04/20/12 — Trojans' Kylis named Conference Carolinas' top coach

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Trojans' Kylis named Conference Carolinas' top coach

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 20, 2012 1:49 PM

MOC Sports Information

HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Mount Olive's Jaime Kylis earned her second Conference Carolinas coach-of-the-year award and five Trojans earned all-conference recognition this season.

Outfielder Kayla Voorhees was named to the first team. Shortstop Jennifer Jones, utility player Robbin Kennedy, third baseman Kalie Smith and pitcher Lauren Smith each received second-team honors.

Voorhees, a redshirt junior from Waldorf, Md., has a .333 batting average with six doubles and 15 stolen bases. The Trojans' lead-off batter, Voorhees is batting .395 in her last 25 games. She started a 10-game hitting streak in late March and has hit safely in 18 of her last 22 games.

During one span of three games, Voorhees reached base in nine consecutive plate appearances.

Kennedy, a senior from Chesapeake, Va., earned all-conference honors for the third year in a row. Kennedy has played three different positions this season, starting the year at third base, moving to center field and filling in at shortstop. Kennedy ranks among the top five in the conference with a .370 batting average, 13 doubles and 32 RBI. She also has four home runs, three coming in a doubleheader sweep at Limestone that won her conference player of the week honors.

Kennedy also made one of the season's biggest defensive plays while playing centerfield, gunning down a runner at the plate in the bottom of the seventh in the Trojans' extra-inning win at Coker.

Jones, a freshman from Huntingtown, Md., began the season in a pinch-hitting role before earning a spot in the starting lineup. A conference player-of-the-week winner, Jones has started 20 games and is batting .360 with two home runs and 19 RBI. Her .507 slugging percentage is second on the team. Jones went 5-for-8 in a doubleheader sweep over Coker and belted a three-run homer in a win over Erskine.

Kalie Smith, a sophomore from Roanoke Rapids, moved to third base after starting the season at shortstop. Smith is batting .268 with two home runs in conference play this year. She has a .944 fielding percentage since moving to third base, committing only four errors in 72 chances. Smith's 42 assists lead the Trojans. She had a three-run homer in a win against Erskine and went 3-for-3 with four RBI in a win over Belmont Abbey.

Lauren Smith, a freshman from Clinton, has a 16-6 record and shattered a school single-season record with 10 shutouts. She also has four saves and a 1.71 earned run average. Smith leads the conference in saves and is tied for second in wins. She also ranks fifth with 118 strikeouts and she has the fifth lowest ERA in the conference.

In her first collegiate start, Smith recorded 12 strikeouts against UNC Pembroke, then matched a school record with 13 strikeouts against Mercyhurst in her second start. Smith was a two-time Conference Carolinas Player of the Week winner this season.

In her 10th year at Mount Olive, Kylis guided the Trojans to a 17-5 conference record and the East Division title. The Trojans set a school single-season record for most conference wins. Mount Olive posted a 31-15 overall record for its first 30-win season since 2007, the year Kylis captured her first coach-of-the-year award.

Mount Olive was among the conference team leaders on both sides of the ball, leading the conference with a 2.05 team earned run average and ranking second with 345 hits. The Trojans' .283 batting average is the third highest in the conference and Mount Olive ranks third with 23 home runs.

Mount Olive is the No. 2 seed in this year's eight-team double-elimination tournament and opens play Friday at noon against tournament host and No. 7 seed Coker. The Trojans defeated Coker 13-6 in the first round of last year's tournament.

The winner grabs the automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.