strikeouts (246), a tie for the second-most wins (25), eighth-most shutouts (six) and ninth-most complete games (21) and appearances (40) in a single season in school history. In the nation she was 17th in victories and strikeouts, 25th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.02) and 45th in strikeouts per seven innings (7.9), led the SoCon in strikeouts, wins, opposing batting average (.206), innings pitched (217.1) and appearances (40) and was second in batters struck out looking (49) and starts (29) and third in ERA (2.35).
The 🔥thrower @StephBryden_03 was chosen as Most Valuable Pitcher! Bryden turned in one of the best seasons by a Spartan pitcher, recording the 2nd-most strikeouts (2️⃣4️⃣4️⃣) & a tie for the 2nd-most wins (2️⃣5️⃣) #letsgoG pic.twitter.com/UEBhG6JVgG— UNCG Softball (@UNCGSoftball) July 29, 2019
Scholar Athlete Award – Kayleigh Willis
On a team full of student-athletes excelling off the field, Willis was one of five Spartans to post a perfect 4.0 GPA this spring and graduated with a degree in Economics in just three years. Set to begin graduate school next year in the Bryan School of Business, she has earned numerous accolades and scholarships from the college and maintained her streak of being on the UNCG Chancellor’s and Dean’s Lists, SoCon’s Academic Honor Roll and Spring Academic Team for each academic year.
Scholar Athlete Award winner @sunbearkay is ☝️ of 3️⃣ Spartans maintaining a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA & graduated with a degree in Economics in just 3 years. Willis has earned numerous accolades & been named to pretty much every honor academic list you can think of #letsgoG pic.twitter.com/5vCxvxRxLa— UNCG Softball (@UNCGSoftball) July 29, 2019
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