BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - A pair of Union College players, Bethany Outland and Abby Sears, were named to the 2009 All-Appalachian Athletic Conference Softball team, the organization announced.
Outland, a junior from Hopkinsville, Ky. started all 16 conference games for Union behind the plate. She posted a .327 batting average and added four doubles in conference play. Outland recorded 10 assists and did not commit an error in 127 chances. She also stole two bases against conference foes.
She had five multi-hit efforts including two three-hit contests. Against Bluefield (Va.) College on April 1, Outland went 3-for-3 and all three hits were doubles. She also had two hits in three straight AAC games down the stretch. With two outs, she owned a .353 average to keep the Union offense going.
Overall in 2009 she led the squad with a .303 batting average to go along with nine doubles and 19 RBIs. She committed only one error in 377 chances this season.
Sears went 5-3 in her first AAC campaign at Union. The freshman from London, Ky. led the squad with a 1.62 earned run average. In 52 innings Sears struck out 57 batters and only issued 22 walks. Opponents hit .213 off her. At the plate she owned a .204 batting average with four doubles and six RBIs during the conference season.
She started and ended her conference season with complete-game shutouts. It was her only two conference shutouts of 2009. Sears recorded 21 of her 57 in back-to-back games against Bluefield and Milligan (Tenn.) College. She had 10 strikeouts in the Bluefield contest followed by 11 against Milligan.
Her overall record was 13-11 with a 1.85 ERA. Sears recorded 160 strikeouts in 163 innings including seven complete game shutouts.
For the second straight season Union placed two players on the All-AAC team. Sarah Driver (Hopkinsville, Ky.) and Ashley Tatman (Lexington, Ky.) were on the 2008 All-AAC squad.
Union's 2009 run ended in the AAC Tournament Championship game Friday after winning five games in the losers' bracket. The Lady Bulldogs finished the season at 27-25 which is only the third winning season in 15 years as a fast-pitch program. The five-game winning streak in the tournament was the longest of the season for Union.