Softball cleans up with 13 All-SAA honors

Shelby Smith: 2014 SAA Player of the Year
Shelby Smith: 2014 SAA Player of the Year

ATLANTA -- Berry softball earned 13 Southern Athletic All-Conference honors, including the player of the year and coach of the year.

Shelby Smith, a sophomore first baseman from Grayson, Ga., spearheaded Berry to the regular season championship by being the Vikings most potent offensive threat. She ranked inside the top five of eight major statistical categories including leading the league in batting average (.514), slugging percentage (.871), hits (36) and total bases (61). No stranger to the long ball, Smith smacked seven homers in 2014, second most overall. She also ranked third in both on-base percentage (.532) and runs (35), while checking in as the league's fourth most successful run producer with 22 RBI in conference play.

In her fifth year at the helm of the Vikings softball program, Cori Thiermann has guided Berry to a 29-9 overall record and 18-4 mark in league play en route to winning their second straight regular season title. She now holds a 121-67 career record and an all-time winning percentage of .644. Thiermann came to Berry after two seasons as an assistant coach at Montana State University-Billings. She holds a bachelor's degree in both business administration and public administration from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, where she played NCAA Div. I softball for the Phoenix from 2001-05 and was a four-year Horizon League Honor Roll member. This is her second straight SAA Softball Coach of the Year honor.

BC placed four players to the all conference first team: sophomore Abby Daniels; freshman Allison DeBusk; sophomore Allie Coronado.

Daniels continued her success from last year after being the 2013 newcomer of the year. The catcher is hitting .454 with 0.723 slugging. Daniels led the team in RBIs with 43 and fewest strikeouts (three) with at least 27 at bats

A pitcher, Coronado started the most games for Berry with 15. She boasts a 10-3 record, including a complete-game shutout over BSC on Sunday which clinched the regular season crown. She has a 2.00 ERA to lead the pitching staff. Opponents batted just .235 in her 80 and 2/3 innings pitched. 

DeBusk, a third-baseman, has a .326 average and has collected 31 hits in 95 at bats. She cracked eight doubles, two triples, and one home run. She was able to get on base 36.9 percent of the time.

On the All Conference second team, BC's Sarah Brown, Sara Vigue, and Brittany Ferrell picked up the honors. Brown batted. .253 and posted a .953 fielding percentage at shortstop. Outfielders Vigue and Ferrell hit .287 and .387 respectively.

Berry was able to pick up four other student-athletes on the honorable mention list. They were shortstop Sarah Moore, outfielder Rachel Bartoe, pitcher/infielder Kayla Davis, and pitcher/infielder Marie Collop

The SAA Tournament begins on Friday at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. As the top seed, Berry has a first round bye. The Vikings play the winner of #4 Rhodes and #5 Hendrix at 5 p.m. EST.

To view the entire 2014 SAA All Conference Softball Team, click HERE.