Down South’s Top 10 Seniors to Watch

The graduates are gone and now this years seniors have their last chance to leave a lasting impression on the program they have invested so much in.  This years senior class will be headlined by two players who will be looking to lead their team to the College World Series.  Stephanie Hartness with North Georgia is the top name on the list as a returning first team all-american and a top 10 finalist for DII player of the year.

Following closely on Hartness heels is fellow conference competitor Hannah Reppert who brings the power for Armstrong State.  Hartness is joined on the list with 2 more teammates who look to take the team back to the College World Series after falling one game short of making the National Championship series.

sb_17_hartness_stephanie1. Stephanie Hartness – Outfielder, North Georgia

Awards:
Top 10 NFCA DII Player of the Year Finalist
NFCA First Team All-American
D2CCA First Team All-American
NFCA First Team All-Region
D2CCA Southeast Region Player of the Year
D2CCA First Team All-Region
PBC Player of the Year
First Team Peach Belt Conference

While Courtney Poole may have been the queen in the circle, fellow teammate Stephanie Hartness could easily be the queen of the batter’s box.  Hartness led all Southeast juniors in seven offensive categories including being eighth in the nation with a .469 batting average which was second in the entire southeast.    Hartness also led the southeast juniors in at bats (196), runs (60), hits (92), doubles (19), multi-base hits (31) and total bases (144).  While putting up those big offensive stats one of the most impressive stats is her 2 strikeouts in her 196 at bats.  Hartness was fourth in NCAA DII softball as the toughest to strikeout averaging a strikeout every 98.0 at bats.

Hartness will anchor the powerful North Georgia lineup again in her senior season having led the Nighthawks in an amazing 15 offensive categories this past season.  Hartness topped the Nighthawks in being the only player to play and start in all 62 games of the season while leading the team in batting average, games played, games started, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples (3), homeruns (9), RBI (52), total bases, slugging percentage (.735), walks (29), on base percentage (.538), and stolen bases (23).

pshreppert20172.  Hannah Reppert – First Base, Armstrong State

Awards:
D2CCA Honorable Mention All-American
D2CCA First Team All-Region
NFCA First Team All-Region
First Team Peach Belt Conference

While Hartness may have been the standard for the southeast, don’t think that Reppert was far behind.  Reppert topped the entire southeast with 50 walks (4th in DII NCAA), 20 homeruns (6th in DII NCAA), and an .834 slugging percentage (12 in DII NCAA).  She was second in the southeast with a .558 on base percentage which is good enough for fifth in DII NCAA softball.  Reppert was second in the junior class with 52 RBI (tied with Hartness) and 121 total bases.

Reppert will be the key for Armstrong as they look to repeat the trip to the College World Series.  Reppert led the team in six offensive categories posting a best in batting average (.379), on base percentage, slugging percentage, homeruns, RBI, and walks.

caroline_hill3.  Caroline Hill – Outfield/Catcher, Limestone

Awards:
D2CCA Second Team All-Region
Conference Carolinas Player of the Year
First Team Conference Carolinas

After transferring from junior college, Spartanburg Methodist, Hill made an immediate impact on Limestone by leading the offense and claiming Player of the Year honors in Conference Carolinas.  Hill lead the conference with a .727 slugging percentage which made her 1 of only 3 juniors in the southeast to have a slugging percentage above .700 as well as 1 of 3 with a batting average above .400.  Other than Hartness, Hill was 1 of 2 with a slugging percentage above .700 and bating average above .400.  Hill was second in the southeast juniors and conference with 10 homeruns and 28 multi-base hits.  She was tied for first in the junior class with 4 triples and was 1 of 6 juniors to have above 100 total bases logging 117 on the season. Hill led the Saints in four offensive categories with a team high in triples, homeruns, total bases, and slugging percentage.

walters_abbey4.  Abbey Walters – Outfield/Pitcher, UNC Pembroke

Awards:
NFCA Second Team All-Region
D2CCA Second Team All-Region
First Team Peach Belt Conference

Walters will be the senior member and maybe most potent member of the 3 headed attack UNC Pembroke will have in their lineup joining #5 and #10 members of Top 10 juniors to watch, Jamie Johnson and Taylor Gerhart.  Walters led the Braves in ten offensive categories with team bests in batting average (.396), at bats (182), hits (72), doubles (16), triples (4), homeruns (8), RBI (42), total bases (120), slugging percentage (.659) and 26 stolen bases.  Walters was tied for first with Hill with 4 triples in the southeast junior class and was sixth in batting average and slugging percentage while being third with total bases and tied for second with 28 multi-base hits.

pstbates20175.  Tori Bates – Pitcher, Armstrong State

Awards:
NFCA Second Team All-Region
D2CCA First Team All-Region
First Team Peach Belt Conference

Leading the attack in the circle for Armstrong State, Bates had a team best and southeast junior best 1.52 ERA.  Pitching a team high 170 innings, Bates started 27 games while going 16-9 and throwing 18 complete games.  Bates ERA was second in the Peach Belt conference, only to graduate Courtney Poole from North Georgia.  If Armstrong State looks to repeat the success from last year Bates will need to have another outstanding season and look to cement herself as one of the best arms in the Peach Belt.

flanders6.  Faith Flanders – Pitcher/Infield, Georgia College

Awards:
Second Team All-Region
D2CCA Second Team All-Region
First Team Peach Belt Conference

Flanders had 1 job and did it better than anyone else in the southeast by knocking in 55 RBI which was also 28th best in NCAA DII Softball.  Flanders led her team with a .576 slugging percentage helped by 7 homeruns, and 16 doubles.  Flanders will be the most productive batter by leading the returning players in seven categories; at bats, hits, doubles, homeruns, RBI, batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.  Georgia College will need Flanders to keep up the stats to repeat a successful year which included a trip to the NCAA regionals.

psjtrzaska20177.  Jane Trzaska – Pitcher/First Base/Outfield, Armstrong State

Awards:
D2CCA Honorable Mention All-American
NFCA First Team All-Region
D2CCA First Team All-Region
First Team Peach Belt Conference

Trzaska was a big part of a 2 pitcher rotation for a team that was 1 game shy of playing for a national championship.  Trzaska was 1 of 3 junior pitchers with a sub 2.00 ERA and 1 of only 4 pitchers to have above 100 strikeouts while averaging 5.00 strikeouts per 7 innings and the best winning percentage among juniors with a .792 by going 19 and 5, while pitching 151.1 innings, second best for the Pirates.  Trzaska was also a catalyst for Armstrong’s offense posting the fourth best batting average on the team with a .323 and a .426 slugging percentage.

jmoose8.  Jennifer Moose – Middle Infield, Lincoln Memorial

Awards:
Second Team All-Region

Moose was 1 of 3 juniors to have double digit homeruns by being tied for second in the class with 10 homeruns.  Moose was the only player on Lincoln Memorial who started and played in all 52 games.  Leading the team in eight categories Moose was a main contributor in leading the Railsplitters to a fifth place SAC finish.  Moose posted team bests in batting average (.365), games played, games started, at bats (159), hits (58), homeruns, total bases (99), and slugging percentage (.623).

webstier-_alli_0189.  Allison Webster – Pitcher, Carson Newman

Webster was first in the most stat categories of any southeast junior pitcher.  Posting a best in games stared (33), complete games (26), innings pitched (223.1) and strikeouts (254).  Webster had a 2.19 ERA while sitting second in the class with 7.96 strikeouts per seven innings and third with 3.48 strikeouts to each walk.  Webster was the only pitcher in the junior class to have over 200 strikeouts.  Webster finished with a 20-13 record and 2 saves and was the main part in a team that finished fourth in the SAC.

10.  Lizzie Fela – Infield, Southern Wesleyan

Awards:
NCCAA First Team All-American

Fela was first in Conference Carolinas with a .446 batting average and .527 on base percentage.  She was 1 of only 3 players to have an on base percentage above .500 in the junior class.  Fela also posted a .688 slugging percentage helped by 9 homeruns and 108 total bases which made her 1 of 6 juniors to have over 100 total bases.  Fela led the team in four categories; batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, and RBI (48).

Next 10: (Arranged in Alphabetical Order)

Previous in Down South Season Preview: Top Southeast Juniors

Next up in Down South Season Preview: Christmas Break for us, we will be returning in 2017 on January 4th with our first preview of the conferences, first up Conference Carolinas.

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