USC Salkehatchie’s softball team has won the Region 10 Division 1 Regular Season and Tournament Championships and begins play in the district tournament on May 14 in Alexander City, Alabama. The Indians won all 3 games they played in the tournament, defeating USC Sumter in the championship game 6 – 4.
First-year head coach Siara Shelton is excited about the team’s accomplishments.
“As a first-year coach, I could not be more proud and pleased with this team. Any coach wants to win the regular season and the tournament, but being a first-year coach, it means a little more,” Shelton said. “Any team has its fair share of ups and downs, and we did, as well. But we pulled together as a family when it was needed most. I’m so happy for these girls. 95% of them have never played in a college tournament because of COVID last year. So, to come in and just play and win – it all means a lot. We’re all excited, but we’re not finished bringing home hardware.”
Pitcher Bree Wilson was named Tournament MVP while teammates Maddy Gwin, Ali Sarman, Essence Champion, and Lauren Wexler were named to the All-Tournament Team.
“Bree Wilson was named All-Tournament MVP for her grit and tenacity on the mound. During the season, Bree went 4-1 against these teams, so I knew she could do it. She started Game 1 and Game 2, and closed Game 3. After having the lead in Game 1, I asked her if she wanted to come out to save her arm. She looked at me and said, ‘No, coach. I want the ball.’ When you have a pitcher on the mound who wants the ball and wants to win, it makes a difference,” Shelton said.
The team, which finished the regular season 21 – 18, is not short on talent with the Region 10 Player of the Year, several players on the All-Region Teams and Academic All-Americans.
“Abriana Berry or AB, was named Region 10 Player of the Year because she is a great all-around player. She’s a true catcher who I stuck at shortstop and she ran with it. She led Region 10 in homeruns (10), RBIs (54), and was third in batting average (.463). Not only did her stats prove her to be Player of the Year, but my argument for her was also being a true catcher being moved to shortstop. She told me she would play wherever was best for the team and would try her best and she did,” Shelton said.
USC Salkehatchie members of the All-Region Team include 1st Team All-Region: Abriana Berry, Shea Zweifel, Ali Sarman, Ryanne Yarborough; 2nd Team All-Region: Essence Champion, Lauren Wexler; and Honorable Mention: Bree Wilson and Maddie Poston.
Three players were named Academic All-Americans: Ally Hardee, Ryanne Yarborough, and Ivy McCall.