Marlins’ Elliott, Emory & Henry’s Loving Earn Major Awards
FOREST, Va. --- Nationally top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan College took home four major awards in addition to seeing a league-best six Marlins earn all-conference recognition as part of the 2017 All-ODAC Softball Awards. First-year lefty Hanna Hull received both ODAC Pitcher and Rookie of the Year laurels, while junior teammate Cassetty Howerin collected ODAC Player of the Year honors. Marlins mentor Brandon Elliott was tabbed the ODAC Coach of the Year in a vote of his peers. Emory & Henry College senior Danielle Loving secured the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award from the conference’s sports information directors.
The majority of this season’s award lists feature new talent with just 12 honorees repeating from the 2016 all-conference awards. Howerin is the lone athlete to appear on the each of the past two All-ODAC First Team charts, and just two others on the conference’s top awards squad were on any all-league team in 2016. Guilford College outfielder Makayla Carver moves up from last year’s All-ODAC Second Team along with Eastern Mennonite utility player Sydney Reath.
RELATED: 2016 All-ODAC Softball Teams | All-Time All-ODAC Softball Teams
Hull, from Chesterfield, Va., is among the national leaders in several pitching statistics including wins (24), strikeouts (275), strikeouts per seven innings (12.24), and earned run average (0.53). Her 275 strikeouts are a new ODAC and Virginia Wesleyan record. She tossed 14 complete games that include a league-best nine shutouts. Entering the NCAA Division III Tournament, Hull has struck out 10 or more batters 14 times including a Division III-high tying 19 in a victory over Bridgewater late in the regular season. Her numbers against ODAC teams were just as impressive as she went 11-0 with a 0.64 earned run average and 119 strikeouts in 65.1 innings of work leading into the conference tournament. Hull three times has been honored as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Pitcher of the Week and earned seven ODAC Pitcher of the Week honors.
Howerin, from Dover, Del., joins Hull as two of three Marlins (with shortstop Kiersten Richardson) on the NFCA Player of the Year watch list. Howerin is currently second in the ODAC in batting with a .458 average and #1 with a .537 on-base percentage. She also leads the league in runs batted in (46), total bases (104), and slugging (.794) in addition to tying for league-high honors in homeruns (11). Against conference teams during the regular season, Howerin hit .450 with four homers and 17 RBI while racking up a .514 OBP and .750 SLG. She has hit safely in 37-of-45 total games played this season with 16 multi-hit games. That list includes a 4-for-4 outing with a homer and three RBI in a 13-3 non-conference win over Immaculata earlier this season.
Elliott is in the midst of his 10th full season guiding the Marlins softball program. This is the fifth time he has been honored as the ODAC’s top coach, joining the awards he earned in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015. Virginia Wesleyan is currently the #1 team in the country according to th latest NFCA coaches poll and just captured an ODAC-record 10th conference title. The Marlins have won 43 games this season, which ties the league mark for most in a season. Elliott’s squad already set a new record for consecutive wins in a season with a 26-game winning streak earlier in the campaign. Entering the NCAA Tournament, Elliott’s career record stands at 342-99 (.776) including 156-36 (.813) in ODAC regular season games. His teams have captured five of the Marlins’ 10 conference championships.
Loving, from Elizabethton, Tenn., stands out both on and off the field for Emory & Henry. In the classroom, Loving boasts a 3.55 grade point average with majors in Psychology and Sociology. Soon to be a three-time All-ODAC Academic Team honoree, Loving is slated to graduate a full year early, forgoing her final year of eligibility. On the field, Loving is hitting .359 with a conference-best tying 11 homeruns as the Wasps everyday shortstop. She has driven in 35 runs and racked up a .660 SLG%, good for fourth in the ODAC. Her eight homeruns and 25 RBI against ODAC teams led all conference players.
Listed below are the full All-ODAC Softball Teams. For more information, visit the websites of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow the @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
|2017 ALL-ODAC SOFTBALL AWARDS|
|ODAC Player of the Year: Cassetty Howerin, Jr., 1B, Virginia Wesleyan|
|ODAC Pitcher of the Year: Hanna Hull, Fr., Virginia Wesleyan|
|ODAC Coach of the Year: Brandon Elliott, Virginia Wesleyan|
|ODAC Rookie of the Year: Hanna Hull, Fr., P, Virginia Wesleyan|
|ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete: Danielle Loving, Sr., SS, Emory & Henry|
|ALL-ODAC FIRST TEAM|
|Emily Kendrick||P||Jr.||Emory & Henry|
|Hanna Hull||P||Fr.||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Jessica Lindsay||C||So.||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Cassetty Howerin||1B||Jr.||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Kaylah Duplain||3B||Fr.||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Danielle Loving||SS||Sr.||Emory & Henry|
|Sydney Reath||UT||So.||Eastern Mennonite|
|ALL-ODAC SECOND TEAM|
|Amanda Whitlow||C||So.||Emory & Henry|
|Caley Hodge||1B||Jr.||Emory & Henry|
|Leah Elswick||2B||Jr.||Emory & Henry|
|Mariah Foltz||3B||Sr.||Eastern Mennonite|
|Savannah Jones||OF||Fr.||Eastern Mennonite|
|ALL-ODAC THIRD TEAM|
|Courtney Wright||P||Fr.||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Kiersten Richardson||SS||Jr.||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Beck Hoskins||OF||Fr.||Eastern Mennonite|