ATLANTA – In exclusive voting by head coaches of the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), Berry head softball coach Cori Thiermann was named Coach-of-the-Year with senior Marie Collop earning Pitcher-of-the-Year honors. The pair headline nine Vikings named to the All-Conference teams.
Joining Thiermann and Collop, Elisabeth Federici, Brittany Tuttle, Kylie Aiken, Sarah Moore and Kayla Sangrey earned first-team honors. Second-team selections include Kenzie Fleming, Brittany Ferrell and Kassie Howard.
Earning her third straight All-SAA honor, Collop led the Vikings in the circle this year posting a 14-1 regular season record after tossing 90.2 innings for Berry. Collop boasts an SAA-best 0.69 ERA, striking out 82 batters in her 16 games for Berry. She ranks ninth in the nation in ERA as well, leading the Vikings to the fifth-lowest team ERA in the country. Collop held her opponents to less than five hits in every single appearance except for one this season, ranking in the top-five in every conference pitching category. Collop also led the SAA in RBI on the year (42) after hitting .343 throughout regular season play.
Thiermann earned her fourth career SAA Coach-of-the-Year honor after leading the Vikings to a program-best 35-2 overall record, as well as a 17-0 undefeated conference season. Berry scored nearly 300 runs in just 37 games, hitting .362 on the year under Thiermann's leadership. Behind Theirmann, the Vikings rank in the top-five in the nation in ERA (1.00), on base percentage (.443), scoring (7.97), shutouts (17) and win loss percentage (.946). Berry also earned their first ever No. 1-ranking in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll for three straight weeks earlier this season and are currently ranked No. 3 in the country.
Federici hit .378 on the year as she was named an All-SAA First Team outfielder for the second straight season. She knocked in 23 RBI on the year and scored 19 times for the Vikings, adding a career-best four home runs. She currently sits at third in the conference in home runs on the year, as well as 12th in both hits (37) and RBI (23). Federici also boasts a .941 fielding percentage in left field for Berry, adding 31 put outs and one assist on the year.
Tuttle earned her third straight All-SAA First Team outfield honor after hitting .436 on the year. She added 10 RBI and 36 runs in just 25 games for the Vikings, leading the conference with 28 stolen bases despite missing 10 games due to injury. She added 12 multi-hit games, as well as 10 games where she stole at least two bases. Tuttle also boasts a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in center field for Berry, adding 24 put outs and one assist on the season.
An at-large All-SAA First Team member, Kylie Aiken was named to the All-SAA first team for the second time in three years after hitting .350 on the season. Aiken added 11 RBI, scored 30 runs and stole 13 bases in her 34 games for the Vikings. She also posted a .942 fielding percentage at both second and third base, turning five double plays and adding 41 put outs and 40 assists on the year. Aiken currently ranks sixth in the conference in stolen bases, as well as seventh in the nation in triples on the year.
Earning her fourth consecutive All-SAA Honor, Moore tabbed an All-SAA First Team at-large spot as well. Moore hit .412 on the season for Berry, driving in 35 RBI and scoring 39 runs in her 37 games for the Vikings. Moore currently ranks in the top-five in three SAA categories including batting average, RBIs and stolen bases (19). She also sits at sixth in the nation in triples on the season, with six. Moore posted a .905 fielding percentage at shortstop for the Vikings as well, turning seven double plays, while adding 25 put outs and 70 assists.
Sangrey earned the final All-SAA First Team at-large honor for Berry, hitting .397 on the year. Sangrey was named All-SAA for the first time in her career after knocking in 22 RBI and scoring 19 runs in 31 games for Berry. Sangrey has added at least one hit in seven of the Vikings' last ten games, clinching their undefeated conference season with her first ever career home run against Millsaps last Saturday. She finished regular season play with a .981 fielding percentage for Berry as well, adding 95 put outs and six assists, while turning two double plays on the year.
Fleming earned a spot as the All-SAA Second Team catcher, earning league honors for the second straight year. She hit .337 for Berry, knocking in 28 RBI, scoring 16 runs and adding three home runs for the Vikings this season. Fleming also boasted an impressive .995 fielding percentage at catcher for Berry, adding 197 put outs and 14 assists, while throwing out four runners and allowing only six pass balls in her 34 games for the Vikings.
Ferrell earned her fourth consecutive All-SAA honor, hitting .343 in the leadoff spot for Berry. A Second Team All-Conference outfielder, Ferrell also scored a team-high 39 runs, brought home 13 batters and stole 14 bases in her 36 games for the Vikings. She also ranks in the top five in conference in walks per game (0.57), stolen bases per game (0.39) and runs per game (1.08) on the year. Ferrell boasts a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in both right and center field for Berry, finishing out regular season play with 26 put outs.
Howard earned the final All-SAA accolade for Berry after being named a Second Team All-Conference pitcher. A three-time All-SAA team member, Howard finished regular season play with a 14-1 record, tossing 100 innings in the circle for Berry. She posts an ERA of 1.19, while striking out 129 batters in her 17 starts on the mound. Howard allowed only 45 hits and 30 runs in Berry's 37 games, averaging a career-best 9.03 strikeouts per seven innings of work. Howard currently ranks in the top-five in the SAA in every pitching category, including strikeouts, ERA, wins and saves (1). She also ranks fifth in the nation in hits allowed per seven innings at 3.15.
The 35-2 Vikings will begin postseason play on Friday, April 21. Berry will take on the winner of Birmingham-Southern and Hendrix in a second round SAA Tournament matchup at 12:00 p.m. in Chattanooga, Tenn.