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Peach Belt Releases Softball All-Conference Team

FLORENCE, SC – The Peach Belt Conference announced the 2011 softball All-Conference team at a banquet in Florence, S.C., site of the 2011 PBC Tournament.  Armstrong Atlantic State’s April Jowers was named the PBC Player of the Year while USC Aiken’s India Kornegay was tabbed the Freshman of the Year.  North Georgia’s Jessica Coan was named the Pitcher of the Year while her head coach Mike Davenport was named the Coach of the Year.  In all, 34 student-athletes were named to the All-Conference squad, an expansion of two players due to ties at second-team outfielder and second-team at-large.

Jowers dominated the PBC hitting statistics this season, leading the league in batting average at .507, more than 90 points higher than her nearest competitor.  Starting every game at second base for the Pirates, Jowers also led the league with 28 stolen bases, breaking the school record she set.  A junior from Columbus, Ga., Jowers is seven hits away from setting the school single-season record and set a Peach Belt Conference record with a 28-game hitting streak that began in 2010 and carried into this season.  In only two seasons, she has set the AASU career stolen base record.  She becomes the second AASU softball player to be named a PBC Player of the Year, joining Annie Sells who won the award in 2000 and 2002.

Jessica Coan made the most of her first year in the Peach Belt Conference, leading the league in ERA, wins and strikeouts.  The junior from Duluth, Ga., was 22-4 in the circle this season

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and current ESPN analyst Michelle Smith speaks at Thursday's softball banquet.

with a 0.76 ERA and 274 strikeouts in 175.1 innings pitched.  She allowed only 19 earned runs on the season in 30 appearances, pitched 21 complete games, seven shutouts and five complete-game shutouts.  She made her mark in the NCAA record books as well, striking out 19 against Lenoir-Rhyne in a 7-inning game.  She also did not allow more than two earned runs to any PBC opponent.  Coan continues the rich tradition of pitching at North Georgia, becoming the third consecutive Saint to receive the Pitcher of the Year award, joining teammate Sarah Phillips who was honored in 2009 and 2010.

In her first season of collegiate softball, India Kornegay has already cracked the USC Aiken record books with 192 strikeouts, the fifth-highest career total in school history.  She is fourth in the PBC with that number and third in ERA at 1.44.  A true freshman from Eufala, Ala., Kornegay was 12-6 in her 22 starts with seven shutout victories and a no-hitter on March 23 against St. Andrews.  A three-time PBC Freshman of the Week, she was also named the PBC Pitcher of the Week on March 28.  She is third in the PBC with a .150 batting average against her and fifth in innings pitched.  She becomes the third USC Aiken softball player to be named the Player of the Year, joining Jami Cornwell in 2000 and Jayme Durand in 2003.

Mike Davenport captures his third consecutive PBC Coach of the Year award after leading the Saints to a third consecutive Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship in 2011. In his 11th season at North Georgia, Davenport has built a dynsasty-level team over the last three seasons, leading them to the DII World Series in 2009 and 2010.  Ranked #3 in the nation, the 2011 Saints are 43-9 overall, topping the 40-win plateau for the third year in a row, and were 17-3 in conference play, winning the regular-season title by four games.  Once again the Saints are a pitching juggernaut, leading the league and ranked sixth nationally with a 1.15 team ERA.  Davenport will now lead his team into the PBC Tournament where they are the two-time defending champions.

The 2011 All-Conference team is presented below as selected by the league’s head coaches.  Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

2011 Peach Belt Conference
Softball All-Conference Team

First Team
1b – Katherine Martin, North Georgia
2b – April Jowers, Armstrong Atlantic State
3b – Hilary Cox, North Georgia
SS – Kasey Knight, North Georgia
C – Ashley Buckett, Armstrong Atlantic State
OF – Shelby Duff, Armstrong Atlantic State
OF – Destinea Schneider, Francis Marion
OF – Nichole Griffin, Georgia Southwestern
P – Jessica Coan, North Georgia
P – Sarah Phillips, North Georgia
DP – Haley Burnett, Georgia College
UT – Kristen Jones, Augusta State
At Large – Kara Gordon, Columbus State
At Large – Brittany Sheriff, Lander
At Large – Jessica Thornton, Augusta State
At Large – Morgan Staffins, Columbus State

Second Team
1b – Breezy Collings, Flagler
2b – Alona Personius, Flagler
3b – Baillie Temples, Armstrong Atlantic State
SS – Kacee Camp, Augusta State
C – Anna Parker, Georgia College
OF – Whitney Okvist, Georgia College
OF – Ansley Williams, North Georgia
OF – Pilar Harden, North Georgia
OF – Destiny Echols, Augusta State
P – Megan Barnwell, Armstrong Atlantic State
P – India Kornegay, USC Aiken
DP – Keela Scott, Armstrong Atlantic State
UT – Holly Berry, UNC Pembroke
At Large – Kelly Riddick, Flagler
At Large – Tori Jolley, Flagler
At Large – Lauren Bessent, Flagler
At Large – Hayley Leissner, Lander
At Large – Ashley Jaramillo, Francis Marion

Player of the Year
April Jowers, Armstrong Atlantic State

Pitcher of the Year
Jessica Coan, North Georgia

Freshman of the Year
India Kornegay, USC Aiken

Coach of the Year
Mike Davenport, North Georgia

2011 Peach Belt 1st-Team All-Conference
2011 Peach Belt 2nd-Team All-Conference
(L to R): Freshma of the Year India Kornegay, Player of the Year April Jowers, Pitcher of the Year Jessica Coan and Michelle Smith at Thursday's awards banquet.

 

2011 Peach Belt Conference

Softball All-Conference Team

First Team

1b – Katherine Martin, North Georgia

2b – April Jowers, Armstrong Atlantic State

3b – Hilary Cox, North Georgia

SS – Kasey Knight, North Georgia

C – Ashley Buckett, Armstrong Atlantic State

OF – Shelby Duff, Armstrong Atlantic State

OF – Destinea Schneider, Francis Marion

OF – Nichole Griffin, Georgia Southwestern

P – Jessica Coan, North Georgia

P – Sarah Phillips, North Georgia

DP – Haley Burnett, Georgia College

UT – Kristen Jones, Augusta State

At Large – Kara Gordon, Columbus State

At Large – Brittany Sheriff, Lander

At Large – Jessica Thornton, Augusta State

At Large – Morgan Staffins, Columbus State

 

Second Team

1b – Breezy Collings, Flagler

2b – Alona Personius, Flagler

3b – Baillie Temples, Armstrong Atlantic State

SS – Kacee Camp, Augusta State

C – Anna Parker, Georgia College

OF – Whitney Okvist, Georgia College

OF – Ansley Williams, North Georgia

OF – Pilar Harden, North Georgia

OF – Destiny Echols, Augusta State

P – Megan Barnwell, Armstrong Atlantic State

P – India Kornegay, USC Aiken

DP – Keela Scott, Armstrong Atlantic State

UT – Holly Berry, UNC Pembroke

At Large – Kelly Riddick, Flagler

At Large – Tori Jolley, Flagler

At Large – Lauren Bessent, Flagler

At Large – Hayley Leissner, Lander

At Large – Ashley Jaramillo, Francis Marion

Player of the Year

April Jowers, Armstrong Atlantic State

Pitcher of the Year

Jessica Coan, North Georgia

Freshman of the Year

India Kornegay, USC Aiken

Coach of the Year

Mike Davenport, North Georgia