Four Blazers Named All-GSC; Calhoun Named GSC Pitcher of the Year

| April 27, 2016

vsu all gsc
Image: VStateBlazers.com

VALDOSTA – The Valdosta State softball team saw four players earn Gulf South Conference honors, and Caitlyn Calhoun was named the GSC Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season in an announcement by the GSC office on Tuesday.

Jaime Phillips, Kiley Rusen, and Calhoun each earned First Team recognition in a poll taken by coaches throughout the GSC, while junior Heather Robinson made the cut for the first time in her career as a Second Team honoree.

North Alabama, the top-ranked team in the conference, led the pack with six selections, while the Blazers joined the Chargers of Alabama-Huntsville in second place with four selections each. Lee and West Florida placed two among those recognized, Delta State and Shorter garnered two selections, and West Georgia added one.

The Pitcher of the Year award for Calhoun came on the heels of a regular season full of milestones. Along with a collection of strikeouts (224) that made the Hamilton, Ohio native just the second pitcher in Valdosta State history to eclipse 500 career strikeouts, Calhoun racked up 13 shutouts and dealt a no-hitter against Florida Southern to become just the third player in league history to accumulate six no-hitters in a career. In addition to her league-leading 26-4 record on the season, Calhoun also leads the conference in ERA with a 1.46 and ranks fourth among all GSC pitchers after holding opponents to a .198 batting average on the year.

Phillips made her second consecutive appearance as a member of the First Team after slugging 11 homers on the year and putting up an incredible performance at shortstop on the season with just seven errors in 147 chances.

Also making her second consecutive appearance as a First Team honoree was Rusen, who leads the GSC and ranks among the nation’s top five hitters with 19 homers. Rusen’s All-GSC recognition marks the third of her career, as she earned Second Team honors as a sophomore in 2013.

Calhoun’s First Team honor marked her second straight, and Robinson, a Valdosta native and graduate of Lowndes High School, garnered Second Team recognition after racking up 12 homers and 35 RBI’s as VSU’s primary designated hitter.

The Blazers now turn their attention to the GSC Tournament and will square off against the winner of a first round matchup between West Florida and Shorter. Valdosta State’s first game in the tournament is slated for 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 28 in Florence, Ala. at the home of the North Alabama Lions.

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