MEAC Announces 2022 Softball All-Conference Honors

Released by The MEAC,

 

NORFOLK, Va., May 10, 2022 – Norfolk State’s Tuli Iosefa was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Softball Player of the Year, presented by TowneBank, the conference office announced Tuesday. Norfolk State’s Kenna Higa and Maryland Eastern Shore’s Tatum Kresley are the league’s Co-Rookies of the Year and Anaya Hunte of Morgan State earned Pitcher of the Year honors. Karla Ross of Maryland Eastern Shore received Coach of the Year accolades.
All awards were voted on by the conference’s head softball coaches and sports information directors.

Iosefa, a First-Team All-MEAC pick in 2021, leads the league with nine home runs and hit .362 with 42 hits, 40 RBIs, 19 walks, seven doubles and a .655 slugging percentage on the season. Despite missing nine games due to injury to start the year, she managed to tie Norfolk State’s Division I career home run record (29) and leads the conference in slugging percentage in MEAC play (.889). Iosefa ranks in the top five in the conference in batting average (5th), slugging (2nd; .665), on-base percentage (4th; .464), and RBIs (4th).

Higa, a five-time MEAC Rookie of the Week selection this season, leads the conference in slugging percentage (.664) and on-base percentage (.473), is tied for the league lead in runs batted in (41) and is tied for second with eight home runs. Higa excelled in conference play, hitting .423 against league opponents and driving in a MEAC-best 29 runs. She also ranks in the top five in the conference in OPS (1st; 1.137), doubles (5th; 12) and sacrifice flies (T-1st; 4).

Kresley leads the conference in batting average (.437), hits (73), at bats (167) and stolen bases (37). Currently, she ranks seventh in the nation in stolen bases and 11th in batting average. Kresley has started all 49 games for the Hawks and is a National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year Top 25 finalist. She earned MEAC Rookie of the Week honors three times this season, while being named MEAC Player of the Week twice. In just her first season on the field for the Hawks, she rewrote the record books, setting new marks for hits and stolen bases in a season. Kresley has also spent time in the pitcher’s circle this season making nine appearances with three starts. She picked up her first win after a complete game on April 10 against Coppin State.

Hunte has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the league this season. A five-time MEAC Pitcher of the Week selection, Hunte pitched Morgan State’s first perfect game in a win over Delaware State on April 13. That game was also her first career no-hitter and saw the program’s strikeout record reset with 16 strikeouts. Hunte leads the MEAC in strikeouts (130) and is second in wins (14), earned run average (1.79) and opponent batting average (.175). For the season, she is 14-3 in 25 appearances and 15 starts and has logged 105.2 innings.

Ross led Maryland Eastern Shore to a stellar season after a 23-month hiatus because the Hawks opted out of the 2021 season. In her first year at the helm in 2019, the Hawks won 11 games, which was surpassed by this year’s 18 regular-season wins. Ross led her team, comprised of 11 rookies, to a 10-2 start in MEAC play and the team’s 13 MEAC wins are the most in school history. The Hawks also posted victories over Big 10 (Rutgers), Atlantic 10 (George Mason) and Horizon League (Purdue Fort Wayne) opponents this season. Ross has led the Hawks to their first MEAC Tournament appearance since 2009.

Joining Iosefa, Higa, Kresley and Hunte on the All-MEAC First Team are Howard’s Lealani Ricks and Kalita Dennis, Maryland Eastern Shore’s Julia Garcia, Norfolk State’s Joanna Vallejo, Gabby Vaughan and Imani Moore and North Carolina Central’s Jaylah Barr.

The 2022 MEAC Softball Championship begins Wednesday, May 11 at 12 p.m. at the Norfolk State Softball Field in Norfolk, Va. The championship game will be played on Saturday, May 14 at 12 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the MEAC Digital Network on YouTube.

For more information on the 2022 MEAC Softball Championship, please visit the Championship Central page.

 

2022 All-MEAC Softball Teams and Awards
As voted on by the league’s head softball coaches and sports information directors

Player of the Year: Tuli Iosefa, Norfolk State
Co-Rookies of the Year: Kenna Higa, Norfolk State / Tatum Kresley, Maryland Eastern Shore
Pitcher of the Year: Anaya Hunte, Morgan State
Coach of the Year: Karla Ross, Maryland Eastern Shore

 

FIRST TEAM
Pos.NameSchoolClassHometown
PAnaya HunteMorgan StateSo.Burlington, N.J.
PJoanna VallejoNorfolk Stater-Sr.Manassas, Va.
CJulia GarciaMaryland Eastern Shorer-Fr.Cornwall, N.Y.
1BGabby VaughanNorfolk StateSr.Chesapeake, Va.
2BLealani RicksHowardFr.Madera. Calif.
3BKenna HigaNorfolk StateFr.Honolulu, Hawaii
SSJaylah BarrNorth Carolina CentralSo.Batesburg-Leesville, S.C.
OFTatum KresleyMaryland Eastern Shorer-Fr.Alburtis, Pa.
OFKalita DennisHowardSr.Elk Grove, Calif.
OFImani MooreNorfolk StateJr.Los Angeles, Calif.
UTLTuli IosefaNorfolk Stater-Sr.Virginia Beach, Va.
SECOND TEAM
Pos.NameSchoolClassHometown
PAlexis RobinsonNorfolk StateJr.Virginia Beach, Va.
PAnalise De La RocaHowardGr.San Pedro, Calif.
CAlyssa VasquezHowardFr.Downey, Calif.
1BVictoria BrownHowardFr.Carson, Calif.
2BMia EwellMorgan StateSo.Portland, Ore.
3BMaegan GarrisonNorth Carolina CentralJr.Harrisburg, N.C.
SSIsabella ZalbaCoppin StateJr.San Mateo, Calif.
OFAliya EwellMorgan StateSr.Portland, Ore.
OFAlison GuckinNorfolk StateSr.Virginia Beach, Va.
OFPayton QuinonezHowardFr.Tulare, Calif.
UTLCamille NavarroHowardSr.Los Angeles, Calif.
THIRD TEAM
Pos.NameSchoolClassHometown
PMelissa PazMorgan StateJr.Sylmar, Calif.
PNasya GoodmanMaryland Eastern ShoreGr.Willingboro, N.J.
CHailey BatistaNorth Carolina CentralSo.Mebane, N.C.
1BMadison MifsudNorth Carolina CentralSr.Jacksonville, Fla.
2BBrissa AlvaradoCoppin Stater-Jr.Rialto, Calif.
3BAvianna PetersonCoppin StateJr.Niagara Falls, N.Y.
SSKatariina DelphMorgan StateJr.Waldorf, Md.
OFYrral DavisNorfolk Stater-So.Norfolk, Va.
OFAlyssa WatsonHowardFr.Eastvale, Calif.
OFAsia ThomasMorgan StateJr.Tampa, Fla.
UTLVanessa CarrizosaCoppin StateSo.Moreno Valley, Calif.
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A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.