BRISTOL, Tenn. – Prior to the start of the Conference Carolinas Softball Tournament, the league held a banquet to announce their all-conference performers. King University had six players recognized, and were led by Kay Brokering who garnered first team All-Conference Carolinas honors.
Brokering had a breakout season at first base for the Tornado, earning first team all-conference accolades for the first time in her career. Leading into the Conference Carolinas Tournament, Brokering is hitting .336 with a slugging percentage of .543 and on base percentage of .403. The Shelbyville, Ind., native has had a knack for the clutch hit all season, leading the team with 11 multiple RBI games. On the season she has posted 39 hits and ranks fifth in Conference Carolinas with 40 runs batted in.
King had five players selected second team all-conference, including outfielders Hannah Riddle and Kaycee Casteel who earned the honor for the first time. Riddle has had a spectacular year, leading Conference Carolinas in triples and total while ranking second with 63 hits, 46 runs batted in, 27 walks and a .744 slugging percentage. Her .404 batting average ranks fifth in the conference and her .489 on base percentage is third. The Greeneville, Tenn., native leads the Tornado with 18 multiple hit games and recently posted a 16-game hitting streak. Riddle also has 10 multiple RBI games, including two with at least five runs batted in.
Casteel has had a stellar season, raking third in the league with a batting average of .407 and ninth with an on base percentage of .448. The Bristol, Va., native has scored 30 runs, which ranks third among Tornado and 14th in the league. She is one of five Tornado to have at least 10 multiple hit games, entering the conference tournament with 10, including one with four hits. Casteel owns the longest reached base streak among Tornado as it sits at 22 straight games leading into the tournament.
Earning second team all-conference honors for the first time was Erin Roper at the utility position, playing outfield and designated player. Roper's batting average of .361 ranks 11th in the league while her two triples rank eighth. Earlier this season, the Morristown, Tenn., native posted a 13-game hitting streak, the second longest on the team. Roper has also posted eight multiple hit games and five multiple RBI games.
Also garnering second team All-Conference Carolinas honors for the first time was the battery of Oliva Lawson and Emma Hughes. Lawson has started 44 games at catcher, helping the Tornado post a team earned run average of 2.94, a mark that ranks fourth in the league. Offensively, Lawson has hit .244 this season, but owns a .302 batting average in Conference Carolinas play. The Rogersville, Tenn., native leads the conference, being hit by a pitch 15 times this season. She owns seven multiple RBI games and ranks fourth on the team with 25 runs batted in.
In the circle, Hughes has had a spectacular rookie season, posting a record of 17-5 with a 2.29 earned run average. She ranks second in the league in wins and eight in ERA. The native of Rogersville, Tenn., has posted 124 strikeouts, ranking her second in the conference. She closed the season with a win and a save over 18th-ranked Limestone College before striking out a career-high 13 batters at Winston-Salem State University and seven at Converse College. Hughes' 17 complete games rank second in the conference and her two shutouts are ninth. One of those shutouts came in a 1-0 win over 11th-ranked University of Charleston.
King earned the fourth seed in the Conference Carolinas Tournament and will take on fifth seed Erskine College at 11:00 a.m. on Friday at Springwood Park in Burlington, N.C.