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Softball Places Five On All-SoCon Teams; Bert Named SoCon Pitcher Of The Year

Lindsey Bert highlighted five All-SoCon selection for Furman by earning SoCon Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season.
Lindsey Bert

Greenville, S.C. -- Furman senior Lindsey Bert garnered her second straight Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year honor, and she joined second baseman Casey Bigham, pitcher/designated player Emily DeMonte, first baseman AnnaRose Borrelli and third baseman Hannah Reynolds in earning All-SoCon accolades in voting by the league's head coaches, it was announced on Tuesday morning.

Bert, a native of Tallahassee, Fla., established Furman single season records this year for wins (25), shutouts (12) and strikeouts (317), while creating new school career standards for wins (85), innings pitched (900.2), shutouts (30) and strikeouts (879). The left-hander, 25-8 on the season with a 1.58 earned run average, leads the nation in strikeouts, is tied for the national lead in shutouts and stands just 15 strikeouts shy of the SoCon single season mark of 331, set by Chattanooga's Lacey Swarthout in 2004.

The Paladins' ace, a four-time All-SoCon pick and three-time first team all-league choice, has garnered SoCon Pitcher of the Week honors five times this season to give her a conference record 12 pitcher of the week citations in her career. She also has garnered a league record four career pitcher of the month scrolls and tied the SoCon's single season shutout mark by blanking Samford, 12-0, on April 29. Bert has compiled some of her best work versus league opposition going 8-3 with four shutouts, a 1.17 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 71.2 innings of work during SoCon play in 2018.

Joining Bert on the All-SoCon first team were Bigham and DeMonte. Bigham, a starter in 39 games, garnered her second straight first team All-SoCon nod at second base after batting .353 with a .560 on base percentage, one home run and 14 runs this season. The 2017 SoCon Freshman of the Year from Waxhaw, N.C., fielded at a .954 clip for the regular season and batted .407 with a homer, five RBI and 11 runs over the Paladins' final 14 games.

DeMonte, a junior from Sumter, S.C., captured first team honors as a utility player after excelling in the circle and at the plate. The right-hander posted a 13-3 record and 3.09 earned run average in 18 appearances, including a victory over NCAA RPI No. 32 Wichita State. She also hit .299 with three doubles, four homers and 13 RBI. One of her four clouts was a walk-off shot to hand Furman a doubleheader sweep of Big Ten-member Indiana on March 2.

Furman placed both corner infielders on the second team with Borrelli receiving honors at first base and Reynolds at third base. Borrelli, a senior from Matthews, N.C., and 2016 first team all-league pick, batted .289 with nine doubles and ranked among the SoCon's leaders with 12 home runs and 41 runs driven in as a senior. She belted walk-off homers in victories over NCAA RPI No. 32 Wichita State on February 10, and versus ETSU on April 8. Her homer versus College of Charleston on March 9, made her Furman's all-time career home runs leader and she enters the postseason with 33 career long balls.

Reynolds, a starter in 44 games at third base, hit .273 with 10 homers and 27 RBI during the regular season. The Cary, N.C., product stepped up her play versus SoCon opponents by homering five times, driving in 11 runs and posted a .574 slugging percentage in 16 league contests. She belted a walk-off home run to hand Furman a 3-2 victory in the series opener against ETSU on April 7.

Furman (38-13, 10-6 SoCon), the No. 3 seed in this week's SoCon Softball Championship in Greensboro, N.C., will face No. 6 seed ETSU in the opening round on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at UNCG Softball Stadium. The game will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network with live statistics available through StatBroadcast. Links for both are posted at FurmanPaladins.com.

2018 SoCon Softball Awards and All-Conference Teams

Player of the Year
Shelby Maze, Samford, Sr., OF

Pitcher of the Year
Lindsey Bert, Furman, Sr.

Freshman of the Year
Micayla Rood, Mercer, OF

Coach of the Year
Janelle Breneman, UNCG

All-SoCon First Team
P    –   Lindsey Bert, Furman, Sr.
P    –   Alicia Bazonski, UNCG, Sr.
C    –   Megan Lane, Mercer, Jr.
1B –   Marisa Sholtes, UNCG, R-Jr.
*2B –  Casey Bigham, Furman, So.
*2B –  Jasmine Palmer, UNCG, Jr.
3B –   Gabrielle Cubbage, UNCG, Sr.
SS –   Brook Womack, Chattanooga, Sr.
OF –   Meghan Rud, Mercer, Sr.
OF –   Shelby Maze, Samford, Sr.
OF –   Aly Walker, Chattanooga, So.
DP –   Micayla Rood, Mercer, Fr.
UT –   Emily DeMonte, Furman, Jr.
*tie

All-SoCon Second Team
P    –   Stella Preston, Mercer, So.
P    –   Stephanie Bryden, UNCG, Jr.
C    –   Madison Armstrong, Western Carolina, Jr.
1B –   AnnaRose Borrelli, Furman, Sr.
2B –   Ashley Conner, Chattanooga, Sr.
3B  –   Hannah Reynolds, Furman, Sr.
SS –   Ashlyn Barnes, Samford, Fr.
OF –   Vanessa Elliott, ETSU, Jr.
OF –   Makenna Matthijs, UNCG, Fr.
OF –   Hunter Gibbons, Western Carolina, Jr.
DP –   Taylor Wright, ETSU, Jr.
UT –   J.J. Hamill, Chattanooga, Sr.

All-Freshman Team
Julia Fritz, ETSU
Lauren Lee, ETSU
Kelly Warren, ETSU
Allie Jones, Mercer
Micayla Rood, Mercer
Laurenne Sanchez, Mercer
Makenna Matthijs, UNCG
Hannah Stiltner, UNCG
Ashlyn Barnes, Samford
Allison Swinford, Chattanooga