After helping lead the Lumberton softball team to the Southeastern Conference tournament title and pacing the squad in several statistical categories among the conference’s pitchers, Morgan Britt was recognized as one of the top players in the league, the conference announced on Tuesday.
The sophomore pitcher for the Lady Pirates was named co-Player of the Year, along with Pinecrest’s Jordan Blake, after her standout season that came with some of the best numbers in the circle among the six teams in the SEC. Britt finished with 18 wins and 220 strikeouts this season to lead the league, and had a 1.88 ERA that was second best behind Richmond’s Mackenzie Ward.
“There were about five or six that could’ve won the award, but Morgan really deserved this,” Lumberton coach Mackie Register said. “She really improved this year. She threw the same amount but threw over 100 more strikeouts than she did last year and really worked hard to hit her spots.”
Britt also helped her cause in the circle by hitting at a clip of .375 with 20 RBIs.
Lumberton won the SEC tournament with a 3-2 victory at Richmond after dropping the previous two meetings between the teams in the regular season.
The Lady Pirates and Lady Raiders both had five players each named to the all-conference team. Joining Britt was Madison Canady, Kasey West, LeeAnn Nobles and Katie Kinlaw for the Lady Pirates.
“I’m pleased to get five on the all-conference team, I don’t think that has ever happened at this school,” Register said. “It shows that the conference does respect us and with all of them returning that’s big for us.”
Canady hit .561 and led the SEC in batting average, and also chipped in six home runs and a team-best 31 RBIs. West had a team-high 39 hits. Nobles tallied four home runs and 29 RBIs.
All five of the all-conference nominees are juniors or sophomores, something Register feels can add to the depth and strength of the team going into next year.
“Next year we could have five more, but three or four of them might be different players because we return a lot for next year,” Register said.
Purnell Swett’s JaiLeana Deese and Kaitlyn Hunt were named to the all-conference team. Deese hit a team-best .443 with 10 RBIs, while also earning five pitching wins on the year. Hunt led the Lady Rams with 15 RBIs and a .373 batting average.
“Both had superb years and were Nos. 1 and 2 in batting average for our team,” Purnell Swett coach William Deese said. “Between JaiLeana and Kaitlyn, they had over half our hits. I’m excited because if they can keep working and getting stronger we can see more production out of both of them and they can continue to increase their production.”
Richmond coach Wendy Wallace was named coach of the year after the Lady Raiders won the SEC regular-season title and made it to the NCHSAA 4A West regional finals.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.