Seahawk Softball trio earns All-CAA honors

RICHMOND, Virginia (UNCW Sports) – UNCW senior pitchers Laurel Koontz and Haley Lenderman and freshman infielder Jada Santiago have been recognized by the Colonial Athletic Association’s head softball coaches for their play during the 2019 season.

Koontz and Lenderman each earned a spot on the All-CAA Second Team while Santiago received All-Rookie Team distinction in voting by the league’s head coaches.

A native of Mills River, N.C., Koontz authored a 6-1 record in the circle with a 3.13 earned run average. The right-handed hurler also tallied two saves and recorded 28 strikeouts in 60.1 innings. In the Seahawks’ 6-1 victory over Hofstra on Apr. 27, Koontz threw the first complete game of her college career by scattering eight hits with a strikeout.

Koontz finished her career with a 9-3 record and 2.70 earned run average in 70 career appearances. She also tallied five career saves, tying her for first in program history.

Lenderman, meanwhile, paced the Seahawks’ pitching staff with 10 victories and recorded a 3.40 ERA in 138.0 innings. The Rochester Hills, Mich., product twirled 11 complete games and tallied five shutouts in her senior campaign, including a 1-0 shutout of Drexel on Apr. 7.

In addition, Lenderman was named as the CAA Pitcher of the Week on Mar. 18 after surrendering one earned run in 21.0 innings at the Lafayette Ford Lincoln of Fayetteville Seahawk Softball Invitational with back-to-back shutouts against Youngstown State. She completed her career with a 24-34 record and seven shutouts, matching Koontz for the program’s all-time lead with five saves.

“I am very excited for Laurel and Haley to have earned this recognition from the CAA coaches,” Coach Kristy Norton said. “They each put an extensive amount of time in this season on leadership, getting healthy and perfecting their craft. As cliché as it sounds, they left it all on the field for their team this year.”

Santiago completed her rookie campaign as the Seahawks’ second-leading hitter with a .290 average in 52 starts. The Pine Level, N.C., product was a two-time CAA Rookie of the Week selection and tied for the team lead with 42 hits, including eight doubles, one triple and six home runs.

Santiago recorded a trio of three-hit efforts during the season, including a 3-for-3 showing against Hofstra on Apr. 27 that included a triple and two runs scored.

According to Norton, “Jada grew immensely this season. She went from a nervous first-year college athlete to a strong and confident performer at the plate and as a catcher behind the plate. She came through in some clutch situations for our team this season.

“I am hopeful that she will use this accolade to continue to move forward in her career and continue to set the bar high for herself and her team.”

Categories: Sports

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