The winners of Reinhardt University’s 2009-10 Golden Eagle and Thelma Rogers Silver Eagle awards were recently announced by athletic director Bill Popp. The award recipients include two former male student-athletes, along with one past and one current female student-athletes.
Earning a Golden Eagle Award were baseball player Matt Dalton and softball player Maddie Monroe. Chosen for a Silver Eagle Award, named after a former Reinhardt athletic administrator and coach, were Kordel Alexander, a member of the men’s basketball program, and softball player Alex Riccardi.
Golden Eagle awards are given annually to Reinhardt’s top male and female student-athletes while the Silver Eagle awards are presented to a male and female student-athlete for his/her team spirit and loyalty to the University.
Dalton, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior right-hander from Suwanee, Ga., earned First Team All-Appalachian Athletic Conference accolades in 2010 as a starting pitcher. He led the AAC and finished fifth nationally in the NAIA with a 1.85 ERA while setting single-season school records for wins (seven), ERA, complete games (six), strikeouts (75) and opponents’ batting average (.210). Dalton also tied the single-season school mark for innings pitched with 73, and he ranked among the top 10 in the conference in nearly every statistical pitching category, including third in opponents’ batting average, third in hits allowed per nine innings (7.03), fourth in innings pitched per game (5.62), fifth in total strikeouts, fifth in runs allowed per game (2.08), tied for fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (9.25) and seventh in total innings pitched. He was once named AAC Pitcher of the Week and is the holder of most of the Eagles’ career pitching records. Dalton finished with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 and graduated from Reinhardt in May with a B.S. degree in sociology.
A 5-foot-7 right-handed pitcher/first baseman out of Calhoun, Ga., Monroe was a first team all-conference selection and the 2010 AAC Pitcher of the Year as a freshman with the Lady Eagles. She helped lead her team to the conference regular season championship, an overall record of 40-11 (the best record of any Reinhardt team in 2009-10) and a final national ranking of 40th (tie). Chosen as the AAC Pitcher of the Week three times, Monroe led the conference in wins (18), saves (two), opponents’ batting average (.173) and strikeouts (193). Nationally in the NAIA, she finished third in ERA (0.75), fourth in earned runs allowed per game (0.63), sixth in runs allowed per game (0.93) and 17th in opponents’ batting average. During her first campaign, Monroe posted 19 complete games and 12 shutouts with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 193-15. She also pitched a perfect game in her collegiate debut and has a 3.2 cumulative GPA. Monroe returns as a sophomore for the Lady Eagles in 2011.
Alexander, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior guard from Pensacola, Fla., served as a team captain in 2009-10 and this season he will continue to be a part of the men’s basketball program as a student assistant coach. Reinhardt head coach Jeffrey Pourchier said that Alexander “always had a positive, upbeat attitude.” The recipient of a Reinhardt Family Campaign Scholarship, he assisted the athletic department last spring with working home events, eventually taking over the running of the concession stand for home baseball and softball games. On the court, Alexander earned Third Team All-AAC honors after being a member of the All-Southern States Athletic Conference Team in 2009. In his senior season, Alexander started 28 games, leading the team in three-point field goals made (61) while averaging 9.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. As a junior, he led NAIA Division I in free throw percentage at 89.9 percent. Alexander, a sport studies major, is expected to earn his degree from Reinhardt later this year.
A 5-foot-6 senior right-handed pitcher/outfielder out of Americus, Ga., Riccardi was a team captain and a Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athlete the last two seasons. Recognized in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges,” she was a part of the AAC All-Academic Team in 2010 and the SSAC All-Academic Team each of the previous two years. In 2009, Riccardi was Reinhardt’s representative on the SSAC Champions of Character Team and she holds memberships in the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and the Beta Beta Beta National Honor Society. On the field, she played in 47 games with 45 starts, tying for the team lead in walks (10). While pitching, Riccardi compiled a 7-2 record and a 1.33 ERA while striking out 27 and walking just five in 52.2 innings (12 appearances). Nationally in the NAIA, she finished second in total earned runs allowed (10), second in total runs allowed (11), third in total walks allowed, fourth in total hits allowed (37), fifth in runs allowed per game (0.917), 14th in earned runs allowed per game (0.833) and 19th in ERA. Riccardi led the conference in total earned runs allowed, total runs allowed, runs allowed per game, total walks allowed and walks allowed per game while ranking third in ERA and fourth in opponents’ batting average (.195). When the Lady Eagles clinched the AAC regular season title, she pitched a no-hitter and as a junior, she was a Second Team All-SSAC pick. Riccardi posted a final cumulative GPA of 4.0 at Reinhardt and graduated in May with summa cum laude honors and a B.S. in biology.
All four honorees will be recognized during halftime of a men’s or women’s basketball game during the 2010-11 season. Their names are also displayed on large plaques in the lobby of the James & Sis Brown Athletic Center on Reinhardt’s Waleska campus.
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