May 6, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Three Georgia softball players have been named to the All-Southeastern Conference First Team, it was announced today by the league office. Chelsea Wilkinson was named to the All-SEC First Team as a pitcher, while Alex Hugo and Paige Wilson were each named first team all-conference selections as infielders. The three selections was the most first team honorees since the 2010 season. In addition to the All-SEC honorees, Niaja Griffin was named to the SEC Community Service Team.
Wilkinson, who earned all-freshman honors a year ago, finished the regular season with an overall record of 26-7, that included a 12-4 mark against SEC teams. The Taylorsville, North Carolina, native led the SEC in strikeouts and victories and ranked near the top in nearly every pitching category. She has struck out a league-best 234 batters, 99 of which were SEC batters, becoming just the fourth Georgia player to record at least 200 strikeouts in a season and just the second player to reach the mark as a sophomore. In addition to her 26-7 record, Wilkinson has thrown 21 complete games and combined for five shutouts. She recorded her second career no hitter this year against Mercer and struck out a season-best 14 batters against Mississippi State. She has posted double-digit strikeouts six times this season and has earned the SEC Pitcher of the Week once and was named the NFCA National Player of the Week once.
Hugo made an immediate impact in the lineup for the Bulldogs after transferring to Georgia at the start of the year. She leads the team, SEC and nation in home runs with 22, while hitting at a .354 clip on the year. She is just two home runs shy of Georgia’s single-season record and is three short of the SEC single-season record. She leads the team in runs scored (50), RBI (58) and slugging percentage (.875). The Olathe, Kansas, native is second on the team with 51 hits, third on the team in doubles and second on the team in triples with three. In addition to her power numbers, Hugo owns the second-best on-base percentage of anyone on the team at .484, in part due to her 35 walks. Her numbers were equally impressive in SEC play, hitting .333 with 11 home runs, four doubles, 29 RBI, 23 runs scored and was walked 18 times. Hugo hit two grand slams this season, both against SEC opponents. She was named the SEC Player of the Week once and was named the USA Softball National Player of the Week once.
Wilson is making her second-straight appearance on an All-SEC Team, having been named to the first team last season and to the all-freshman team in her first year with the Bulldogs. The Chicago, Illinois, native has started every game for the Bulldogs this season and owns a .376 batting average, which ranks second on the team. She leads the team with 68 hits, including a team-best 13 doubles and four triples. She is also one of three Georgia players with double-digit home runs this season with 10. Her 43 RBI ranks second on the team. Wilson ranks near the top of the SEC in several categories including batting average, slugging percentage, hits, RBI, doubles, triples and total bases. Against SEC teams, she is hitting .383 with five home runs, two doubles, a triple, 21 runs scored and 14 RBI.
In addition to the All-SEC honors, Georgia was represented off the field, as Griffin was named to the SEC Community Service Team. The junior from Orlando, Florida, has worked with the Boys and Girls Club since arriving in Athens in 2012. During her time with the organization, she has mentored, tutored and facilitated activities and workouts for the kids. She has also worked with the Special Olympics, volunteering her time with the 5K run, as well as the Home Runs for Hometown Heroes event since 2012. In December of 2013, she interacted with and handed out girds to children who have parents in prison. Griffin has also spent time with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, giving out food to nearly 500 needy families in the community. On campus, Griffin took part in the annual Girl Power Day, speaking to young girls on the importance of being a good friend and anti-bullying.
Wilkinson, Hugo, Wilson, Griffin and the entire Georgia softball team will be back in action on Thursday, May 8, at 4 p.m., when they take on Florida in the SEC Tournament in Columbia, South Carolina.