ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond softball team had a conference-high five players named to the 2018 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference Team, which the league released earlier this week.
Seniors Bri Baysek and Owen Bowers, juniors Savannah Lampley and Greyson Way, and freshman Paige Ransom were all recognized for their contributions to another historic run for the Lady Raiders. Bowers and Lampley were tabbed all-conference for the third time, Way is now a two-time selection, and both Baysek and Ransom received their first-ever nod.
Way, junior ace, was named SAC Player of the Year after helping Richmond to its third straight regular season conference championship and its second conference tournament title in the last three years.
She more than delivered during her debut season inside the circle, racking up 24 wins and earning 252 strikeouts — both the second most in the state — in 177.1 innings. Way was the only player to throw a pitch for Richmond in 29 games played and was able to walk away from the 2018 season with a pair of no-hitters under her belt.
As a batter, the future UNCG Spartan finished with 43 hits, a team-best 41 RBI and a .443 batting average. She had 12 doubles on the season and hit eight home runs — one being a grand slam at Seventy-First in the SAC tournament.
Baysek, senior outfielder, was among the top five on the team in almost every hitting category: tying for second in triples (2), finishing third in both hits (42) and doubles (10), fourth in batting average (.412) and fifth in home runs (7). She tied for sixth on team, with freshman infielder Payton Chappell, in runs batted in (32).
Bowers, senior catcher, smacked 10 homers — tied for fifth most in the state and second most in the conference — in her final campaign and is now the program’s all-time leader in home runs (32). She finished with 35 RBI on 31 hits, a team-high 231 put outs and had a .988 fielding percentage. Bowers will spend the next two years at Florida SouthWestern State College.
Lampley, junior shortstop, has not missed out on an all-conference team yet in her career. The future UNCW Seahawk scored more runs than anyone else in the state (56) and, once again, led the Lady Raiders in hits (53), stolen bases (36) and batting average (.535). She would finish with 29 put outs, 27 assists and a .933 fielding percentage.
Ransom, freshman right fielder, hit the most home runs in the conference (11) in her first season — breaking the program record, which was set by Way in 2016, for the most dingers hit by a freshman. Ransom had one of the more reliable bats on the team, finishing second in both batting average (.473) and runs batted in (38). She ended the season with 35 hits.
Jack Britt’s Sebrina Wilson was named SAC Coach of the Year. She led the Lady Buccaneers a second-place finish in the conference with a 10-4 record and then to the NCHSAA 4A State Championship Series, which they won in three games over the same South Caldwell team that defeated Richmond in the Western Regional Finals.
Below is the full list of the 2018 Sandhills Athletic Conference team and award winners:
RICHMOND — Bri Baysek, Owen Bowers, Savannah Lampley, Paige Ransom, Greyson Way
JACK BRITT — Kassidy Hardee, Carlie Myrtle, Savannah Roddey Rayven Shepard
LUMBERTON — Madison Canady, Erin Maynor, Lee Ann Nobles, Kasey West
PURNELL SWETT — Magan Barton, JaiLena Deese, Kaitlyn Hunt, Madison Strickland
HOKE COUNTY — Alexis Blackwell, Jessica Cardona
SCOTLAND — Macie Gibson, Katie Lighthall
PINCREST — Katelyn Chisholm
SEVENTY-FIRST — Unique Nash
PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Greyson Way (Richmond)
COACH OF THE YEAR — Sebrina Wilson (Jack Britt)
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.