MELBOURNE, FL – Five Florida Southern softball players have been selected to the All-Sunshine State Conference Team voted upon by league coaches. The five all-conference players are the most for Florida Southern since six made the All-SSC Team in 2009.
Earning a spot on the All-SSC First Team were junior outfielder Shannon Bell (Plant City, FL) and freshman designated player Alex Mace (Winter Haven, FL). On the Second Team were senior third baseman Erica Morrissey (Lakeland, FL), junior outfielder Desirae Klumpp (Ontario, CA) and sophomore catcher Zierra Flodman (Eagle, NE). All five are making the all-conference team for the first time.
In her first season at Florida Southern after two years at Hillsborough Community College, Bell led the Moccasins in batting average (.345), hits (50), runs scored (29), extra base hits (12), slugging percentage (.455) and stolen bases (8). Her extra base numbers included a team-high nine doubles, two triples and one home run, and she had 12 RBI while batting either first or second all year. Bell was even better in conference play, hitting .388, which ranked fourth in the SSC. She was just as impressive defensively while playing every inning in centerfield where she committed only one error in 75 chances and led the Mocs with six outfield assists.
Mace was one of six freshmen on this year's all-conference team (three First Team and three Second Team) and only the second Florida Southern freshman to earn All-SSC honors in the last eight years. She hit .257 overall, but like so many of her teammates, that average climbed as the Mocs went further into the season and she owned a .346 average in conference play that was second on the team to Bell. Mace had three doubles, one home run and 11 RBI for the season before missing the final six games due to injury. Her .387 average with runners in scoring position ranked second on the team and was the best for a Moccasin freshman in the last 11 years.
Morrissey is only the third Florida Southern third baseman to make the all-conference team since 2000, joining Stephanie Huber (2004 and '05), and Brittany Martin (2012). Morrissey was second on the squad this year with a .317 batting average but number one in on-base percentage at .410, factoring in her team-high 20 walks. She added eight doubles, one home run and 20 RBI while stealing seven bases in eight attempts. Morrissey also committed just five errors while playing every inning at third base, and her .961 fielding percentage was second in the SSC at that position. It was also the best for a Moccasin third baseman since Nikki Henderson set the school record of .963 in 2007.
Klumpp, who was Bell's junior college teammate, made her presence felt too in her first season at Florida Southern. She started all but one game for the Moccasins in leftfield, hit .298 overall and .329 in their 24 conference games. Her .380 on-base percentage was second on the team, as were her 15 combined walks and HBPs. Where Klumpp really took off though was the back half of the schedule, as she hit .372 over the final six weeks, which covered five series. She also set a school record by handling 84 chances (80 putouts, 4 assists) in the outfield without committing an error, and she was the only starting outfielder in the SSC who did not commit one during the 2017 season.
Flodman is the first Florida Southern catcher to make the all-conference team since Leah English did so as a senior in 2007. In similar fashion to Klumpp, Flodman turned things up the second half of the season when she established herself as one of the league's top hitters during that time. Overall, she hit .268 with seven doubles, one home run and 19 RBI, but from March 3 forward, Flodman had a team-leading .317 average with 15 of her RBI in those 28 games. That included one 15-game stretch against Barry, Saint Leo, Palm Beach Atlantic, Florida Tech and Nova Southeastern in which she hit .375 (15-for-40). Seven of her nine multi-hit games came over the second half of the season.
The five all-conference selections was tied with Barry for the second most from any school in the SSC this season. Only SSC champion Saint Leo had more with six. The Lions swept the league's top individual awards with Kacie Kelly being voted both the SSC Player-of-the-Year and Freshman-of-the-Year, Stephanie Adkins voted the SSC Pitcher-of-the-Year for the second year in a row, and Erin Kinberger sharing Coach-of-the-Year honors with Leslie Kanter of Tampa.
The complete All-Sunshine State Conference Softball Team can be found here.