USC junior left fielder Alaynie Page has been named a First-Team All-American by the WFCA.Columbia, SC — South Carolina junior left fielder Alaynie Page became the first All-American under head coach Beverly Smith, earning first-team accolades from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, the organization released today.Leading South Carolina in 12 offensive categories, Page blew away former Gamecock single-season records in home runs (15), home runs per game (0.25), total bases (157), slugging percentage (.805) and on-base percentage (.538) and had 12 other marks in SC’s single-season top 15, with eight of those making the top five. Starting all 60 games, she reached base safely in all but three.“What a huge honor for Alaynie to be recognized as a first-team All-American,” said the fifth-year head coach Smith. “It is certainly a well-deserved honor as Alaynie had an outstanding season. I said many times this year; watching Alaynie play is worth the price of admission. She played all season long with a true passion for the game, an unmatched focus and provided a consistent spark for our team both offensively and defensively. I am so proud of Alaynie and what she accomplished.”The Boiling Springs, S.C., junior ranks in the top 40 nationally in batting average (.436, 36th), on-base percentage (32nd) and slugging percentage (39th), one of 12 to hold top-40 marks in each, including fellow first-team All-Americans Michigan’s Sierra Romero and Auburn’s Emily Carosone. She also stands 51st in runs per game (1.02) and is tied for eighth in triples (7). In the SEC, Page stands in the top five in those averages while also posting top-15 marks in runs (61), hits (85), doubles (13), triples, home runs and total bases.A first-team All-SEC selection, Page ranked in the top three in SEC games only in the averages while also standing fourth in runs (25), tied for second in hits (33) and fourth in total bases (59).Page went a perfect 13-for-13 when stealing bases and made 99 putouts while playing every inning in left field, ranking third in the Gamecocks’ SEC era in outfield putouts. She also tallied five assists, tying for 10th in the same timeframe.Page becomes the first Gamecock since 1999 to garner All-America accolades from the NFCA when Kim Pietro and Megan Matthews made the first and third teams, respectively. Page earns the 13th first-team All-America nod and follows former first-team All-America outfielders Lindi James (1983), Tricia Popowski (1989 & 1991) and Pietro (1999).The SEC landed eight of the 18 first-team All-Americans, led by two each from Auburn and Florida. Michigan, UCLA and Oklahoma also had two first-team All-Americans this year. In total, 20 SEC student-athletes appeared on the three teams.South Carolina improved its win total for the third-straight year, going 38-22 and finishing tied for ninth in the SEC. The Gamecocks have been to 18 NCAA Tournaments, including three consecutive bids under Smith.
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