SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Elon softball outfielders Carleigh Nester and Tomeka Watson were selected to the 2013 Southern Conference Softball All-Conference First Team, the league office announced on Monday, May 7. It is the first time since 2010 that the Phoenix has had both a first team all-league honoree and multiple players receive a spot on the conference’s first team.
Watson concluded the regular-season as the league leader in hitting (.414), slugging percentage (.763), on-base percentage (.506), hits (63), total bases (116) and stolen bases (25). The senior from Jackson, Ga., appeared and started all 51 games for the Phoenix in 2013 and broke the career school-record in home runs, hits, runs scored and RBI. She also set a new single-season record for home runs with 14 and tied an NCAA Division I record with six consecutive games with a home run in February.
A 2013 Preseason All-SoCon first-team selection, Watson was named the league’s Player of the Month in February and was also recognized as College Sports Madness National Player of the Week on Feb. 25. This is fourth straight season that Watson has been named to the All-SoCon teams.
Nester came on strong during the latter half of the 2013 campaign. The junior from Kernersville, N.C., has set career-highs in runs scored (38), home runs (11) and RBI (34) this season while hitting .373. She also ranks among the top-five in the conference in slugging percentage (.671), hits (59), doubles (14), home runs, total bases (106) and stolen bases (14). She also has yet to commit an error on her 72 chances this season in center field.
Nester had a strong month in April, hitting .426 in her 15 games to go with seven home runs, 18 RBI, a slugging percentage of .979 and five doubles. She also tied a NCAA Division I record with three doubles at SoCon regular-season champion Appalachian State on April 7 and was rewarded as the league’s Player of the Month for her efforts.
Nester was also a 2013 Preseason All-SoCon selection and joins Watson as the first Elon duo to earn all-league first team recognition since Emerald Graham and Kaitlyn Piazzolla in 2010.
Appalachian State’s Allie Cashion was named the league’s Player of the Year with Mountaineers’ head coach Shae Wesley taking home the conference’s Coach of the Year honor. Georgia Southern’s Sarah Purvis was tabbed as the Pitcher of the Year while UNCG’s Lindsay Thomas garnered the Freshman of the Year award.
The 2013 Southern Conference Softball Tournament Championships begin on Wednesday, May 8, at the UNCG Softball Stadium in Greensboro, N.C. The eighth-seeded Phoenix take on ninth seeded Samford in the opening single-elimination game of the tournament at 9 a.m. with the winner moving on to play No. 1 seed Appalachian State later that evening at 5 p.m.
2013 Southern Conference Softball All-Conference Teams
Pitcher: Hope Klicker, College of Charleston
Pitcher: Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern
Catcher: Lindsay Thomas, UNCG
First Base: Chandler Frisbie, College of Charleston
Second Base: Ashton Jarrett, College of Charleston
Short Stop: Kourtny Thomas, Georgia Southern
Third Base: Kelsey Hodgson, College of Charleston
Outfield: Allie Cashion, Appalachian State
Outfield: Tomeka Watson, Elon
Outfield: Carleigh Nester, Elon
Designated Player: Katelyn Bedwell, UNCG
Utility: Lauren Collier, Furman
Pitcher: Stephanie Saylors, College of Charleston
Pitcher: Lauren Collier, Furman
Pitcher: Raeanne Hanks, UNCG
Catcher: Sarah Warnock, Appalachian State
First Base: Eileen Horsmon, UNCG
Second Base: Sara Poteat, Chattanooga
Short Stop: Heather Robb, UNCG
Third Base: Sarah Beth Roberts, Chattanooga
Outfield: Allison Geiner, UNCG
Outfield: Tatiana Alcala, UNCG
Outfield: Sam Taylor, Chattanooga
Designated Player: Shelby Morrill, Georgia Southern
Utility: Aisha Figueroa, UNCG
Alex Sohl, Appalachian State
Shivaun Landeros, Appalachian State
Chandler Frisbie, College of Charleston
Becca Mueller, College of Charleston
Sieara Bishop, Furman
Lindsay Thomas, UNCG
Allison Geiner, UNCG
Megan Dowdy, Samford
Sam Taylor, Chattanooga
Anyssa Robles, Chattanooga
Player of the Year
Allie Cashion, Appalachian State
Pitcher of the Year
Sarah Purvis, Georgia Southern
Freshman of the Year
Lindsay Thomas, UNCG
Coach of the Year
Shae Wesley, Appalachian State