GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG softball had five selections, tying for the most by any school, on the 2013 North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association University Division All-State Team, the NCCSIA announced Thursday.
The Spartans received four first-team honorees in freshman Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood), redshirt junior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior), junior Katelyn Bedwell (Surrey, B.C./Elgin Park) and classmate Aisha Figueroa (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes). Senior Heather Robb (Apex, N.C./Middle Creek) made second team All-State at shortstop. All five selections mark the first time each player has been selected to the NCCSIA All-State team.
Thomas became the first Spartan to be named SoCon Freshman of the Year, was a first team All-SoCon as a catcher and made the All-Freshman team. She started 56 games, finishing first in average with a .377 mark on 63 hits, 49 runs scored (fourth-best in school history), 11 doubles, 17 home runs (23rd in the nation), 45 RBI (fifth-best in school history) and a .760 slugging percentage (best in school history). Thomas had 18 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI contests, both best on the team. She was a two-time SoCon softball Player of the Week and had four hits with two home runs in the SoCon Tournament to land on the All-Tournament team. Thomas finished the season reaching base in 50 of 56 games.
Hanks was a second team All-Conference member after finishing the season with a 19-9 record with a 2.34 ERA, 17 complete games, four shutouts, three saves and 176 strikeouts (fourth-best in school history). She was a two-time SoCon Pitcher of the Month winner and won SoCon Pitcher of the Week during her junior season. Hanks also set a new career high with 13 strikeouts against Belmont back on Feb. 15. Hanks was named the SoCon Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after a 2-1 record that included 24 scoreless innings, 20 strikeouts and only one earned run during UNCG's postseason run.
Bedwell had a breakout junior season being named selected to the NFCA Mideast All-Region First Team. Bedwell also was a first team All-SoCon after hitting .366, tied a career-high with 11 home runs and had the third most RBI in school history with 52. She finished with 17 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI contests, including a stretch of eight-straight games with an RBI. In postseason play, Bedwell had the eventual game-winning RBI double in the SoCon Tournament against Furman.
Figueroa was named second team All-Southern Conference at Utility after starting all 57 games and hit .297 with 42 runs scored (sixth-best in school-history), 55 hits, two doubles and 11 RBI. She had 13 multi-hit games and two multi-RBI contests. Figueroa set a new career-high with 22 stolen bases and had a 16-game hitting streak from Mar. 30 through April 27. She also had a hit or a walk in 19-straight games ending on May 4 against the College of Charleston. Figueroa picked up three stolen bases in the SoCon Tournament with four hits.
Rounding out the list of honorees is Robb who had a career-best senior season. She was named second team All-Southern Conference at shortstop for the first time and hit a career-best .311 in 55 starts. Robb had 11 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI contests. She finished with 31 runs scored, 11 doubles, 47 hits, two triples, five home runs and 34 RBI. In the SoCon tournament, Robb had three hits and a two-run home run to end her career as a Spartan.
With two players on the NCCSIA teams, UNCG ran its streak to four-straight years with multiple selections.
Founded in 2002, NCCSIA is comprised of sports information professionals from North Carolina's NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and Independent institutions for the purpose of promoting college athletics in the state. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina whose responsibilities include sports information.
Keep up to date with the UNCG softball team all year long by logging on to www.uncgspartans.com and following the Spartans' official twitter feed @uncgsports/@uncgsoftball.
NCCSIA Softball University Division All-State First Team
P: Raeanne Hanks, Jr., UNCG
P: Courtney Roberts, Fr., Campbell University
C: Lindsay Thomas, Fr., UNCG
IF: Ericka Nesbitt, So., Campbell University
IF: Lauryn Buckworth, Sr., UNC Wilmington
IF: Raven Lee, Jr., Campbell University
IF: Samantha Meenaghan, Jr., Gardner-Webb University
OF: Allie Cashion, Sr., Appalachian State University
OF: Tomeka Watson, Sr., Elon University
OF: Carleigh Nester, Jr., Elon University
DP: Katelyn Bedwell, Jr., UNCG
UTIL: Aisha Figueroa, Jr., UNCG
NCCSIA Softball University Division All-State Second Team
P: Sarah Christian, So., East Carolina University
P: Alissa Schoelkopf, So., Appalachian State University
C: Courtney Klingler, Fr., Campbell University
IF: Heather Robb, Sr., UNCG
IF: Kristi Oshiro, Jr., East Carolina University
IF: Jordan Lewis, Jr., East Carolina University
IF: Morgan Baker, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb University
OF: Briana Gwaltney, Sr., Charlotte
OF: Stephanie Jones, So., Campbell University
OF: Jessica Plemmons, Fr., Charlotte
UTIL: Amber Steinhardt, Sr., Western Carolina University