NSA baseball, softball players honoredPublished 9:45pm Thursday, May 16, 2013
Three Lady Saints capped off their successful softball season by being named to the 2013 All-Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools First Team, and the NSA baseball team also contributed a first-teamer to the conference recognitions.
The softball honorees were seniors Devin Coyne and Katelyn McCracken and junior Macy Mears, who was named to the first team for the fourth consecutive year. Junior Jake Grady capped off a strong year with his inaugural appearance on the first team for baseball.
After losing six starting seniors from the 2012 softball squad that won the TCIS tournament crown, this year’s Lady Saints performed admirably, going 8-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference for the regular season. They got back to the TCIS title game, losing only 3-0 to essentially the same Greenbrier Christian Academy team from the 2012 championship game.
Like every year since 2010, when she was in eighth grade, Mears was a key ingredient in the success that NSA had this season.
“Macy is the best all-around player that we have,” Nansemond-Suffolk head coach Kim Aston said. “She excels on offense, defense, fundamentally, she’s sound.”
Mears, who was her team’s lead-off batter, earned her first-team spot this year with a .667 batting average, 20 hits, 13 RBIs, 16 runs scored, seven stolen bases, four doubles, and four triples. She bats left and exhibited the ability to hit for power, to slap or bunt. She also contributed to the defense at both shortstop and catcher.
McCracken has distinguished herself as the Lady Saints’ best centerfielder and most valuable defensive player, Aston added. Her contributions were generous on offense, as well.
“She, this year, has hit the ball really well,” Aston said. “She had some big hits in games.”
She posted a batting average of .536 with 15 hits, 12 RBIs, 10 runs, two doubles and four triples.
After making second team All-TCIS last year, this was her first time reaching the first team.
“It’s something that I’ve been working towards since I’ve started playing softball, so it’s really an honor to be on it,” McCracken said.
The honor was also a first for Coyne, who made the second team two years before.
“I’m really excited,” Coyne said. “It’s something I’ve been working towards, and especially to finally get it your senior year, it feels awesome,” she said.
“In our conference, Devin has had an outstanding year, and this is the first year that she has pitched all the time,” Aston said.
Coyne shared the mound as a sophomore and was sidelined by injury in her junior year.
She had a 2.0 earned run average and threw strikeouts in double figures for the vast majority of regular season games; she pitched no-hitters, one-hitters, and was even close to a perfect game on one occasion.
She was also dangerous at the plate, with a .600 batting average, 18 hits, eight RBIs and 12 runs.
She will continue to pitch next year in college at Widener University.
Freshman Brooklyn Carr and eighth-grader Delaney Taylor made the All-TCIS Second Team.
In baseball, Jake Grady made his presence known on offense.
“Jake led the team in batting average, runs scored, stolen bases, pretty much all the offensive categories,” NSA head coach David Mitchell said.
In 60 at-bats, he had a .400 batting average, producing 24 hits, including nine doubles and one home run. He had 18 RBIs, 21 runs scored and had a slugging percentage of .600. He also stole 15 bases and was walked 13 times.
Whether it was at bat or in centerfield, Grady proved to be a role model for other players.
“He’s not a big vocal guy, but early to practice, leaves late, helps around the ball park, hustles on and off the field, just a leader-by-example-type guy,” Mitchell said.
Senior Alan Meyers was named to the All-TCIS Second Team.