PERKINSTON - Mississippi Gulf Coast's Kaitlin Lee and Lexie Mathis were named to the NJCAA Division II All-American Second Team by the division's softball committee.
"Those two were a huge part of a group that won 45 games this year," Gulf Coast coach Kenneth Long said. "Kaitlin was a leader on the mound, and Lexie had such an outstanding year hitting the ball and playing really well on defense. They were a huge part of our team and I'm glad to see they got this award."
The Lady Bulldogs finished 45-7 and were ranked third in the final NJCAA Division II poll of the season. They lost out in a brutal Region 23 Tournament that saw the two winners eventually play for the national championship.
Lee, a sophomore right-handed pitcher from Harrison Central, finished 22-4 with a 0.84 ERA, second-best in the country. She struck out 138 batters and allowed only 94 hits in 167 innings.
Lee threw a perfect game against Southern Union and also batted .369 with 17 doubles while striking out only three times in 168 at bats. She became the first Gulf Coast player to sign a scholarship with an SEC softball program when she inked with Ole Miss.
"It means everything," she said about Tuesday's award. "When the season was over, I wasn't thinking about all of that anymore. So it means the world, it's an honor."
Mathis, a freshman shortstop from Baker High in Mobile, Ala., led Gulf Coast with a school-record 17 home runs and added 60 RBI while batting .436. She had seven three-hit games and nine games with three or more RBI, including a six-RBI game against Holmes.
"Being a freshman and winning an award like this is pretty great," she said. "It only makes me want to work hard and be better my sophomore year."