Softball's All-Anniversary Team Revealed
Fans voted who has been the best for the Herd
Jan. 26, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Following a five day online fan vote, the Marshall softball All-Anniversary team was revealed at the team’s second annual Diamond Club Dinner Friday evening.
Fan’s voted online at HerdZone.com for a 12 team roster for the All-Anniversary team, which is part of Marshall’s celebration for the 20th year of the softball program.
One catcher, four infielders, three outfielders, two utility players, and two pitchers were selected.
The following players received the highest votes totals per position. Catcher: Rachel Folden; Infield: Vanessa Clarkson, Nichole Corrigan, Alianna Telles, Jessica Williams; Outfield: Joscelyn (J.J.) Bitner, Jeanne Noble; Amanda Williams; Utility/DP: Sierra Davenport, Caitlyn Jackson; Pitcher: Sara Gulla, Randi Nielson.
A total of 3,170 ballots were submitted and in total 11,268 votes were tallied.
38 former players were selected by the Thundering Herd’s softball staff. Current 2013 players were not eligible.
Marshall’s season gets under way Feb. 8 in Tampa, Fla. at the USF-Demarini Tournament. The Herd takes on no. 15 Michigan and no. 12 USF on the first day of play.
MARSHALL SOFTBALL ALL-ANNIVERSARY TEAM
As a four-time All-American, Rachel Folden (2005-08) still sits in first or second in almost every major stat category at Marshall. She was a career .405 hitter, which included her .425 batting average during her senior campaign, which is the best mark ever in Herd softball history. Career-wise, her batting average is the best mark ever as is her 266 career hits and 58 home runs.
Folden was first team All-Conference and All-Region all four of her years. She was named the 2006 Conference USA Player of the Year and was the 2005 Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year. She almost was two-time academic all-conference and a three-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Vanessa Clarkson (1999-02) was a member of the Herd from 1999 to 2002. She hit a lifetime .284, which included her best mark of .318 in her junior year. She is third in the career records with 43 doubles and 35 hit by pitches. Clarkson’s 15 doubles in 2001 is tied for the seventh best mark in school history. She was named second team All-MAC in 2000 and second team All-Region in 2001.
A career .312 hitter, Nichole Corrigan (1999-02) donned the Herd uniform along with Clarkson. Her .312 average is eighth best among Herd players. She batted .352 and .344 during her final two seasons with the Herd. Corrigan collected 68 hits during her junior season, the fourth best mark in Herd history. She also collected 16 doubles that season, the sixth best total ever. She was named first team All-MAC twice and was named All-Region twice as well. She was a two-time NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete and received the Commissioner’s Academic Award twice.
As a four-year starter at short stop, Alianna Telles (2009-12) is scattered throughout the Marshall offensive records. She stands fourth in career doubles at 41 after collecting 15 in 2012, tied for the seventh best number in Herd history. She is tied for fourth all-time in home runs with 27 and seventh in runs batted in with 104. With 191 career hits, Telles sits ninth all-time. She was named to the 2009 C-USA All-Freshman team and picked up a second team All-Conference award in 2012. Twice she was named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
As a four-year starter, Jessica Williams (2003-06) was known for getting on-base in her four years with the Herd. She sits eighth in career hits with 201, third in walks with 86 and fifth in runs scored with 124. Williams also utilized her gifted speed to swipe 64 career bases, tied for ninth best all-time. She also won numerous awards during her time. She was twice named first team all-conference and second team all-conference, was a NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete twice, was on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2006 and received the softball leadership award as a senior.
Joscelyn Bitner (2006-09) or better known as J.J., batted a career .318, the sixth best mark in school history. Her .367 mark in her senior season is the ninth best average among Herd players. Her 67 hits during her sophomore campaign is the seventh best number ever and 31 stolen bases that season ranks sixth bets all-time. She ties Jessica Williams in career stolen bases with 64. Bitner was named to the C-USA All-Freshman team in 2006 and twice was named to the C-USA all-conference second team. She also was named first team all-region in 2009 and to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2006.
The only player to be voted on this team that was one of the original members of the Marshall softball team is Jeanne Noble (1994-95). She batted a career .333 in two seasons with the Herd. She drove in 59 career runs while scoring 40 times herself. She had 81 career hits with 17 coming as doubles. Noble stands fourth in career batting average and is the only person to play less than four years to appear in the top 10 of career average. She earned Southern Conference All-Conference accolades in 1995 for her performance.
Known for her speed and twin sister Jessica, Amanda Williams (2003-06) was an impressive player in four years. She posted a career batting average of .370, which included .421 her freshman season. She sits second all-time in career average and first in runs scored with 184. She also holds Marshall’s all-time doubles mark with 68, which included a record 24 in her senior season. Williams’ 75 hits in her freshman season still stands as the best single-season mark in school history. She was a four-time first team all-conference selection and four-time all-region selection. Academically she was a two-time NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete and was on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2006.
As a versatile player, Sierra Davenport (2001-04) both pitched and hit extremely well. She batted .352 for her career while also compiling a 2.17 earned run average and 22 wins. She is the career leader in stolen bases with 130, 27 better than the next player. She has the best two seasons ever for steals with 40 and 41 in her final two years. Additionally her batting average ranks third all-time and her 235 runs scored are third. In the circle she had a 1.85 ERA during her freshman year, the 10th best such mark while her career ERA is fourth best. She was named MAC player of the year in 2004 and was four-time All-Conference team member. She was all-region twice and a NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete in 2003.
Caitlyn Jackson (2007-10) was extremely versatile in her four years in the green and white. She was a .321 lifetime hitter with 212 hits and 89 RBI. In the circle she had 247 strikeouts and 28 wins. She ranks fifth in career batting average, ninth in runs, fifth in hits and tied for eighth in doubles with 34. Jackson’s win total is the ninth best in Marshall history while her career strikeouts ranks eighth. She a member of the 2007 C-USA All-Freshman team and was twice named All-Region. She was voted to the 2009 C-USA All-Tournament team as well.
With a 1.83 career earned run average, Sara Gulla (1998-01) was a tough force for opposing batters. She compiled 48 wins in her four seasons and struck out 727 batters, which included a single-season record 270 in her final year. She has the lowest ERA in Marshall history at 1.01 which came in her junior year. Gulla’s strikeout total is the highest such number in MU history, as is her career ERA. She is fourth in career wins and second in innings pitched. She was twice named first team All-MAC and won five pitcher of the week awards.
Randi Nielson (2002-05) put together a career 1.92 earned run average during four seasons from inside the circle. She accumulated a record of 61-43 in time, the second most wins in school history. Her 1.32 earned run average in 2003 is the second best figure. She also collected the second most wins in a single-season with 23 during the same 2003 year. Nielson also struck out 485 batters, the third most ever and had 19 career shut outs, third most as well. She was named MAC pitcher of the year in 2003 and was a two-time first team All-MAC selection. She was named All-Region in 2003 and was academic all-conference twice. Additionally she was a NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete twice.