Eight Greyhounds Earn Softball Landmark All-Conference Honors; Novak, Spilman & Byrne Receive Major Awards

The Greyhounds had eight student-athletes selected to the Landmark All-Conference teams.
The Greyhounds had eight student-athletes selected to the Landmark All-Conference teams.

TOWSON, Md. --- The Moravian College has had a eight student-athletes earn Landmark All-Conference honors including four First Team honorees with junior center fielder Kat Spilman selected as the Co-Player of the Year, senior pitcher Josie Novak named the Pitcher of the Year for a third consecutive spring and Head Coach John Byrne selected as the Coach of the Year for a third straight season.

Spilman and Novak also earned spots on the All-Conference First Team, and they are joined by junior third baseman Madison Shaneberger, sophomore utility player Lauren Goetz and freshman right fielder Brooke Wehr. Senior pitcher Amanda Carisone, senior first baseman Jean Markovic and freshman second baseman Shannon Brogan were selected to the All-Conference Second Team.

"It is a tremendous compliment about the quality of program and our players when nearly all of your everyday starters and pitchers are selected to the All-Conference squads," Byrne commented. "They have all had very good seasons, and we wouldn't be heading to the postseason again without the contributions they make game in and game out."

Byrne has been honored as the Landmark Conference Coach of the Year for the fifth time in his career, and it is his ninth conference Coach of the Year selection. Byrne is in his 25th season at Moravian with a career record of 815-239 while leading the Greyhounds to 24 straight postseason appearances including 16 NCAA Division III Tournament berths.

"Congratulations to Coach Byrne and his staff on garnering another Coaching Staff of the Year honor," stated Director of Athletics Mary Beth Spirk. "John continues to produce competitive teams year in and year out. We are fortunate to have here at Moravian."

The Greyhounds are currently ranked No. 11 in the nation in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 Poll, sixth in the latest NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional Rankings and 29-5 on the year. Moravian is the top seed in the 2018 Landmark Conference Tournament after an 11-1 regular season mark in conference action, and the Hounds will be hosting the tournament at Blue & Grey Field on Friday and Saturday, May 4-5.

Spilman, who was the 2016 Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year and a member of the All-Conference Second Team the last two season, is currently hitting .427 to lead the squad. Spilman has added 44 hits, 30 runs, seven doubles, four triples, six homers, 32 RBIs, 16 walks, a .504 on-base percentage and a .748 slugging percentage this season. Spilman became the 45th member of Moravian's 100-hit club earlier this spring.

"Kat has been one of our leaders at the plate all season," Byrne said. "She has really been putting the bat on the ball well all season and finding the gaps for all of her extra-base hits."

Novak, who was the 2016 and 2017 Landmark Conference Pitcher of the Year and the 2015 Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year, earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team for a fourth consecutive season. This spring, Novak is 15-2 heading into the conference tournament, and she has a 1.50 ERA, four shutouts, 28 walks and 115 strikeouts in 112 innings in the circle. Novak, who has also been on the NFCA All-Atlantic Region selection the last three springs and was an NFCA Second Team All-American in 2018, has a career total of 589 strikeouts, the third player in school history to reach 500 career strikeouts, and her 71 career victories are third in the Moravian record books.

"I'm not sure what more I can say about the outstanding career that Josie has had her at Moravian since she'll finish in the top five in almost every pitching category," noted Byrne. "Josie has done a tremendous job of keeping opposing hitters off balance with her numerous pitches, and she has had great control again this season. We're definitely going to miss her but we have some unfinished business with games still to be played."

Shaneberger earns All-Conference honors for the second time in her career after being on the All-Conference Second Team as a freshman in 2016. This season, Shaneberger is hitting .354 with 35 hits, 19 runs, eight doubles, two homers and 22 RBIs.

Goetz, who was on the All-Conference Second Team in 2017, has split time between left field and designated player, and she is hitting .309 with 21 hits, 13 runs, five doubles, two home run and 17 RBIs.

Wehr has had a strong debut season for the Greyhounds with a .377 average, 43 hits, 41 runs, seven doubles, a team-leading nine home runs and 33 RBIs, which also leads the squad along with her five stolen bases.

Carisone earned a spot on the All-Conference teams for the fourth straight spring as she was on the First Team in 2016 and the Second Team in 2015 and 2017. Carisone has posted a 14-3 mark this spring with a 1.88 ERA, four shutouts, 19 walks and 60 strikeouts in 100.1 innings. She is fifth in school history with 352 strikeouts, and Carisone is fourth all-time with 69 wins as part of a 69-10 career record.

Markovic earns her first All-Conference honor on the softball field after being the 2017 Landmark Conference Women's Volleyball Specialist of the Year and on the All-Conference First team last fall with the volleyball squad. Markovic has 29 hits, 13 runs, three doubles, two triples and 23 RBIs while leading the Greyhounds with 240 putouts in the field.

Brogan has a .421 batting average in her first year with the squad to go along with 40 hits, 29 runs, seven doubles, two homers, 24 RBIs and four stolen bases.

The Hounds are scheduled to return to action on Friday, May 4 when the squad hosts fourth seed The Catholic University of America in the opening game of the 2018 Landmark Conference Tournament at Blue & Grey Field in Bethlehem with action slated to begin at 11:00 a.m.