Johnson named ECAC South Pitcher of the Year, four other Gulls honored

Johnson named ECAC South Pitcher of the Year, four other Gulls honored

CENTERVILLE, Mass. – The Eastern College Athletic Conference announced its softball all-star teams on Friday and Salisbury University found five members on the South All-Star squad, including sophomore Rachel Johnson, who was named the South Pitcher of the Year.

Johnson was joined on the south first team by seniors Michelle Gravdahl and Sarah Alpaugh, and freshman Paige Knussman. Senior Hannah Mills was named to the second team.

Johnson finished the 2013 season as one of the best pitchers in the nation, with a 29-3 record, a 0.82 earned-run average while striking out 340 batters in 204 innings pitched. Johnson finished the year ranked second in the nation in shutouts, hits allowed per seven innings, victories and strikeouts per seven innings.

As the starting catcher, Gravdahl called nearly every pitch this season for the SU pitching staff, which finished with the nation's fourth-best ERA (1.13). Also a threat at the plate, Gravdahl finished 12th in the nation in on-base percentage (.568), while finishing in the top 50 in the country in runs batted in per game (1.09), walks (31), slugging percentage (.791) and home runs (11).

Alpaugh was part of the table setting for the middle of the Sea Gull batting order, batting second in the order throughout the majority of the season. Alpaugh batted .387, second on the team, and scored 41 runs. She finished the year second in the NCAA with 0.7 sacrifice hits per game.

Knussman started just 19 games, but appeared in 34 of Salisbury's 46 contests. The designated player hit .381 (third on the team), with three doubles, one home run and 22 RBIs. Knussman had a .429 on-base percentage and struck out just twice in 63 at-bats.

Mills led Salisbury with 51 RBIs and ranked 38th in the nation in RBIs per game (1.11), while her 10 home runs were second on the squad and 39th in the country. One of six players to start all 46 games for the Gulls, Mills' 12 doubles were a team best while she was second on the roster with a .727 slugging percentage.

Salisbury went 42-4 in 2013, winning the program's 18th Capital Athletic Conference championship to advance to its 18th NCAA tournament. Salisbury rolled through the Salem, Va., NCAA Regional unbeaten to qualify for the World Series for the seventh time, finishing third.

To see the entire ECAC South All-Star Team, click here.

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