University of Tennessee at Chattanooga softball player Sara Poteat was named Thursday to the All-South Region first team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The junior second baseman from Thomaston, Ga., led the Southern Conference in 2012 with a .437 batting average and had a team-best 18 stolen bases in 19 attempts for the Lady Mocs (39-16). Senior designated player Michelle Fuzzard and junior first baseman Kasey Tydingco were second-team all-region selections, Fuzzard for the second time. The two-time SoCon player of the year finished in the top 20 in NCAA Division I in RBIs (63), slugging percentage (.846) and on-base percentage (.543). Tydingco hit 360 with 17 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs and 62 RBIs.
• Covenant College senior softball player Beth Harris was a National Christian College Athletic Association first-team All-American for 2012, and teammates Chelsea Krafft and Courtney Wagoner were second-team choices. Tennessee Temple freshman Raven Pope from Sparta, Tenn., also was a second-team All-American after finishing second in the NCCAA with a .551 batting average and first with 11 triples and a 1.034 slugging percentage. Harris hit .435 with 15 homers, 12 doubles, two triples, 53 RBIs and 14 runs scored and also had a 3-1 pitching record this season, and junior Wagoner batted .406 with 16 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs and 31 runs. Senior pitcher Krafft was 14-12 with two saves, a 2.69 earned run average and 176 strikeouts in 174 innings.
• Newly named Covenant tennis coach John Hirte closed out his Scots playing career this season as an NCCAA All-American. He also was an NCCAA Scholar-Athlete, along with teammates Garrison Dale, Andy Jones, Clark Sealy and Tom Yates and the Lady Scots' Kelsey Whitted. That requires a 3.4 grade point average.
• Recent Soddy-Daisy High School graduate Olivia Holden has signed scholarship papers to continue her volleyball career at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens. One of six seniors for the 2011 Lady Trojans, who set a school record for victories (53-11) and finished third in the Class AAA state tournament, Holden led the Chattanooga area with 1,414 assists. She also contributed 86 aces and 61 kills. "We only had her for two years. The others we had for four years. Sometimes I would forget that," Soddy-Daisy volleyball coach Lorri Johnson said of Holden, who was 16-1 in singles and 13-4 doubles this spring in her second season of tennis and a three-year member of the basketball team. "She really did a great job running our offense and getting the ball to our hitters so they could put it down, and they did that quite well. I enjoyed having her personality on the team, and she gave us great leadership in the locker room. I really feel like she can develop as a setter there."
• GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Lee University moved up to ninth out of 28 teams Thursday in the NAIA women's golf national tournament at Link Hills Golf and Country Club, with one round to go today. The Lady Flames' second consecutive 314 put them at 938, 30 shots behind leader British Columbia. Savannah College of Art & Design is second at 909, seven shots ahead of third-place Shorter. Lee's Geandra Almeida is tied for 20th individually at 229, Courtney Shelton shares 29th place at 233 and Madison Alexander is at 238. Sloane Skinner (241), Kristin Bourg (248) and Chelsea Rakestraw are NAIA Scholar-Athletes.
• Dean and Mary Jane Heavener were announced Thursday as UTC's recipients of the Southern Conference Distinguished Service Award for 2012. Each member school selects an honoree based on that person's -- or couple's -- contributions to the athletic program, and all will be honored at the conference honors dinner May 30 in Asheville, N.C. In addition to building their schedule every winter around UTC women's basketball games, the Heaveners created in 2007 a women's basketball scholarship endowment that helps with playes' summer-school and post-eligibility tuition. They also were among the first contributors to the Support-Her Campaign to fill gaps in the Lady Mocs' travel, equipment and operating costs. "The Heaveners are two of our most loyal supporters," UTC athletic director Rick Hart said in a school release. "Their involvement helps our student-athletes, and in particular the members of our women's basketball team, to pursue comprehensive excellence -- academically, athletically and socially."
• Georgia Northwestern Technical College women's basketball coach Jim Williams has signed 6-foot Cartersville High School center Terika Mostella for the 2012-13 season. Mostella played previously at Rome High. "She'll fit into Coach Williams' system well," Cartersville coach Donna Enis said. "She brings a lot of skill to the table, as well as a great deal of size." Sierra Smith from Armuchee and Alyssa Nichelson from a 26-4 Creekview team are other Lady Bobcats recruits.
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