Sun Belt Conference Concludes Spring Meeting with Diversity and Inclusion Summit

Friday, May 17, 2019

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Sun Belt Conference Concludes Spring Meeting with Diversity and Inclusion Summit

Photos and Video Available for Download: https://file.ac/n85NkQTysoE/

POINT CLEAR, Ala. — Interactive conversations and intriguing discussions highlighted the theme of the Sun Belt Conference’s first Diversity and Inclusion Summit.
 
The culminating event of the conference’s four-day Spring Meeting held in Point Clear, Ala., the Summit explored the topics of diversity and inclusion in interactive sessions involving university Chief Diversity Officers, Directors of Athletics, Faculty Athletic Representatives, Senior Woman Administrators and head coaches and student-athletes present from all 12 member schools.
 
“I thought the Summit was terrific and that it was a great way to educate and hold discussion on these important topics,” said Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill. “Anytime that you have an opportunity to have so many decision makers from campus in the same room and begin a conversation about the value and importance of diversity and inclusion, that’s great. It is important for us to use this information going forward.”
 
From the keynote address from NCAA Executive Vice President Dr. Katrice A. Albert to the interactive exercises led by Kim Miller and Dr. Andrew Mac Intosh with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) to the six-person panel discussion, the Summit engaged in dialogue on where diversity and inclusion stand from the national perspective and within the conference. Sun Belt-specific data and information shaped the discussion among the attendees that shared best practices and explored initial solutions and strategies to put the Sun Belt in the forefront of the goal to achieve inclusion excellence.
 
“Clearly, we’ve got to make sure this is not a one-time deal,” Gill added. “We need to find opportunities to create policies within the Sun Belt that will help us track diversity so we have a baseline and we understand where we’re headed. Then we also need to create policies that will help us increase those numbers and help us move forward with our collective commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

 

About the Sun Belt Conference
With each passing season, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as a FBS member in 2001, the Sun Belt has earned due respect in the FBS over the last several years by consistently beating teams from peer conferences, winning bowl games and upsetting Power Five teams.
 
Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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Texas State’s Mora, South Alabama’s Luther Highlight Women’s Golf Awards

Thursday, May 16, 2019

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Texas State’s Mora, South Alabama’s Luther Highlight Women’s Golf Awards

NEW ORLEANS – Texas State senior Anne-Charlotte Mora was named the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Golfer of the Year, as voted upon by the league’s 10 head coaches with Troy’s Nicole Lorup, ULM’s Jahaanvie Walia and South Alabama’s Matt Luther also receiving honors.

Lorup was named the league’s Freshman of the Year and Walia was tabbed as the Women’s Golf Newcomer of the Year. South Alabama’s Luther was named the league’s Coach of the Year for Women’s Golf.

Mora led the Bobcats all season, competing in 11 tournaments and 33 rounds. Her average score was 73.09, which was the best in the league this season.

Additionally she had nine top-25 showings, including four top 10-finishes and three top-5 finishes. She helped guide Texas State to runner-up honors at the Sun Belt Women’s Golf Championship with a third-place individual finish.

Troy’s Lorup, a freshman from Smørum, Denmark, posted the lowest scoring average by a freshman in Troy history and the fourth lowest all-time in school history (74.17). She finished in the top-25 in 6-of-10 events with three top 10 finishes and was Troy’s top finisher in five of 10 tournaments.

ULM’s Walia placed among the top-12 in four of nine tournaments in 2018-19, including two top-5 finishes. Walia won her first tournament as a Warhawk and second in her career, carding a season-low 217 (71-72-74) at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate. Walia led the team in birdies (48) while ranking second in scoring average (75.96) and fairways hit (.763). She posted four rounds of 72 or lower.

USA’s Luther earned his first Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Jaguars to the Sun Belt Women’s Golf Championship, the program’s first title since 1997, and its first NCAA Regionals appearance. South Alabama had five top-5 finishes, including two wins in 10 events. The Jaguars also averaged 299.97 per round, the lowest in school history.

In addition, the Sun Belt also announced its 12-member all-conference teams. Six individuals were selected to the All-Sun Belt First Team and six individuals were selected to the All-Sun Belt Second Team.

First Team All-Conference
Jenjira Jinangkul, Coastal Carolina
Marie Lunackova, Coastal Carolina
Ansley Bowman, Georgia Southern
Siti Shaari, South Alabama
Anne-Charlotte Mora, Texas State
Nicole Lorup, Troy

Second Team All-Conference
Tiffany Arafi, Coastal Carolina
Ella Ofstedahl, Georgia Southern
Julie Hovland, South Alabama
Sasikarn Somboonsup, Texas State
Geraldine Wong, Texas State
Bianca Lohbauer, Troy

Women’s Golfer of the Year
Anne-Charlotte Mora, Texas State

Women’s Golf Freshman of the Year
Nicole Lorup, Troy

Women’s Golf Newcomer of the Year
Jahaanvie Walia, ULM

Women’s Golf Coach of the Year
Matt Luther, South Alabama

About the Sun Belt Conference
With each passing season, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as a FBS member in 2001, the Sun Belt has earned due respect in the FBS over the last several years by consistently beating teams from peer conferences, winning bowl games and upsetting Power Five teams.
 
Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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Sun Belt Hosts First Diversity and Inclusion Summit on May 17

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

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Sun Belt Hosts First Diversity and Inclusion Summit

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Communications Contact: Scottie Rodgers (rodgers@sunbeltsports.org or 609-903-1416)

Sun Belt Conference Hosts First Diversity and Inclusion Summit on May 17 
POINT CLEAR, Ala. – The topic of diversity and inclusion is definitely on the rise in the Sun Belt Conference.
 
Long known as a league willing to take bold steps to positively shape college athletics, the Sun Belt is taking another step in that vein – hosting its first Diversity and Inclusion Summit on May 17 as a part of the conference’s annual spring meetings in Point Clear, Ala.
 
“Educating to Become More Aware” is the theme of the half-day session designed to open up the conversation on diversity and inclusion and explore information, techniques and solutions that can be implemented in the hiring or developmental process.
 
“I’m excited that this Summit is one of the first things I’m getting to be a part of,” said newly appointed Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill. “This is going to be a good way to raise awareness of the topic for our member institutions and also keep it in the forefront for us as a conference office. I am hoping people will become more aware in terms of what the opportunities are to increase diversity, why it is important to talk about diversity and also why it should be valued.”
 
Dr. Katrice A. Albert, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Inclusion and Human Resources at the NCAA national office, will kick off the Summit by discussing the importance of diversity and why inclusiveness is so important in today’s world of college athletics. A scholar and administrator in college athletics for more than 25 years, Albert will hit on topics such as the diversity data trends and retention practices specific to the Sun Belt and its membership.
 
“Our student-athletes deserve diverse talent in those that coach, teach and lead them, especially those in leadership positions,” said Albert.
 
Leadership will be the central topic during the second part of the Summit as Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) will engage in an interactive session with the Sun Belt student-athletes in attendance to give them tools to use on how to be leaders on their respective campuses.
 
“We focus on educating and empowering the sports community and eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice, and improve race relations,” said Kim Miller, Vice President of Leadership and Education of RISE. “So we can inspire those in the sports communities to be leaders within their teams or their schools or on campus but really thinking broadly on how they can impact the larger society.”
 
The Summit will conclude with a group discussion focused on a review of the New York Times bestseller “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People” by Mahzarin A. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald. The seven-person panel will elaborate on takeaways from the book and discuss best practices across the conference supporting diversity and inclusion.
 
“It is very important for the Sun Belt to be a leader in the diversity and inclusion efforts,” said Patrick Hairston, Associate Commissioner/Chief Compliance Officer at the Sun Belt office. “We want to make sure to provide opportunities not only for our conference office to educate our member institutions on the direction of diversity and inclusion initiatives nationally but also for our institutions to be able to educate each other in an open and collegial forum.”
 
The topic of diversity and inclusion is one that is complex and receiving more attention in the Sun Belt – as it is across all of college athletics. That is something that Gill wants to make sure remains front and center as the conference embarks on its next chapter.
 
“Champions are diverse and diverse staffs create a championship culture,” said Gill. “A diverse Sun Belt Conference will ultimately create the best Sun Belt Conference.”

About the Sun Belt Conference
With each passing season, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as a FBS member in 2001, the Sun Belt has earned due respect in the FBS over the last several years by consistently beating teams from peer conferences, winning bowl games and upsetting Power Five teams.
 
Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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Troy’s Mosley, Little Rock’s Fidel Named Community Coffee Baseball Players of the Week

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

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Troy’s Mosley, Little Rock’s Fidel Named Community Coffee Baseball Players of the Week

Baseball Player/Pitcher of the Week – May 14

COMMUNITY COFFEE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Rigsby Mosely, Troy (So., OF, Maitland, Fla.)
Rigsby Mosley had multiple hits in three of Troy’s four games on the week with four extra-base hits and eight RBIs … Helped lead Troy to its sixth Sun Belt series victory over the last seven weeks

COMMUNITY COFFEE PITCHER OF THE WEEK

Chandler Fidel (Jr., LHP, Garland, Texas)
Chandler Fidel was magnificent in his nine innings of work in Friday’s night’s win over conference-leaders Texas State. The junior tied a career-high 12 strikeouts, allowing only three runs on six hits. Fidel’s 124-pitch performance led the Trojans to a 4-3 win.

2019 Weekly Award Winners
Player
February 19: Kyle Skeels, Coastal Carolina
February 26: Parker Chavers, Coastal Carolina
March 5: Dylan Paul, UTA
March 12: Luke Drumheller, Appalachian State
March 19: Mason McWhorter, Georgia Southern
March 26: Hayden Cantrelle, Louisiana
April 2: Kyle Skeels, Coastal Carolina
April 9: Andrew Beesley, ULM
April 16: Riley Pittman, Little Rock
April 23: Noah Ledford, Georgia Southern
April 30: Will Hollis, Texas State
May 7: Chase Smartt, Troy
May 14: Rigsby Mosely, Troy

Pitcher
February 19: Connor Reich, Texas State
February 26: Drake Nightengale, South Alabama
March 5: Nicholas Fraze, Texas State
March 12: Levi Thomas, Troy
March 19: Hunter Gaddis, Georgia State
March 26: Nate Alberius, Arkansas State
April 2: Austin Kitchen, Coastal Carolina
April 9: Brandon Young, Louisiana
April 16: Hayden Arnold, Little Rock
April 23: Drake Nightengale, South Alabama
April 30: Tyler Tuthill, Appalachian State
May 7: Ty Barnes, ULM
May 14: Chandler Fidel, Little Rock

About the Sun Belt Conference
With each passing season, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as a FBS member in 2001, the Sun Belt has earned due respect in the FBS over the last several years by consistently beating teams from peer conferences, winning bowl games and upsetting Power Five teams.
 
Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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Louisiana, Appalachian State, UTA Receive Softball Postseason Bids

Sunday, May 12, 2019

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Louisiana, Appalachian State, UTA Receive Softball Postseason Bids

Louisiana Heads to Oxford to Meet Southeast Missouri in NCAA Softball Regional
 
Bracket
 
INDIANAPOLIS – Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament champion Louisiana was among the 64 teams selected to compete in the 2019 NCAA Division I Softball Championship.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns (50-4, 25-0 Sun Belt) are headed to the Oxford Regional to open postseason play against Southeast Missouri State (45-16, 17-5 Ohio Valley Conference) on Friday, May 17 at 3:30 p.m. CT. Host Ole Miss and Chattanooga are slated to meet at 6 p.m. CT.
 
Louisiana is just one of nine schools to play in the NCAA Tournament every year since 2000, joining Alabama, Arizona, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA and Washington. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 64-36 all-time in the NCAA Regional round, including a 30-9 mark in claiming regional championships and advancing to the super regional round in seven of the last 11 appearances (2008-18).
 
The 16 teams winning regionals advance to the Super Regionals set to be held May 23-26 on eight campus sites. At each site, two teams play in a best-of-three tournament format. The winners from each Super Regional site advance to the NCAA® Women’s College World Series set for May 30-June 5.

Appalachian State, UTA Earn Postseason NISC Bids
 
Schedule

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Sun Belt Conference sends multiple teams to the Postseason National Invitation Softball Championship for the second time in three years as Appalachian State and UTA make the 19-team field.
 
Action gets underway on Thursday, May 16 with Appalachian State taking on Rutgers at 9 a.m. CT in Lynchburg, Va. And UTA at Stephen F. Austin at 6 p.m. CT. The Mountaineers are making their first Postseason NISC appearance, while the Mavericks are making their third-straight appearance.
 
Each regional site is played in a double-elimination format. The four regional winners advance to the championship round set for May 24-26 in Fort Collins, Colo.
 
In NISC history, the Sun Belt is 8-8 (.500) in four appearances. UTA reached the NISC Championship Round last season.
 

About the Sun Belt Conference
Entering the second decade of the new millennium, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as an FBS member in 2001, the evidence is clear that the conference is indeed rising above competitors and peer conferences.

Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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South Alabama Women, Louisiana Men Lead after Day 2 of Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Saturday, May 11, 2019

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South Alabama Women, Louisiana Men Lead after Day 2 of Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Results

JONESBORO, Ark. – Day two of the 2019 Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field Championships came to a close on Saturday with the running of the men’s and women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. South Alabama continues to lead the women’s team race with 98 points, adding 54 on Saturday. Louisiana moved into the team lead on the men’s side with 57 points.

Arkansas State is second on the women’s side with 56 points and Texas State is third with 47. Texas State is second in the men’s team standings with 42 points and Coastal Carolina is third with 36 points.

Sunday’s events get underway with the men’s discus scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT. Running event finals start at 4 p.m. CT with the 4×100-meter relay.

ESPN+ will go live at 4 p.m. CT with Drew Fellios and Declan Murray back to call the action of the finals.

South Alabama’s Emilie Berge earned her third consecutive heptathlon title on Saturday, finishing with a two-day total of 5,341 points. Berge’s teammate Hanna-Mai Vaikla was second and Louisiana’s Juliette Smith was third.

Texas State’s Ben Collerton won his second consecutive decathlon title with 7,180 points. He led after day one with 3,850 points and tallied 3,332 points on Saturday. A-State’s Hayden Hampton was second and Louisiana’s Chandler Mixon took third.

Collerton’s teammate, T’Mond Johnson, took first in the men’s shot put with the second-longest toss in Sun Belt history at 19.70m (64’7.75″). It was Johnson’s third consecutive Sun Belt shot put title at the Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

UT Arlington’s Alexus Henry earned her second consecutive women’s high jump title on Saturday, clearing 1.79m (5’10.5″).

Also contested Saturday were the preliminaries of several running events. The highlight of the night was the 100-meter dash as both A-State’s Caitland Smith and Texas State’s Tramesha Hardy qualified for Sunday’s final. Smith had the fastest qualifier at 11.37 with Hardy having the second-fastest time at 11.58. The pair also qualified for the 200-meter final on Friday.

Troy’s Alexis Garrett and Niata Alexander had the fastest qualifiers for the Trojans on Saturday in the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash, respectively. Troy also had four others earn spots in Sunday’s final events.

On the men’s side, USA’s Hunter Appling and Larry Lombard had top times in their respective events, the 110-meter hurdles and the 800-meters.

UTA’s Brenden Wallace led a trio of finalists for Sunday in the 400-meters with a top time of 47.99. Appalachian State’s Jalen Virgil, Little Rock’s Keshawn Andrews and Troy’s Jared Hayes all ran sub-10.5 times in the 100-meters and are the top three seeds in Sunday’s finale.

Georgia State’s Lotte Meyberg and Louisiana’s Hannes Burger claimed Saturday’s final events of the night. Burger held off UTA’s Justin Domangue, last year’s steeplechase champion, with a new Championship record time of 8:56.99.

GSU’s Meyberg entered the Championship with the league’s top time and bettered that mark crossing the finish with a time of 10:27.52, a top five time in Sun Belt history.

About the Sun Belt Conference
With each passing season, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as a FBS member in 2001, the Sun Belt has earned due respect in the FBS over the last several years by consistently beating teams from peer conferences, winning bowl games and upsetting Power Five teams.
 
Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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Louisiana Wins 15th Sun Belt Softball Championship Title

Saturday, May 11, 2019

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Louisiana Wins 15th Sun Belt Softball Championship

Championship Central
Box Scores: Game 11 | Game 12
 
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The drama that was the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship came to a historic conclusion as No. 1 Louisiana won its league-record 15th tournament title with a 1-0 victory over No. 6 Coastal Carolina.
 
With the win, the Ragin’ Cajuns (50-4, 25-0 Sun Belt) extended their winning streak to 27 games, the second-longest streak in program history, which is now one away from the school record of 28 set in 2012.
 
The rainy weather did not dampen the championship’s final day that saw Louisiana get on the board first in the bottom of the first inning to score what would turn out to be the game-winning run. Senior third base Kara Gremillion got things going with a perfectly laid bunt single, ultimately advancing to second base on a throwing error. Three batters later, junior shortstop Alissa Dalton delivered a two-out single up the middle to score Gremillion and plate the game’s only run.
 
In the circle, junior pitcher Summer Ellyson threw another gem to put a stamp on her championship performance and earn Community Coffee Most Outstanding Player honors. Ellyson only allowed two hits and struck out seven in her seven innings of work. The win was her NCAA Division I-best 37th of the season. For the tournament, Ellyson went 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts.
 
Coastal Carolina (39-21, 13-14) went on a Cinderella run that included playing six games in three days. The Chanticleers had only played one Sun Belt Tournament game in 2017 prior to this year’s championship. Coastal Carolina defeated No. 7 Georgia Southern, No. 3 UTA, No. 2 Troy and No. 8 ULM in their run to make it to the title game.
 
The Chanticleers’ win over the Warhawks came earlier on Saturday in a 4-2 extra-inning affair. The game was delayed 70 minutes in the top of third due to lightning with Coastal Carolina leading 1-0. The Chanticleers added a run in the third after the delay. ULM answered with runs of its own in back-to-back innings to knot the game at 2-2.
 
The score remained tied until Coastal Carolina pushed two runs across in the top of ninth. With two runners in scoring position and one out, senior third base Chelsea D’Avilar executed a sacrifice bunt that scored the third run and freshman outfielder Sydney Guess followed with a sacrifice fly to score the insurance run and send the Chanticleers to their first-ever Sun Belt Tournament title game.
 
Earning the conference’s automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division I Softball Championship, Louisiana now await its destination and opponents. The NCAA Tournament field is set to be announced on Sunday, May 12 at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
 
Follow #SunBeltSB on social media via TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
2018 SUN BELT SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
All-Tournament Team
Whitney Walton, UTA
Adrianna Chavarria, ULM
Jayden Mount, ULM
Natalie David, Coastal Carolina
Ashley Guillette, Coastal Carolina
Kassidy Smith, Coastal Carolina
Alissa Dalton, Louisiana
Kara Gremillion, Louisiana
Sarah Hudek, Louisiana
 
Community Coffee Most Outstanding Player
Summer Ellyson, Louisiana
 
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Sunday, May 12
NCAA Division I Softball Championship Selection Show (ESPN2), 8 p.m.
Postseason National Invitation Softball Championship Selection Announcement, TBA
 
Thursday-Saturday, May 16-18
NISC Regionals
 
Friday-Sunday, May 17-19
NCAA Regionals
 
All Times Central and Subject to Change

About the Sun Belt Conference
Entering the second decade of the new millennium, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as an FBS member in 2001, the evidence is clear that the conference is indeed rising above competitors and peer conferences.

Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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South Alabama Women, Coastal Carolina Men Lead after Day 1 of Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Friday, May 10, 2019

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South Alabama Women, Coastal Carolina Men Lead after Day 1 of Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Results
JONESBORO, Ark.
– Day one of the 2019 Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field Championships came to a close on Friday with the running of the men’s and women’s 10,000-meters. South Alabama raced out to the women’s team lead with 44 points on Friday while Coastal Carolina leads the men’s team standings after picking up 21 points.

Louisiana is second in the women’s team standings with 26.5 points followed by Arkansas State with 18. South Alabama and Louisiana are tied for second on the men’s side with 20 points.

The CCU duo of Nadeel and Adriaan Wildschutt closed out the first day in style as they went one-two in the 10,000-meters. Nadeel broke the Sun Belt Championship record with a time of 28:56.41 seconds, narrowly defeating his brother who crossed the line in 28:57.10.

The women’s 10,000-meters saw Texas State’s Leslie Romero win the title. She outpaced the field by 22 seconds, winning with a time of 36:11.53.

Both Wildschutt and Romero were the men’s and women’s individual champions at the cross country championship this past fall.

Action continues on day two with the finish of both the heptathlon and the decathlon. The decathlon begins at 9:00 a.m. CT and the heptathlon at 9:30 a.m. CT. Field event finals begin at 12:30 p.m. CT with the women’s long jump. The running preliminaries begin at 5:30 p.m. CT.

ESPN+ will go live at 5:30 p.m. CT with Drew Fellios and Declan Murray back to call the action.

USA’s Michaela Preachuk picked up the Jaguars’ first victory of the day in the women’s hammer. She claimed the event for the second consecutive season with a 60.98m (200’1″) toss. She was fourth in the event in 2017.

Emilie Berge picked up where she left off in the women’s heptathlon as she heads into the second day of hep competition with 3,272 points, leading Louisiana’s Juliette Smith by 123 points. Berge owns the Championship record with 5,632 points set last year.

UT Arlington’s Rhiley Fritz claimed first-place honors in the women’s javelin with a 50.33m (165’1″) throw. The mark is the fourth best in league history and a career-best, school record for Fritz. The mark moves Fritz into the top 20 in the West Preliminary.

ULM’s Cole McKnight won his second consecutive men’s javelin title with a 61.69m (202’5′). McKnight’s teammate, Mason Nichols took third to give the Warhawks 16 points in the javelin.

Louisiana’s Kimberly Rushford was the champion in the women’s pole vault, winning the event in a jump-off. Rushford cleared 3.81m (12’6″) to earn the title.

About the Sun Belt Conference
With each passing season, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as a FBS member in 2001, the Sun Belt has earned due respect in the FBS over the last several years by consistently beating teams from peer conferences, winning bowl games and upsetting Power Five teams.
 
Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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Saturday Slate Set for Final Day of Sun Belt Softball Championship

Friday, May 10, 2019

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Saturday Slate Set for Final Day of Sun Belt Softball Championship

Championship Central
Box Scores: Game 8 | Game 9 | Game 10
 
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The 2019 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship is down to three teams vying for one chance to dance into the postseason as No. 1 Louisiana, No. 6 Coastal Carolina and No. 8 ULM remain in the title hunt following Friday’s tripleheader at the Bobcat Softball Stadium.
 
The top-seeded Ragin’ Cajuns took care of business with a 5-2 win over the Chanticleers for their 60th Sun Belt Tournament win, while ULM continued its magical tournament run with a 5-2 triumph over No. 3 UTA to put the Warhawks one game away from reaching the title game for the first time since 2014.
 
Saturday’s slate sets up with ULM and Coastal Carolina clashing at 10 a.m. CT for the opportunity to meet Louisiana in the title game at 1 p.m. CT.
 
First-inning fireworks got things going for Louisiana and Coastal Carolina. The Ragin’ Cajuns struck first in the top half with a run but then the Chanticleers answered in their half with a two-run home run by junior first base Kassidy Smith. The homer was Coastal’s sixth in this year’s championship, tying the tournament record with Louisiana’s six home runs in 2004.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns responded in the fourth inning with a two-out, two-run single by 2019 Sun Belt Player of the Year Alissa Dalton to take a 3-2 lead. A solo home run from junior outfielder Sarah Hudek and run scored off a wild pitch by senior outfielder Keeli Milligan added insurance runs in the fifth. Junior pitcher Summer Ellyson, the 2019 Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year, made the rally stand as she hurled six consecutive scoreless innings to earn her NCAA Division I-leading 36th victory of the season.
 
With the win, Louisiana extended its winning streak to 26 games, the second-longest streak in program history, which is now two off the school record of 28 set in 2012.
 
ULM continued its tournament winning ways in its victory over UTA on the strength of familiar contributions from junior shortstop Jayden Mount and freshman pitcher Adrianna Chavarria. Mount delivered the game’s big hit in the bottom of the third with another three-run home run, this one over the wall in left center field, to break a 1-1 tie. Chavarria continued her impressive work in the circle, going the distance to earn her third tournament win in three days. She boasts a 0.58 ERA, allowing only two earned runs, with 12 strikeouts in 24.0 innings pitched.
 
UTA advanced to the elimination game with the Warhawks after an 8-0, run-rule victory over Texas State in the first game of the day. The top three spots in the Mavericks’ lineup went a combined 8-for-9 at the plate. The pitching duo of sophomore Randi Phillips (3.1 innings) and freshman Allie Gardiner (2.2 innings) combined for the shutout, allowing only six hits. UTA’s big offensive inning came in the bottom of the third when a couple of Texas State throwing errors along with a pair of RBI singles helped push five runs across to take command of the game.
 
The 2019 Sun Belt Softball Championship concludes Saturday with Matt Stewart and Francesca Enea calling all the action from Bobcat Softball Stadium. All remaining games are set for live coverage on ESPN+, available online and via the ESPN app, with live statistics on SunBeltSports.org.
 
Follow #SunBeltSB on social media via TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
2019 SUN BELT SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP                          
Saturday, May 11
Game 11 – No. 6 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 8 ULM (ESPN+), 10 a.m.
Game 12 – Game 9 Winner vs. No. 1 Louisiana (ESPN+), 1 p.m.

All Times Central and Subject to Change
 

About the Sun Belt Conference
Entering the second decade of the new millennium, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as an FBS member in 2001, the evidence is clear that the conference is indeed rising above competitors and peer conferences.

Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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ULM, Coastal Carolina Highlight Dramatic Day 2 of Sun Belt Softball Championship

Thursday, May 9, 2019

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ULM, Coastal Carolina Highlight Dramatic Day 2 of Sun Belt Softball Championship

Championship Central
Box Scores: Game 5 | Game 6 | Game 7
 
SAN MARCOS, Texas – Intriguing storylines continued on Day 2 of the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship as No. 6 Coastal Carolina won its third game in two days, No. 1 Louisiana won its 25th in a row and No. 8 ULM pulled off its second upset in as many days.
 
Thursday’s trio of games provided plenty of drama with the Chanticleers dispatching No. 2 Troy 4-2, the Ragin’ Cajuns earning a 4-3 win over No. 4 Texas State and the Warhawks eliminating the Trojans 3-0 in an extra-inning thriller.
 
Due to the threat of inclement weather, the day’s fourth game between the host Bobcats and No. 3 UTA was moved to Friday at 10 a.m. CT. That game kicks off another trio of games that includes No. 6 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 1 Louisiana at 12:30 p.m. and No. 8 ULM vs. the Texas State-UTA winner at 3 p.m. CT. This schedule adjustment moves Game 11 (Game 9 Loser vs. Game 10 Winner) to Saturday at 10 a.m. CT with the championship game following at 1 p.m. CT.
 
Coastal Carolina continued to live by the long ball in advancing to its first-ever Sun Belt Tournament semifinal. The Chanticleers’ runs came via two, two-run home runs. Sophomore outfielder Stavi Augur connected on her 10th homer of the season in the third inning to give Coastal a 2-1 lead. Senior outfielder Natalie David stretched the Chanticleer advantage to 4-1 with her second round-tripper of the tournament an inning later.
 
The Trojans cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to an RBI single by sophomore second base Hope Hernandez. Senior pitcher Ashley Guillette took control in the circle for Coastal from that point, not allowing Troy a hit or run and striking out three to send Coastal on to a Friday date with Louisiana.
 
The Ragin’ Cajuns toughed out their one-run win over Texas State in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Bobcat Softball Stadium. After the teams traded runs in the first, the Bobcats took the lead in on a wild pitch in their half of the fourth. Louisiana responded in its half of that inning with three runs via an RBI double by senior designated player Lexie Comeaux and an RBI single by sophomore first base Kourtney Gremillion.
 
An RBI single by senior outfielder Mari Cranek in Texas State’s half of the seventh cut the lead to a run but that would be how the game would end, sending the Bobcats to face their in-state Sun Belt rival in an elimination game. In the final game of the day, ULM and Troy engaged in a scoreless duel through six innings. Lightning in the area delayed the start of the seventh for 40 minutes. When action resumed, the two teams played three innings of scoreless softball until the top of the 10th.
 
The Warhawks got two runners with two outs when junior shortstop Jayden Mount came to the plate. Mount worked her at-bat to a 3-2 count before blasting a three-run shot over the left field wall to propel ULM to its first Sun Belt Tournament semifinal since 2015.
 
The 2019 Sun Belt Softball Championship continues Friday with Matt Stewart and Francesca Enea calling all the action from Bobcat Softball Stadium. All remaining games are set for live coverage on ESPN+, available online and via the ESPN app, with live statistics on SunBeltSports.org.
 
Follow #SunBeltSB on social media via TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
2019 SUN BELT SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP                           
Friday, May 10
Game 8 – No. 4 Texas State vs. No. 3 UTA (ESPN+), 10 a.m.
Game 9 – No. 6 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 1 Louisiana (ESPN+), 12:30 p.m.
Game 10 – No. 8 ULM vs. Game 8 Winner (ESPN+), 3 p.m.
                                            
Saturday, May 11
Game 11 – Game 9 Loser vs. Game 10 Winner (ESPN+), 10 a.m.
Game 12 – Game 9 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner (ESPN+), 1 p.m.
 
All Times Central and Subject to Change

About the Sun Belt Conference
Entering the second decade of the new millennium, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as an FBS member in 2001, the evidence is clear that the conference is indeed rising above competitors and peer conferences.

Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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Sun Belt Conference · 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, LA · New Orleans, LA 70112 · USA

Sun Belt Outdoor Track & Field Championships Set to Begin Friday in Jonesboro

Thursday, May 9, 2019

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Sun Belt Outdoor Track & Field Championships Set to Begin Friday in Jonesboro

Championship Central

JONESBORO, Ark. – The 2019 Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held at Arkansas State’s Track and Field/Cross Country Complex, as the Red Wolves will host the three-day event starting on Friday, May 10 and continuing through Sunday, May 12.

Action begins on Friday with the first day of the decathlon at 9 a.m. CT and with the first day of the women’s heptathlon set to begin at 9:30 a.m. CT. The finals of the women’s hammer throw will start at 10 a.m. CT with finals also scheduled in the mean’s hammer throw (12:30 p.m. CT), women’s javelin (2 p.m. CT), men’s javelin (4:30 p.m. CT), women’s pole vault (4:30 p.m. CT), women’s 10,000-meter run (8 p.m. CT) and men’s 10,000-meter run (8:45 p.m. CT). Additionally, preliminaries for three running events start at 6:40 p.m. CT with the women’s 1500-meters.

Saturday’s action starts at 9 a.m. CT with the conclusion of the decathlon followed by the final day of the women’s heptathlon at 9:30 a.m. CT. Field events will begin at 12:30 p.m. CT with prelims in running events set to begin at 5:30 p.m. CT.

The final day of the three-day event will start at 11:30 a.m. CT with the finals in the men’s discus and concluding with the men’s 4×400-meter relay at approximately 7 p.m. CT. An awards ceremony for the presentation of the team trophy for both men and women will be presented following the relay.

A-State claimed the 2018 men’s outdoor track and field titles, claiming the trophy with 159 points. Texas State won the women’s team title for the second consecutive season with 139.5 points.

The UTA men will be looking to win the league’s Triple Crown as the Mavericks have claimed titles in both cross country and indoor track & field earlier this year. The Mavericks won the men’s Triple Crown during the 2016-17 season.

The Maverick men will also be looking to win their fourth Sun Belt outdoor track & field title in the last six years. UTA won both the 2014, 2015 and 2017 titles.

Individually, several student-athletes stand out amongst the rest of the field as a number of champions from last year’s meet return in hopes of capturing the crown once again.

The women’s 100- and 200-meter races will be hotly contested once again as A-State’s Caitland Smith and Texas State’s Tramesha Hardy will battle it out on the track. Smith enters the championship owning the top time in the 100-meters (11.25) while Hardy is second (11.46). The standings are reversed for the 200-meters, as Hardy owns the top time in the league at 22.72 seconds, which is the second-fastest time in league history. Smith ranks second at 23.27.

Hardy has claimed the previous two 200-meter titles.

The men’s 800-meter race will be a good one again this year as three of the top five finishers from last year’s Championship return this season. UTA’s Erik Martinsson won the title last season and owns the top time this year at 1:47.81. His time is second fastest in league history. Joining Martinsson again this year is A-State’s Heinrich Herbst, who was third last year, and ULM’s Erik Hawkins, who finished fifth.

The men’s pole vault will also provide some good competition as South Alabama’s Sean Collins will be gunning for his fourth consecutive pole vault title. Collins and A-State’s Michael Carr are ranked one-two in the Sun Belt and are separated by one centimeter (5.44m to 5.43m) in the standings. Both athletes have cleared 18′ in their careers.

Collins claimed the title in 2018 and Carr was second. Appalachian State’s Tristian Shaver and Louisiana’s Kyle Baudoin check in at third and fourth, respectively, in the rankings and both finished in that same position at last year’s Championship.

Texas State’s T’Mond Johnson is seeking his third consecutive men’s shot put title. He owns a league-best toss of 63’9″. Johnson also has the top mark in the discus (176’5″).

The women’s 1,500-meters will have three of the top five finishers back in 2019. Angela Alonso of Georgia State was the runner-up last year but returns and holds the top time heading into the Championship at 4:29.55. A-State’s Anaelle Charles finished third last year and checks in this season with the fourth best time in the event. Texas State’s Devina Schneider owns the third best time this season. Little Rock’s Shanieke Watson took eighth in the event in 2018 but won the 3,000-meter steeplechase last year and also claimed the 800-meter indoor title in February.

One of the more compelling events this year could be the women’s high jump. UTA’s Alexus Henry is the reigning Outdoor Track and Field National Champion in the event, having cleared a career-best 6’1.5″ last year at the national meet. This year Henry and USA’s Emilie Berge are tied with the same mark (5’10.5″) heading into the Championship. USA’s Olivia Swan has cleared 5’10” this season to rank third in the standings.

Berge will also be looking to three-peat as an individual champion in the hepathlon. She heads to Jonesboro with a Sun Belt Outdoor Track and Field record in the event with 5,718 points, set at the Texas Relays, giving her both the Championship and Season overall records. She reset the Championship record last year.

The 2019 Sun Belt Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be broadcast on ESPN+. All three days of the Championship will be shown live starting with the running events each day. Field events will be recapped during the live broadcast each evening.

Drew Fellios and Declan Murray will serve as the announcers for the Championships and DeltaTiming will provide live results.

ESPN+ links, live stat results and much more can be found on our championship central page – https://sunbeltsports.org/sports/2019/1/7/19-otf-champ.aspx.

About the Sun Belt Conference
Entering the second decade of the new millennium, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as an FBS member in 2001, the evidence is clear that the conference is indeed rising above competitors and peer conferences.

Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

 

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Sun Belt Conference · 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, LA · New Orleans, LA 70112 · USA

A Pair of Upsets Headline Sun Belt Softball Championship’s Opening Day

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

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A Pair of Upsets Headline Sun Belt Softball Championship’s Opening Day

Championship Central
Box Scores: Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4
 
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The first day of the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship saw No. 6 Coastal Carolina win a pair of one-run games and No. 4 Texas State open with a victory on its home field to headline a wet and wild Wednesday at Bobcat Softball Stadium.
 
The Chanticleers used pitching and timely hitting to first edge No. 7 Georgia Southern 2-1 and then outlasted No. 3 UTA 5-4 to advance in the top half of the bracket. The host Bobcats defeated No. 8 ULM 3-0 after the Warhawks provided the championship’s first upset, a 2-0 shutout of No. 5 Appalachian State in the Mountaineers’ first-ever Sun Belt Tournament appearance.

ULM’s win came following a 3:27 rain delay that postponed the start of its Game 2 matchup with Appalachian State. Freshman pitcher Adrianna Chavarria hurled a two-hit gem for the Warhawks for her seventh win of the season. ULM pushed its two runs across in back-to-back innings. Senior outfielder Jaclyn Kresta was credited with an RBI on a fielder’s choice that plated classmate Victoria Pederson in the fourth then junior shortstop Jayden Mount stroked an RBI double to left center in the fifth.
 
Coastal Carolina won its first-ever Sun Belt Tournament game in the day’s opener with a one-run victory over Georgia Southern. The Chanticleers got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning using some crafty baserunning. After freshman second base Abbey Montoya walked and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior shortstop Alexis Alvino, the two pulled off a double steal with Montoya plating the run to give Coastal the early advantage.
 
The Chanticleers’ insurance run came in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out solo home run by senior third base Chelsea D’Avilar. Georgia Southern answered in its final at-bat as senior shortstop Macy Coleman crushed her seventh home run of the year but that solo shot would be all the scoring the Eagles could muster in their fifth-straight tournament appearance.
 
Texas State capped off the extended first day with junior pitcher Dalilah Barrera and sophomore pitcher Meagan King combining to face one batter over the minimum and striking out six to stymie the ULM offense. The Bobcats cracked the scoreboard early in the bottom of the first. Junior second base Bailee Carter led off with a double and scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice. Texas State tacked on two more runs on RBI singles by freshman designated player Samara Lagway in the fourth and junior third base Hailey MacKay in the fifth.
 
The 2019 Sun Belt Softball Championship continues Thursday with Matt Stewart and Francesca Enea calling all the action from Bobcat Softball Stadium – No. 6 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 2 Troy at 10 a.m. CT, No. 4 Texas State vs. No. 1 Louisiana at 12:30 p.m., No. 8 ULM vs. the Coastal Carolina-Troy Loser at 3 p.m. CT and No. 3 UTA vs. the Texas State-Louisiana Loser at 5:30 p.m. CT.
 
All remaining games are set for live coverage on ESPN+, available online and via the ESPN app, with live statistics on SunBeltSports.org.
 
Follow #SunBeltSB on social media via TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
 
UPCOMING SCHEDULE
2019 SUN BELT SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

Thursday, May 9                                                          
Game 5 – No. 6 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 2 Troy (ESPN+), 10 a.m.
Game 6 – No. 4 Texas State vs. No. 1 Louisiana (ESPN+), 12:30 p.m.
Game 7 – No. 8 ULM vs. Game 5 Loser (ESPN+), 3 p.m.
Game 8 – No. 3 UTA vs. Game 6 Loser (ESPN+), 5:30 p.m.
                                                      
Friday, May 10
Game 9 – Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner (ESPN+), 11 a.m.
Game 10 – Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner (ESPN+), 2 p.m.
Game 11 – Game 9 Loser vs. Game 10 Winner (ESPN+), 5 p.m.
                                            
Saturday, May 11
Game 12 – Game 9 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner (ESPN+), 1 p.m.

About the Sun Belt Conference
Entering the second decade of the new millennium, the Sun Belt Conference continues to challenge itself, and its competitors, in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. Not content with being simply the youngest football conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the conference has shown that it can rise each and every season that comes along. And since the birth of the league as an FBS member in 2001, the evidence is clear that the conference is indeed rising above competitors and peer conferences.

Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama, Texas State and Troy give the league 10 football members. Little Rock and UTA compete as Sun Belt members in sports other than football.

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Sun Belt Conference · 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, LA · New Orleans, LA 70112 · USA