Lees-McRae College is the recipient of the second annual Conference Carolinas Team Sportsmanship Award for the sport of softball, announced league officials Wednesday. The award, which was introduced prior to the 2010 fall season, recognizes one conference team from each sport that demonstrates the best sportsmanship, as voted on by member coaches
and student-athletes throughout the league. Belmont Abbey College was also named the Messick Award after exhibiting the best sportsmanship in all sports throughout the 2011-2012 athletic year. The Abbey demonstrated the best sportsmanship in men's lacrosse, men's and women's track and field, women's basketball, and men's and women's cross country this year.
Lees-McRae (softball), Coker College (women's golf), Converse College (women's tennis), King College (baseball), Limestone College (men's volleyball and women's lacrosse), North Greenville University (men's golf), and Pfeiffer University (men's tennis) rounded out the spring recipients.
The Bobcats put together a strong start to the season this spring, opening the campaign with four straight wins, including a no-hitter by Laurel Gregg (Mars Hill, N.C.) in the opener. Lees-McRae posted several key wins during the campaign, including a 2-1 victory over No. 17 Saginaw Valley State University at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla.
Gregg enjoyed a sensational season in conference play for the Bobcats, posting a 1.42 earned run average to earn a spot on the all-Conference Carolinas First team. The Mars Hill, N.C. native recorded 45 strikeouts and held batters to a .183 clip in 59 innings of work in league play this season. Gregg t ossed four shutouts this season, including a four-inning no-hitter in the opener against St. Augustine's to go along with two one-hitters.
Lees-McRae is expected to return eight letter-winners from this year's squad, including rising juniors Karli Robb (Hayes, Va.), Lori Fulmer (Prosperity, S.C.), Hollie Crickenberger (Boydton, Va.), Jessica Smith (Gastonia, N.C.), and Alison Armstrong (Bellingham, N.C.).
Photo Courtesy: Lees-McRae Softball Team, LMC Athletics