ROCK HILL, S.C.—Carson-Newman outfielder Abby Fiessinger (Benton, Ky.), utility/pitcher Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and catcher KaraLynne Levi (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) have been named to the South Atlantic Conference's preseason all-league teams, the conference office announced Wednesday afternoon.
Fiessinger makes the first team as an outfielder, while Rinus and Levi represent the Eagles on the second team as a utility player and catcher, respectively.
Last year Fiessinger earned All-America honors from the D2CCA and NFCA and was named the Southeast Region Player of the Year.
"I had one of the best years of my life my junior year," Fiessinger said. "I just want to do better than that by hitting with more power and getting on base. I've been getting on base with singles. Really I want to get the ball in the air and see what happens with more doubles and home runs."
Fiessinger was a hitting machine for Carson-Newman. She finished the year as the SAC's regular season batting champion with a .442 average and finished the year with a .424 average. It's the 18th highest single-season batting average in program history. She slugged .818 to become the fourth Eagle all-time to slug better than .800 for a year. She finished with the third-highest slugging percentage in program history to Brittany Hefner and Bre Lockett.
"It's humbling to get this," Fiessinger said. "Going into a new year, people think that my performances haven't been flukes. I want to show that I deserve this honor and it's great motivation for me."
Fiessinger racked up 15 multi-hit efforts. She had a septet of three-hit days. The junior drove in five runs in a win over Tusculum, the second most in her career and tied for the 10th most for a single-game in program history. The Benton, Ky.-native had six-multi-RBI days and was the team leader with 11 home runs. Fiesssinger saw a 15-game hitting streak, the sixth longest in program history, come to an end in the first game of the Southeast Regionals. The junior didn't go back-to-back games this year without a hit. Her batting average never dipped below .404 on the year. With 17 doubles, Fiessinger ranked 35th in the nation in two-baggers. Her 17 doubles are tied for the 10th most in single-season history at Carson-Newman.
Rinus pulled in all-region honors from the NFCA for the third time in her career in her junior year.
Rinus ranked second on the team with her .379 batting average. She roped nine doubles, hit four triples and drilled five home runs en route to driving in 28 on the year. The junior split time equally between centerfield and the circle. As a pitcher she tallied an 11-3 record with a 3.10 ERA. She had 62 strikeouts against 24 walks on the year and went a complete game 10 times. She fanned a season-high eight in a home contest with Coker. Regardless of position, she played error-free softball this year. Rinus picked up 16 multi-hit efforts and eight multi-RBI efforts on the year. She matched a career high with a four-hit day in the SAC title game against Anderson.
An All-SAC second team catcher last year, Levi once again featured prominently among the top defensive catchers in the South Atlantic Conference and the Southeast Region. Levi was the only player in the league with more than 150 chances and without an error. She only issued one passed ball on the year while giving up just six stolen bases on the year, the fewest in the league among catchers.
That comes while catching a third of runners stealing against her, the second highest percentage in the conference. At the plate, Levi led Carson-Newman in RBI with 38. She also has a team-best seven game-winning RBI. She was third on the team in home runs with eight.
Levi also had a quintet of doubles and a triple. She had nine multi-hit efforts and eight multi-RBI days. Levi has been hit by a pitch a whopping 47 times in her career. That's the second most in school history and the 22nd most in NCAA history. Levi reset her career high for RBI driving in four against Queens (4/27) in the South Atlantic Conference tournament.
Fiessinger, Rinus and Levi open up their senior years with the rest of the Eagles Feb. 3 at Converse.