Lady Barons' coach, 8 players earn GACC honors

Brewton-Parker College's second straight record-breaking season under Jason Bryant spawned nine award recipients from the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference, including Coach of the Year honors for Bryant.

The Lady Barons matched their season win total with a 34-16 record, equaling the victory mark set during Bryant's first season in 2003. In doing so, they set program records in GACC play with a 19-9 conference record and tied for third place.

"The girls won that for me," Bryant said of his award. "I appreciate it, but I attribute it to the team. The players win it for you. They worked hard and won, and that is when coaches win awards."

Brewton-Parker's only two seniors, pitcher Kelly Hamilton of Fergus, Ontario, and catcher Jaime Murrant of Kelowna, British Columbia, were first-team All-Conference selections.

All four of the Lady Barons' second-team selections joined Murrant - an All-Academic Team qualifier for the third straight year - as multiple award recipients.

Sophomore center fielder Ashley Todd made the second team and earned All-Academic honors, while infielder Alease Connell of Nashville, Ga.; infielder Lindsey Hamrick of Hiram; and infielder-outfielder Debbie Sooter of Meridian, Idaho, were both second-team All-Conference and All-Freshman Team selections.

Infielder Alysha Dowling of Nahunta and pitcher-infielder Brooke Outland of LaGrange also were All-Freshman Team honorees.

Hamilton earned All-Conference selection for the second straight year, completing the Lady Barons' 47 regular-season schedule with an 18-7 pitching record (most wins in GACC) and a 1.56 earned-run average (No. 2 in GACC) in 26 appearances with 23 starts and 12 complete games. Hamilton struck out a GACC-high 173 batters and allowed opponents a .194 batting average (No. 3 in conference) in 147-2/3 innings with 44 walks.

Murrant made the All-Academic list for the maximum third time with a 3.49 grade point average as an education major. On the field, she made 176 putouts (second on the team and tied for No. 7 in the GACC) and hit a team-leading nine doubles (tied for eighth in the GACC) with a .276 batting average and 18 runs batted in.

Todd, who has a 3.30 GPA in making the All-Academic list in her first year of eligibility, batted .301 during the regular season with 33 runs (tied for the team lead with Hamrick, with the pair tied for 10th in the GACC). Todd also had 15 RBI and three triples, ranking her eighth in the conference.

Connell batted .325 with team highs of 36 RBI (tied foe sixth in the GACC), a .556 slugging percentage (No.9 in the conference), all four of Brewton-Parker's home runs (tied for sixth in the GACC), five triples (second in the GACC) and 17 walks (fifth in the conference).

Hamrick led the conference with 27 stolen bases during the regular season and had the Lady Barons' highest batting average among regulars at .372 with 33 runs (tied with Todd for team high and tied for 10th in the GACC) and 15 RBI with three triples (tied for No. 8 in the GACC). Hamrick also had a team-high 57 assists (tied for eighth in the conference) and 13 sacrifice bunts (third in the GACC).

Sooter batted .292 with 18 RBI and had a fielding percentage of .965.

Dowling hit .282 with 11 RBI and 10 stolen bases, tying her for third in the GACC.

Outland was error-free in 48 fielding attempts - as was sophomore teammate Stacie Norton of Rincon - and was 1-1 with one save in 10 pitching appearances. Offensively, she hit .239 with nine RBI.

"We are losing two seniors who were big ingredients in our successes, but with who is coming back along with a good group of incoming freshmen, we should be able to compete even better next year," Bryant said. "Expectations will be higher."

Members and coaches of the 2004 Brewton-Parker College Lady Barons softball team are: (front row, from left) Alysha Dowling, Ashley Todd, Alease Connell, Jennifer Sapp, Kelly Foskey, (middle row) Amber Gibbs, Kasey Dominy, Amanda San U, Rachael Harper, Emily Woodard, Lindsey Hamrick, Brooke Outland, (back row) Head Coach Jason Bryant, Debbie Sooter, Kelly Phillips, Jaime Murrant, Stacie Norton, Kelly Hamilton, Rebecca Thompson, Tonya Golden, Keena Hallmanand pitching coach Lyndsay Gomme.