Saturday, 08 May 2021 13:34

Richmond softball names 3 to All-Conference team

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Junior Allyiah Swiney, Sophomore Quston Leviner and junior Kenleigh Frye were selected to the 2021 All-SAC softball team. Junior Allyiah Swiney, Sophomore Quston Leviner and junior Kenleigh Frye were selected to the 2021 All-SAC softball team. Michelle Parrish, Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM — Three Richmond Senior High School softball players were named to the 2021 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference team.

Juniors Kenleigh Frye and Allyiah Swiney, along with sophomore Quston Leviner, were selected to the 24-player roster.

It was Swiney’s second career selection (also named as a freshman), and Frye and Leviner each earned the postseason accolade for the first time in their respective careers.

Richmond’s All-Conference selections were made available on Saturday morning, a day after Purnell Swett High School lost in the third round of the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs.

“It’s great to have three players selected, especially after a season that was unlike any other,” head coach Mike Way said. “We started out on such a high note, and the season didn’t end the way we wanted, but all three girls were a part of our success.

“When we factored all the things together, we got better and got experience,” he added. “The best thing is that all three of our All-Conference players will return next year.”

Richmond finished the 2021 season with a 7-6 overall record and a 6-6 mark against SAC opponents. The Lady Raiders started the spring winning four of their first five games, and finished fourth in the SAC standings.

Frye’s 18 runs scored were second in the conference, while Swiney’s 17 runs were tied for third. Swiney (.750) and Frye (.711) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the SAC in slugging percentage. 

Both Lady Raiders also had 10 stolen bases on the season, which was atop the SAC stat sheet along with Pinecrest’s Maggie Drake.

“Allyiah and Kenleigh are our spark plugs,” Way explained. “When they’re doing their thing, they make us go. They know how to get on base, steal bases and really cause havoc.”

Leviner became one of Richmond’s two starting pitchers when senior Kearston Bruce suffered a month-long injury. She collected three wins (tied for fourth in the SAC), had 38 strikeouts and a 3.47 ERA, which were fifth and sixth, respectively in the conference.

“Quston had to step up big for us as a sophomore,” he added. “She filled in a bigger pitching role than we anticipated, and handled that responsibility as well as she could have. We have a lot of positive things going into next year.”

Allyah Swiney, shortstop

Duke University verbal commit

Collecting her second All-SAC nod in as many full seasons played, Swiney served as Richmond’s leadoff hitter and shortstop. In 13 games, she had a .462 on-base percentage, while also hitting .364 at the plate.

Swiney had 16 hits, including a team-high four home runs, which she spread out over four games. That mark was tied for the SAC lead with Scotland’s Lindsay Locklear.

She added two triples and a double to her stats and scored 17 runs for Richmond, crossing the plate four times in a win over Uwharrie Charter Academy. 

Her nine RBIs were tied for third on the team and she recorded a season-high two RBIs twice. On the basepaths, Swiney stole 10 bags and was perfect on her attempts, and swiped three bases in the game against Uwharrie Charter.

Kenleigh Frye, center fielder

Wingate University verbal commit

Frye also brought a mixture of power and speed to the Lady Raiders’ lineup, and led Richmond with a .444 batting average, which was also fourth in the SAC. 

Through her first five games, Frye was 12-of-17 at the plate with a .705 average, and finished the season with a .490 OBP, which also led the team.

Notching 20 hits in 13 games, Frye was the Lady Raiders’ leader in that category. The left-handed hitting center fielder and second baseman roped five doubles, two triples and her one home run was a walk-off blast against Pinecrest High School.

Frye’s best game was against Hoke County, when she went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple and had three RBIs. Her 11 RBIs were tied for second on the team and fifth in the conference, and she was perfect on the basepaths with 10 steals.

Quston Leviner, pitcher

Playing in her first varsity season, Leviner made 12 appearances and threw 40.1 innings of work. She held opposing batters to a .282 batting average, allowed 49 hits and gave up 32 runs (20 earned).

She struck out at least five batters four times, with a season-high nine punchouts coming against the second game against Lumberton High School. Leviner also struck out six batters in a senior night win over Uwharrie Charter, and her 38 Ks were a team-high.

At the plate, Leviner hit .293 with 12 hits, including three doubles, a triple and one home run. Her homer came against the Lady Pirates early in the season, and she drove in seven RBIs and scored nine times this spring.

She had three two-RBI games, one coming against Jack Britt High School and the other two were both against Lumberton. In the final matchup with Lumberton, Leviner was 3-of-4 with two doubles and two runs batted in.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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