Record four Marlins named to All-Atlantic Region team
STARKSVILLE, Miss. -- For the first time in the highly success history of the Virginia Wesleyan College softball program, four Marlins have earned All-Atlantic Region honors, selected by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
More impressive, the quartet is dominated by underclassmen. Jaclyn Quinn (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) is the only senior in the group, but she is also the first softball player in VWC history to earn all-region honors three times. She was named to the second team this year, to the third team in 2011, and to the second team in 2010.
Sophomore Tori Higginbotham (Glen Allen, Va./J.R. Tucker) was also a repeat honoree, for the second straight year. She was named to the third team last year and selected as a first team honoree in 2012.
Rookie Kristina Karagiorgis (Ashburn, Va./Briar Wood) and sophomore Kelly Keys (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) picked up their first regional awards, named to the first and second teams, respectively. Karagiorgis is the first VWC rookie ever to garner first team accolades.
The 2012 Marlins connected for 385 hits, the eighth highest total in program history, with the help of Quinn, who knocked out 47. She ranked third among the VWC hitting leaders and belted out 11 doubles, increasing her career total to 48, the second highest ever by a Marlin. Quinn also tied for the team lead with five triples and ranked second with 118 putouts.
Quinn, a three-time first team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference honoree, exits the VWC program with a .403 career batting average, the third best in VWC history. She ranks No. 2 in home runs (14), No. 4 in RBI (121), No 5 in putouts (571), and No. 7 in runs scored (123).
Higginbotham, a two-time All-ODAC honoree, led the Marlins, and the ODAC, with a .465 batting average, the fourth best in VWC history. She recorded 142 at bats and led the Marlins, and the ODAC, with 66 hits, 56 runs scored, and 108 total bases. Her totals produced two new VWC records in hitting and runs scored as she broke the previous hit record of 63, set by Mandy Nixon in 2006, and the runs record of 54 set by Anna Bowers in 1991.
Higginbotham's totals included 13 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, 24 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 28 attempts. She led the ODAC in on base percentage (.537) and slugging percentage (.761).
Karagiorgis joined Higginbotham on the first team, after an impressive start to her intercollegiate career. She pitched in 117.1 innings and allowed just 25 earned runs en route to a 1.48 earned run average. She appeared in 26 games, started 20, pitching 13 complete games, and recorded four saves. She struck out an ODAC-leading 123 batters, the sixth highest total in Marlin history and second highest number by a rookie.
The talented rookie was more a double threat for the Marlins, as she could also hit consistently. Karagiorgis finished the season with a .382 batting average, the fourth best on the team, and led the ODAC with five triples and 48 RBI. She connected for 47 hits overall, tying Higginbotham for the team lead in home runs with seven each.
Keys emerged as the second best hitter for the Marlins, recording a .438 batting average, placing her 11th among the top single season averages in VWC history. She belted out 35 hits, including nine doubles and a home run, and recorded 18 RBI. Keys also recorded 69 put outs, 42 assists and posted a .982 fielding percentage.
Virginia Wesleyan finished the season with a 30-12 record, marking the program's second 30+ win season in three years, and seventh overall. In 31years of competition, VWC has enjoyed 28 winning seasons, averaging 24.6 wins per season.