LAWRENCEVILLE – Seven Georgia Gwinnett College softball players have earned all-conference honors from the Association of Independent Institutions for their play during the 2020 season. The league office announced the awards on Friday, April 3.
While the 2020 softball season was canceled due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, A.I.I. officials felt that the student-athletes’ accomplishments should still be honored. All recognized players earned all-conference awards. However, there were no special awards presented for player of the year, pitcher of the year and coach of the year.
The Grizzlies, coached by Kat Ihlenburg, had a 12-9 record this spring and was ranked No. 10 in the NAIA Top 25 poll.
Recognized position players included senior infielder Sydney Willhite, who also was named to the A.I.I.’s Champions of Character Team. She had a .350 batting average and four doubles. She hit a three-run walk-off home run to complete a doubleheader sweep against University of Mobile on Feb. 23 – a highlight of the 2020 season. Willhite holds program career records with 21 home runs and 45 doubles.
Senior outfielder RaeQuinn Rossetti batted .318, scored 12 runs and had seven steals. She became the program career record holder with 229 hits and 82 walks, and tied the top spot with 166 runs scored.
Junior Piper Wagner was one of seven starting players with a .300 or higher batting averages. The shortstop drove in 12 runs and scored 10 runs. Wagner collected 18 hits and had a team-high five doubles. She batted .305 at the plate and started all 21 games this spring.
Sophomore catcher Sydney Pelaez led the Grizzlies with three home runs and 17 RBI. She batted .315 in 21 games this spring. The sophomore also scored a team-high 14 runs and dashed to have two doubles and two triples.
Sophomore Lea McFadden scored 13 runs and recorded four doubles while starting all 21 games. With a .316 batting average, the third baseman drove in 11 runs and hit one home run.
Freshman Josie Haulk led GGC with a .385 batting average in 17 games, including 13 starts. She scored eight runs and drove in seven runs in her first season on the collegiate diamond.
In the pitching circle, freshman Gracie Hogg won a team-high five games and tossed six complete games. The Marietta, Ga., native recorded two saves in 2020. Hogg made a team-high 13 appearances and pitched 71.1 innings.
In alphabetical order, here is a summary of GGC’s All-A.I.I. softball selections:
2020 Association of Independent Institutions Softball All-Conference
Josie Haulk, INF, Georgia Gwinnett College
Gracie Hogg, P, Georgia Gwinnett College
Lea McFadden, INF, Georgia Gwinnett College
Sydney Pelaez, C, Georgia Gwinnett College
RaeQuinn Rossetti, OF, Georgia Gwinnett College
Piper Wagner, INF, Georgia Gwinnett College
Sydney Willhite, INF, Georgia Gwinnett College
Champions of Character Team
Sydney Willhite, Georgia Gwinnett College