Hudson Wins MEC Pitcher of the Year, Warner selected as MEC Coach of the Year

Pictured left to right: Grace Hightower, Alli Robinson, Hannah Hudson, Steve Warner and Abigail O’Shields. PHOTO COURTESY OF WVWC ATHLETICS

BRIDGEPORT — It would be safe to say that the MEC Conference tournament runners-up WVWC Lady Bobcats softball was well-represented on the list of MEC softball accolades. As the league office announced its awards and accolades this past Thursday, May 5. West Virginia Wesleyan senior pitcher Hannah Hudson was named Mountain East Conference Pitcher of the Year, while head coach Steve Warner has been picked as MEC Coach of the Year. 

Hudson, a native of Blackstone, Va., led the conference in ERA (1.20), wins (19), complete games (22), shutouts (7) and innings pitched (158.0). Her 165 strikeouts ranked third and she held hitters to a .179 batting average. Hudson was named MEC Player of the Week three times in 2022 and tossed a seven-inning no-hitter versus Wheeling on April 15. 

Warner guided the Bobcats to a 23-7 conference record and an MEC South Division Championship. The NCAA softball coaching legend collected his 1,100th career victory on March 7 versus Mercyhurst. It is the fifth time Warner has won MEC Coach of the Year. Warner was named the league’s best coach in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. 

Junior shortstop Alli Robinson and sophomore outfielder Grace Hightower joined Hudson on the All-MEC First Team, while junior pitcher Abigail O’Shields was added to the All-MEC Second Team. 

After being sidelined in 2021 due to injury, Robinson provided power to the Bobcat offense all season. The Buckhannon native’s combination of power and efficiency culminated in   her finishing atop the MEC in OPS 

(1.333), slugging percentage (.861), home runs (14) and RBIs (57). 

Hightower, the WVWC leadoff hitter, had a breakout sophomore season. From Barboursville, Hightower ranked seventh in the conference in batting average (.397) and had the highest batting average for the Lady Bobcats. Her 69 hits were the most by any player in the conference. 

O’Shields posted an ERA of 2.42 after throwing 101.1 innings in 2022. The native of Dagsboro, Del. accumulated 101 punchouts and held batters to a .196 batting average. O’Shields threw three shutouts and 12 complete games. 

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