VWC’s Hull, Howerin Headline All-ODAC Softball Awards

VWC’s Hull, Howerin Headline All-ODAC Softball Awards

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.

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
Emily Kendrick P Jr. Emory & Henry
Hanna Hull P Fr. Virginia Wesleyan
Jessica Lindsay C So. Virginia Wesleyan
Cassetty Howerin 1B Jr. Virginia Wesleyan
Caroline Barnette 2B Sr. Guilford
Kaylah Duplain 3B Fr. Virginia Wesleyan
Danielle Loving SS Sr. Emory & Henry
Kayli Blankenship OF Fr. Guilford
Sabrina Moreno OF So. Guilford
Makayla Carver OF So. Guilford
Mikalia Guard DP So. Bridgewater
Sydney Reath UT So. Eastern Mennonite
Teresa Wagner P So. Roanoke
Candace Whittemore P So. Randolph-Macon
Amanda Whitlow C So. Emory & Henry
Caley Hodge 1B Jr. Emory & Henry
Leah Elswick 2B Jr. Emory & Henry
Mariah Foltz 3B Sr. Eastern Mennonite
Kayla Hugate SS Fr. Lynchburg
Skylar Dickens OF Jr. Lynchburg
Savannah Jones OF Fr. Eastern Mennonite
Lindsey Talley OF So. Bridgewater
Shelby Helms DP Sr. Guilford
Kristen Weadon UT Jr. Shenandoah
Lindsey Chaney P So. Randolph
Courtney Wright P Fr. Virginia Wesleyan
Becca Montgomery C Jr. Randolph
Hunter Glavé 1B Sr. Randolph
Sarah Commons 2B Fr. Lynchburg
Erin Forbes 3B Sr. Roanoke
Kiersten Richardson SS Jr. Virginia Wesleyan
Rachel Guilliams OF Sr. Roanoke
Beck Hoskins OF Fr. Eastern Mennonite
Katie Smith OF Jr. Roanoke
Ruthie Williams DP Jr. Roanoke
Taylor Mabry UT So. Lynchburg