VALDOSTA — For the third consecutive year, a member of the VSU softball program has been awarded the Gulf South Conference Commissioner's Trophy, as Courtney Albritton was selected from a group of six outstanding female GSC athletes and presented with the honor at the GSC Awards Banquet in Pensacola, Fla. on Thursday evening before taking the podium to give an acceptance speech.
Of all the awards given out by the Gulf South Conference, the Commissioner's Trophy is the most prestigious. The award represents the highest honor that the Conference can bestow on a student-athlete and recognizes the top male and female student-athletes in the league for not only their athletic prowess, but also their accomplishments in the classroom and the community. Albritton follows in footsteps of her former teammate Morgan Johnson, who won the award in both 2012 and 2013.
Only one other time in the history of the award has a school secured the honor three straight times, as North Alabama accomplished the feat from 1998-2000. Albritton represents Valdosta State's 11th all-time winner for both the men and women's side and became the fifth Blazer to win the award in past five years, as former baseball player Jon Koenigsfeld claimed the honor in 2010. VSU now stands in second place among the league's all-time Commissioner's Trophy winners.
The honor for Albritton comes on the heels of a record setting junior season in which the center fielder led the Blazers to their third straight appearance in the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament and helped lift the team to a No. 2 position in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association rankings after an appearance in the 2014 championship game.
Albritton's efforts on the diamond secured the junior her third straight GSC Player of the Year honor after a season in which she set new single season marks atop the GSC record books for home runs (27), runs (83), and total bases (200). In addition, her career numbers have now placed her at the top of the conference in slugging percentage (.830), total bases (538), and home runs (63). Her 27 long balls on the year placed her in a tie atop the list of NCAA Division II home run hitters and just 16 round trippers shy of the career record for all of Division II. Remarkably, she now holds these career marks with a full season of eligibility remaining.