HANCEVILLE — Wallace State freshman setter Savannah Rutledge was named a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I second-team All-American on Wednesday.
Rutledge, an Albertville native, finished the season with an Alabama Community College Conference-best 997 assists, which was also fourth-best in the nation. She added 145 digs, helping lead the Lions to a 34-2 record and their 11th conference tournament title in 12 seasons.
Rutledge is the 12th NJCAA Division I All-American within the program over the last 14 seasons under coach Randy Daniel.
Wallace State volleyball went undefeated during the regular season and was ranked as high as 13th in the nation.
Rutledge was also an ACCC first-team and ACCC All-Tournament selection.
Wallace State’s men’s golf program has qualified for its 25th NJCAA Division I National Championship after finishing fifth this week at the NJCAA Division I District 4 Championship in Montgomery.
The Lions finished with an 18-over par 882 (288-288-306) in the 54-hole event.
Carter Goodwin, fresh off making the ACCC All-Tournament team, carded a 2-under 214 (70-70-74), placing him seventh overall.
Allen Michael Burnett accounted for Wallace State’s next best finish, carding a 3-over 219 (75-72-72) for 14th overall.
Blayne Armstrong was tied for 17th with a 5-over 221 for the Lions.
Eastern Florida State won the tournament with a 16-under 848.
The Lions’ national championship is May 10-13 at The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas.
Softball and Baseball
Wallace State’s softball and baseball teams conclude ACCC action beginning today.
The 6th-ranked Lions host Central Alabama CC today, beginning at 1 p.m.
Wallace State softball has compiled an outstanding 46-3 record overall and a 23-1 mark in conference play. The Lions have won 18 consecutive games after also reeling off 20 in a row from Feb. 20-March 19.
A.J. Daugherty’s squad has a +346-run differential and already blasted a school-record 91 home runs.
Freshman Maddie Cartron has a team-high 21 home runs and 60 RBIs. She’s two homers shy of tying the single-season individual homer record of 23 set by Kori Benson in 2013. Brantly Bonds and Morgan White have each slugged 17 home runs and Gracie Benton has added 14.
Twelve Wallace State players have hit homers this season.
In addition to the power throughout the lineup, freshmen Felicity Frame and Jaiden Farnetti lead the ACCC with 40 and 36 stolen bases respectively.
“I’ve never been around a team that features the power we do. Players have contributed up and down the lineup,” Daugherty said. “We also better have the arrow in our pouch to play small ball and manufacture runs when needed. It’s a fun offense to watch.”
Wallace State’s pitchers have compiled a collective 2.13 ERA.
Sophomore Josie Thompson is 13-0 with a 2.54 ERA. She’s twirled four complete games, recording 105 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings.
Haylee Folds is 15-1 with a 2.10 ERA and Raven Clark is 10-1 with a 0.67 ERA in 21 appearances.
Wallace State has clinched the ACCC North Division championship, securing one of the top seeds at next month’s conference tournament in Alabaster. The Lions will seek their 13th conference tournament title.
“One of the fears of having a team to perform this well throughout the season is you hope you haven’t peaked already. I’m pleased with where we’re at, and I think we’re on the right trajectory for the postseason,” Daugherty said. “I still think our best softball is ahead of us and that’s exciting.”
Meanwhile, Wallace State baseball has four regular season games remaining with Central Alabama as the Lions seek to advance to the postseason for the 29th time under coach Randy Putman.
Wallace State (23-19, 15-13 ACCC) travels to Alexander City today for a doubleheader and hosts the Trojans on Saturday. The Lions have won their last three series, prevailing in nine of 12 games.
“One of the keys has been our position players are competitive. They fight hard at the plate and don’t give away at bats. We’ve been able to run out a consistent lineup, and that’s important,” Putman said.
Wallace State is currently seeded 5th in the ACCC North and can move up to as high as third in the standings with a strong weekend and help.
Hoover product Colson Lawrence leads the team in all three major categories, hitting .379 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs.
Ben Arnett is hitting at a .353 clip with 24 RBIs and Jayce Guyette carries a .317 average, four homers and 20 RBIs into the series. Preston Moore has added four homers and 32 RBIs.
The ACCC baseball tournament is scheduled for May 6-12 at Ozark.