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Pfeiffer softball picked to win USA South’s East Division

The Pfeiffer University softball team was tabbed as the favorite to win the USA South East Division, the league announced on Wednesday.

The Falcons return three contributors that received NCCSIA All-State honors in 2018 and five starters from a team that went 37-5 overall and won the ECAC Division III Championship.

Vada Blue Sherrill, a senior from Hiddenite, returns after earning first-team honors at shortstop. Sherrill finished the 2018 season with a .508 batting average and went a perfect 56-for-56 in stolen bases. In her 42 games, Sherrill clubbed 16 home runs, drove in 69 runs and scored 64 times, all program records. Additionally, Sherrill set the single-season team record for on-base percentage (.593) and slugging percentage (.992) to lead the Falcons to the ECAC Championship in their first year in Division III.  Sherrill was also tabbed an NFCA Second Team All-American.

Makenzie Pennell of Taylorsville also returns after earning NCCSIA First Team honors as a sophomore thanks to a .368 batting average. Pennell, who split time between third and second base last season, struck out just five times in 125 at-bats and hit seven home runs to go with 36 RBI. Pennell got on base at a .450 clip and slugged .696 while scoring 43 runs in 42 games. For her career, Pennell owns a .383 batting average in her first two seasons with the Black and Yellow.

Pitcher Kiana Millsaps of Taylorsville returns for her senior campaign after garnering an NCCSIA First Team selection thanks to a record-breaking season in the circle. She went 24-4 for the Falcons and shattered the program record for most wins in a season. She was the winning pitcher in both games of the ECAC tournament and was named the ECAC tournament MVP. In addition to her pitching, she added 48 RBIs and a .379 batting average as a hitter.

The Falcons will begin their 2019 season on Thursday, hosting a doubleheader against Piedmont International.  First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Jack Ingram Field.

2019 USA South East Division Softball Preseason Coaches Poll

Pos. Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1 Pfeiffer (7) 63
2 Salem (1) 50
3 N.C. Wesleyan 47
4 Meredith (1) 42
5 Averett 41
T6 Greensboro 28
T6 William Peace 29
8 Methodist 15
9 Mary Baldwin 8

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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