Winstead and Vitola earn NFCA all-region honors

WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Sophomore second baseman Taylor Vitola and freshman right-hander Emily Winstead were named to the NFCA Mid-Atlantic Region Third Team on Thursday afternoon.

Vitola is a second All-Region selection after hitting .333 at the top of the Seahawk lineup. The Middletown, Del. product is one of two Seahawks to start all 45 games. Vitola’s 49 hits are a team high and rank seventh in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The 5-7 roadrunner has been a major benefactor of UNCW’s aggressive on-base mindset. Vitola leads the CAA with 26 stolen bases, including four stolen sacks during the Seahawks’ CAA Championship last weekend.

“Tayler’s competitive spirit has really started to kick in this year,” the UNCW head coach said. Kristy Norton. “I think it shows in the way she plays the game and how she recovers from setbacks. She’s also shown tremendous quiet leadership.”

The regional honor is the latest in a long line of accolades for Winstead, whose 182 strikeouts are the second-highest mark by a Seahawk in a season. The 5-7 pitcher went 13-8 and leads CAA with a 1.66 ERA.

Winstead has four of the best six single-game strikeout efforts in program history. The Bunn, North Carolina product whipped up a career-high 14 batters against Elon on April 30 and pitched 10 complete games, with three shutouts, in 19 starts.

“Emily has the advantage on the mound,” said Norton, who is currently in his 10th season as Seahawks skipper. “It’s a ‘No one will stay in the box and beat me’ mentality against anyone she comes up against. The fire she plays with motivates our whole team.”

The Seahawks make their NCAA Tournament debut on Friday against the tenth-seeded Clemson Tigers at noon. The first pitch from McWhorter Stadium can be seen live on the ACC Network or streamed on the ESPN app.


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