VALDOSTA -- Ryann Ellingsworth finished her two-year college softball career as Valdosta State's career leader in hitting.

She'll also finish with another honor. Ellingsworth is a first-team All-America selection by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Ellingsworth, who split time between catcher and third base, was the first team's utility player. She joins Alabama-Huntsville third baseman Melanie Carter as first-team picks from the Gulf South Conference.

The player of the year in the Gulf South's East Division, Ellingsworth hit .430 over a two-year period for the Blazers. That's 64 points better than the previous record of Libby Parks, who was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame this winter.

Her .431 average and 90 hits in 2003 were single-season records.

In other honors released this week:

n Senior baseball outfielder Sammy Watson was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association's South Central Region first team.

Watson led the team in most offensive categories, hitting .423 with six home runs, 57 RBI and 21 stolen bases. In three seasons, Watson hit .380.

Watson, a team captain his last two seasons, was named the athletic department's male scholar-athlete of the year and has been nominated for the Gulf South Conference Commissioner's Trophy, which is the league's top award.

The baseball All-Americas will be chosen this weekend.

n The Gulf South Conference released its spring all-academic teams Wednesday.

VSU players selected included: Render Parkman, baseball; Michael Collins, golf; and Peter Kreutzfeldt and Philipp Laucht, men's tennis.

Those on the honor rolls included: baseball, Scott Fletcher, Josh Grube, Nickolas Kitchens, David Lewis, Jay Neundorfer, Scott Simpson, Micah Smith, Eric Stiefel, Watson and Brandon Wolcott; golf, Brian Hurtak and Matt Wiley; Softball, Amanda Allgood, Michelle Carroll, Tonya Coffey, Brooke King, Angela Lauzon, Jenny McDuffie, Tiffany Moon, Caty Murray, Jessie Ortiz, Ashley Thierer, Linsey Walker, Kathy Watkins and Katherine Wyatt; men's tennis, Matt Anderson; women's tennis, Claudia Hesse and Iris Staub.

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