By Laura Tome
The Southern Virginia University softball team finished its inaugural season as an NCAA DIII Capital Athletic Conference member 5-26 overall and 1-13 in conference play.
As a team, the Knights finished with a .216 batting average, .261 on-base percentage and a .271 slugging percent. The team earned 136 hits, 16 doubles, five triples, three home runs, 31 walks and a Capital Athletic Conference high 60 stolen bases. The Knights swept Maine-Presque Isle in a triple-header to pick up its first victories of the season.
During her final year as head coach, Duste Grawrock guided her team to a long-awaited victory over long-time ODAC rival, Bridgewater College. The Knights last defeated the Eagles on April 15, 2004, under head coach Deidra Dryden.
The Knights went on to record their first official conference win over Penn State Harrisburg on April 12. The victory also marked their third shutout of the season.
Hegsted ended the season ranked 28th in the league with a team-high .389 batting average, .436 on-base percentage, a .486 slugging percentage to go with 28 hits. She led the team as well as the entire conference with 19 stolen bases. The Rupert, Idaho, native had the second-most doubles on the team with four, third in RBI with nine and tied for the most home runs.
Hegsted began the year at shortstop, but after senior third baseman and fellow team captain Sara Harmon suffered an injury early in the season, she stepped up to fill the role. She proved more than capable, recording a .896 fielding percentage after 48 put outs and 72 assists.
Freshman centerfielder McKenzie Packard also ended her first season ranking 28th overall in the CAC. Packard trailed Hegsted with a .264 batting average, .316 on-base percentage and a .333 slugging percentage. She lead the team in RBI with 12 and a .978 fielding percentage after 43 put outs and only one error.
The Spanish Fork, Utah, native earned two triples and tied for the second-most hits with 19 in addition to the second-most walks on the team. Packard tied for the most homeruns after her first-ever collegiate homerun against CAC foe York. She finished the season ranked fifth in the CAC with 10 stolen bases, second most on the team.
Sophomore Katie Evans also ended the season joining her teammates at the 28th place ranking. Evans led the team with five doubles and the most runs with 12. She tied for the most homeruns after her first-ever collegiate homerun against CAC foe Frostburg State. She also tied for the second most hits (19) and recorded the second most RBI (10). Evans finished with a .247 batting average, .284 on base percentage and a .351 slugging percentage.
The native of Soda Springs, Idaho, completed the year ranked sixth in the CAC with nine stolen bases and third on her team. As a first-year catcher, Evans caught nine runners stealing and earned a second-place ranking in the CAC for runners caught stealing. Evans recorded 59 put outs and 19 assists.
Junior pitcher Jamie Pinkston recorded 25 strikeouts, three shutouts and three wins after 94 innings in the circle. Pinkston tallied 35 put outs, 27 assists and earned a .954 fielding percentage. At the plate, Pinkston recorded 10 hits and four runs. Freshman pitcher Cassandra Pacheco totaled 20 strikeouts and two wins after 53.1 innings in the circle. She earned 23 put outs and 14 assists. At the plate, Pacheco had six hits, one double, two runs and had the fourth most RBI with seven.
Freshman Kelsey Bair totaled 37 put outs and 21 assists to earn a .935 fielding percentage during her time on the field. Bair recorded two strikeouts during her time in the circle. At the plate, she led the team with eight walks and two triples to earn a .314 on-base percentage and .302 slugging percentage. The Hyrum, Utah, native also had three stolen bases and the fifth most RBI on the team with six.
Junior middle infielder MaKenzie Cox ranked third on the team with 17 hits and earned two doubles, a triple, one stolen base and two RBI. Defensively, she tallied 28 put outs and 45 assists. After joining the team late in the season, freshman McKell LeJeunesse earned five hits, four runs, one RBI, and ranked fourth on the team with five stolen bases. She totaled 20 put outs, 15 assists and earned a .921 fielding percentage.
The Knights will learn from their inaugural year in the CAC and return ready to compete both offensively and defensively to earn a spot at the CAC tournament next season.