Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 22, 2014

Albritton, Altman named NFCA All-Americans

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State softball team was well-represented at the NCAA Division II National Championship Banquet on Wednesday night in Salem, Va., as both Courtney Albritton and Shelby Altman were named National Fastpitch Coaches Association first and second team All-Americans, respectively. Additionally, Albritton was presented the 2014 Elite 89 Award for the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament, an award presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.

All-American recognition for Albritton, who was named an NFCA second team All-American in her freshman and sophomore seasons, marked the first time the junior has received first team honors, while Altman was named an All-American for the first time in the senior shortstop's two-year career at Valdosta State. She also becomes just the fourth first-team All-American at VSU and the first since Alanna Hadley two years ago. Albritton and Altman also push VSU’s total All-American count to 19, 16 since coach Thomas Macera took over prior to the 2006 season.

Serving as the one-two punch on offense this season for the Blazers, the duo leads the team in nearly every offensive category. In addition, the pair stand among the top five hitters among all of their Gulf South Conference peers in each of the following categories; batting average, slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, RBIs and home runs.

An outstanding postseason run for the Blazers began at the GSC Tournament in Cullman, Ala., where Valdosta State was led to their sixth straight GSC Championship by Altman, who put together an outstanding defensive effort in the tournament while putting up a sizzling .579 batting average that included 11 hits in 19 at-bats, six runs scored, a double, two homers, and four RBIs. Her stellar play on the weekend resulted in a GSC Tournament Most Valuable Player honor for the Alma native.

Since the conclusion of the regular season, Altman has taken her leadership role to astounding heights on the field with a team-leading postseason average of .462. The senior has tallied 18 hits in 39 at-bats in postseason play. Her 18 base knocks include five extra-base hits, 27 total bases, and nine RBIs.

Albritton's assault on the conference record books continued in the Super Regional last weekend, as the junior ascended as the new single season home run record holder with 26 (previously held by Marti Littlefield, who hit 25 in 2009). Her efforts at the plate in Huntsville also lifted the slugger into record-breaking territory with new single season GSC marks in total bases with 192 (previously held by Littlefield, who hit for 191 in 2009) and runs scored, where her 80 this season passed her previous record-setting mark of 77 in 2013.

The Elite 89 award presented to Albritton, who carries a 4.0 GPA as an Education major, is an award founded by the NCAA which recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.

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