LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced its 2016 All-Region teams and the No. 2 Salisbury University softball team tied for most in the nation with six selections to the squad, including three on the first team.
Seniors Kim Dorsey, Paige Knussman, and Molly Simpson each earned first-team honors, while senior Annah Brittingham, junior Caitlin Lake, and freshman Brooke Mizelle were each named to the second team of the Atlantic Region.
The trio of first-team players started every game during the 2016 season, with Simpson and Dorsey at the middle infield spots, at second base and shortstop, respectively, while Knussman earned her honor at the utility spot, splitting time between first base and catcher this season.
Dorsey finished the 2016 season as the team leader in batting average (.473) and runs batted in (59), ranking in the top five in the nation in RBI. Through her career, Dorsey has been a potent hitter, reaching second in program history in home runs (34), while climbing into the program's top 10 in RBI, runs scored, and triples.
Simpson ranks in the top 15 nationally in four different statistical categories, being fourth in home runs with 14, eighth in runs scored per game crossing home 1.37 times per game and slugging .861 which ranks 14th.
Knussman has been a mainstay in the lineup for Salisbury throughout her four years, and after starting the season at first base, stepped into the starting catcher position due to injury. Knussman ranks second in program history with 191 runs batted in, and is tied for third in career runs scored. This season, she leads the team with 16 doubles while driving in 51 runs with a .434 batting average.
Lake, a stellar defensive outfielder, forced her way into the lineup on a regular basis with a .409 batting average this season and a team-best five triples to go with 25 runs scored. She has appeared in every game this year, and notched one outfield assist.
Brittingham and Mizelle make up 239 of Salisbury's 271 innings in the circle this year, leading the pitching staff to a 1.39 earned-run average, which is fifth best in the nation.
Brittingham posted a 19-3 record in 2016, starting 24 games and tossing 11 complete games. Her 3.88 hits allowed per seven innings rank fourth nationally and her strikeout totals, of 142 in 131 2/3 innings, put her in the top 50.
Mizelle, in her first season in maroon and gold, earned the second-most wins by a freshman in program history with an 18-2 record on the year, with a 1.11 ERA, which ranks eighth in Division III softball. She surrendered just 22 walks in 107 1/3 innings while striking out 97.
Brittingham and Mizelle both did damage at the plate as well, with Brittingham batting .396 with 17 extra-base hits and 39 runs scored. Mizelle was a .339 hitter, scoring 11 times and driving in a dozen.
The Salisbury program has now earned 109 all-region picks in program history, including 67 on the first team.
The Sea Gulls earned the program's 19th Capital Athletic Conference championships, qualified for the NCAA tournament, and traveled to the Norfolk, Virginia regional, where they advanced to the title game before falling to Haverford College, 7-6.