U.P. Softball's Ross Selected as All-American
The number of softball honors bestowed on Union Pines’ Tyler Ross just keeps on growing.
Most recently, the rising junior was named to the 2011 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American softball team. She also earned second team All-American honors for schools with enrollment sizes of less than 2,000 students.
The announcement came fresh on the heels of Ross being named the North Carolina Softball Coaches Association (NCSCA) 3A East Player of the Year and District 4 3A Player of the Year.
On the season, Ross batted .589 with 37 runs, 29 RBIs, five doubles and seven home runs, while swiping 42 bases, to win her second straight Cape Fear Valley Conference player of the year award.
Look for a feature package on the Lady Viking slugger Sunday in The Pilot’s sports section.
Lady Vikings Amber Nunnaley and Amber Williams joined Ross by recently being named as NCSCA 2011 All-District and All-State selections from Union Pines.
As a senior captain, Nunnaley played catcher in every inning the Lady Vikes played this season. In her fourth and final year, the recent Union Pines graduate batted .508 with 19 RBIs and 28 runs, while and only striking out at the plate once.
Viking head coach Randy Calcutt described Nunnaley’s contributions to the growth of the Union Pines softball program as “huge.”
“I cannot say enough about the quality leadership she has provided, especially this season,” Calcutt said, “and how much it has meant to our team.
“She is not a real vocal person, so she tended to lead more by example, and the example she set was always top notch. But she did become more vocal this season, which really helped because we were such a young group.”
In a storied 2011 campaign, the Lady Vikings captured an undefeated Cape Fear Valley Conference title and had five players earn all-league honors.
The team, which featured five freshman starters, made it to the playoffs for the second straight year. In the prior several seasons, wins were tough to come by for Union Pines. Over Nunnaley’s freshman and sophomore seasons, the Vikes finished last in the league standings both years and had a combined record of 12-3.
Union Pines then went 14-6 in its 2010 campaign, a season which saw Nunnaley earn all-conference and all-region honors.
“Amber is just the perfect example of what it takes to be a good ball player,” Calcutt said, “and more importantly a great person — she really epitomized the positive qualities and overall character of our ball team.
“For her to be able to go out on top like this, while also being able to instill in our younger players the sort of work ethic and attitude it takes to get to that level and stay there, is just amazing.
“I am just thrilled for her, as is our entire team, because she really deserves this.”
Meanwhile, freshman Williams finished her first Viking season going .412 with the stick, while tallying 23 RBIs, 20 runs and eight doubles.
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
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