LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As the No. 1 Salisbury University softball team continues play in the NCAA Salem Regional, the team received good news as six Sea Gulls were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region team.
Senior catcher Michelle Gravdahl makes her fourth appearance on the All-Region first team in her final season with the Sea Gulls. Gravdahl has been a mainstay in Salisbury's lineup ever since her freshman campaign with her senior season being one of her best yet. The catcher leads the Sea Gulls in batting average (.454), slugging percentage (.778), on-base percentage (.565), runs scored (40), hits (49), and walks (22) while also blasting eight home runs and nine doubles, good for a team second best. Gravdahl also ranks nationally in 10 categories with her highest ranking at 20 in on-base percentage.
A great bat along with the ability to call pitches makes Gravdahl a great asset to the maroon and gold as the Ellicott City, Md., native has helped SU to 18 shutouts. The senior calls the pitches while sophomore Rachel Johnson delivers them, as the sophomore makes her first appearance on the first team after being named to the third team in 2012.
Johnson, in only her second year in maroon and gold, has helped SU to a 36-2 record with 23 wins of her own and two saves. The sophomore set a new career-high in strikeouts with 17 twice this season. Along with her impressive strikeout count of 283, Johnson tossed two perfect games including a full seven-inning contest and a five-inning contest in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament. The Preston, Md., native has allowed 19 runs, 13 earned, in 153.0 innings pitched and has tossed 11 shutouts. Johnson ranks in seven national categories with her highest ranking, second, in earned run average, hits allowed per seven innings and shutouts.
Mills leads the team in home runs, with nine, and was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III Player of the Week on April 3. The senior is making her second appearance on the All-Region team with a first-team nod last season. This season Mills has produced a team-high 43 RBIs while touching home 31 times.
Alpaugh has been a force in the box this season. The outfielder has a team second-best batting average of .408 and is a reliable bunter, laying down 25 sacrifice bunts, good for second in the nation in sacrifice hits per game (0.65). Alpaugh has hit five doubles with two triples, while knocking in 17 RBIs. This is the senior's first All-Region accolade.
Larson is a first-time member of the All-Region team and a part of the dynamic SU pitching staff. The junior has gone 13-1 in the circle with 21 appearances and one save. The Frederick, Md., native ranks in the top 250 in the nation in victories, strikeouts and shutouts. Larson has 91 strikeouts in 92 innings pitched with just 18 walks.
After being named to the All-Region first team in 2011, Hill returns as a second-team member. Hill also ranks in the top 250 players in sacrifice flies and toughest to strikeout. The Huntingtown, Md., native ranks fourth in toughest to strikeout. She has a .388 batting average with six doubles, one homer and 33 RBIs.
The Sea Gulls (36-2) are the top seed in the NCAA Regional in Salem, Va., being hosted by Roanoke College. On Thursday, May 9 the Sea Gulls defeated Penn State University-Altoona, 5-1, and return to action on Saturday morning, completing their suspended game against Christopher Newport University.
To see the entire All-Region team, click here.