SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Five Chattanooga student-athletes earned top honors from the Southern Conference the league office announced Thursday. Jonathan Hodge and Emma de Groot swept the golf honors for March and All-American Cody Cleveland was named Wrestler of the Month while Laura Hall earned her first-ever Player of the Month for Women’s Basketball and Brooke Loudermilk nabbed her second Pitcher of the Month honor.
Besides these five honors, the league recognized outstanding student-athletes from softball (player of the month), baseball (player and pitcher of the month), men’s and women’s tennis and men’s basketball.
Men’s Golf • Jonathan Hodge • Jr. • Jefferson City, Tenn.
Chattanooga men’s golf star Jonathan Hodge was named Southern Conference Golfer of the Month for March He was named the league’s Men’s Golfer of the Week honors on Wednesday.
In four March tournaments, Hodge won two, finished tied for fifth and tied for 11th. He sparked Chattanooga’s move from No. 17 to No. 12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings Index. He had a 71.75 scoring average in 12 rounds, 861 strokes (+3). Hodge led the Mocs to two tournament wins to go with a second and third-place finish with a 60-3 (.952) record, 10-3 against teams in the top 40 at the time of the event with a 186-stroke advantage (14.3 strokes per team).
With the win at the Furman Intercollegiate, Hodge set a new school for wins in a season with three. That total also ties him with former teammate Bryce Ledford for most career wins with the Mocs. He is now ranked No. 22 in the Golfstat Cup and No. 31 in the Golfweek.
Chattanooga, now ranked No. 12 in Golfweek, returns to action April 7-8 at the Bank of America Intercollegiate hosted by Ole Miss at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss.
Women’s Golf • Emma de Groot • Fr. • Coffs Harbor, New South Wales, Australia
In a year of firsts, Chattanooga’s Emma de Groot has earned the first-ever Southern Conference Women’s Golfer Player of the Month for the Lady Mocs. Earlier this week, de Groot was named the league’s Player of the Week, her second this year.
In two tournaments in March, de Groot has two top three finishes including her first career tournament win at the Samford Intercollegiate. She fired a three-round 5-under 211 with her lowest round score of 68 on the final day. At the Pinehurst Challenge, she finished third and has finished in the top 10 in every tournament this year.
She is ranked 29th in the latest ratings by Golfstat.com and has a 73.27 stroke average and leads the Southern Conference. In the Golfweek.com rankings, the Lady Mocs are 62nd overall with a 76.21 rating.
Chattanooga returns to action April 11 at the Stanford University Peg Barnard California Collegiate at the Stanford Golf Club in Stanford, Calif.
Wrestling • Cody Cleveland • So. • Tullahoma, Tenn. • 141 pounds
Cleveland was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at Southern Conference Championships with two pins in two matches to win the 141-pound title He earned automatic qualifying to NCAA Championships. In the league championships, he pinned No. 2 seed Marcus Cox of Appalachian State in finals after pinning Ben Wilmore of Davidson in semifinals.
At the NCAA Championships, Cleveland went 4-3 to finish in eighth place and earn All-America honors. He posted Nationals wins over Corey Jantzen of Harvard, Zach Bailey of Oklahoma, Tim Harner of Liberty and No. 3 seed Kellen Russell of Michigan.
Cleveland is the Mocs’ fifth All-America in the last four years.
Women’s Basketball • Laura Hall • Sr. • Oliver Springs, Tenn. • Point Guard
Senior guard Laura Hall earned her first-ever Player of the Month Honor from the Southern Conference after leading the Lady Mocs to their seventh Southern Conference Tournament title in eight years and their third straight.
Hall, a point guard from Oliver Springs, Tenn., led the Lady Mocs with a 16.5 point per game scoring average. She had a game-high tying 15 points in the Southern Conference tournament semifinals and had 22 points against Western Carolina in the finals. Hall was named to the All-SoCon Tournament first team.
She dished out 15 assists in the month and went 10-for-15 from the 3-point line and 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Against UNC Greensboro in the SoCon quarterfinals, Hall had six assists and recorded four more against WCU in the final.
In Chattanooga’s third straight NCAA tournament appearance, Hall led three Chattanooga players in double figures with a team-high 19 points, making 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. She had two assists, two steals and three rebounds. She was ranked for most of the season as the assists leader for the Southern Conference and ranked in the top 100 of the nation by the NCAA.
The Lady Mocs closed the season with a 29-4 overall record and ran the table in the Southern Conference at 18-0 and then posted a 3-0 mark in the league championship. Hall helped lead the Lady Mocs to the nation’s longest winning streak at 24 games that ran from December and into March.
Softball • Brooke Loudermilk • So. • Locust Grove, Ga. • Pitcher
The accolades continue to roll in for one of the most decorated pitchers in the 15-year history of Chattanooga softball as sophomore Brooke Loudermilk (Locust Grove, Ga.) has been named the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Month for March.
Already the two-time reigning Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week, Loudermilk added to her impressive collection of awards Thursday, April 3 with her second career Pitcher of the Month award after posting an 8-2 record and 1.87 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. She made 14 appearances, nine of them starts, and allowed only 40 hits and 16 runs, 14 of them earned, while surrendering only 18 walks. During that stretch she also compiled six complete games, two shutouts and two saves as well as a 1.34 strikeout per inning average.
The month of March was filled with highlights for Loudermilk, including a program-record tying 15 strikeouts in a 4-1 victory over UNC Greensboro on March 21, the third 14 strikeout performance of her career in a 2-0 shutout of Dartmouth and a complete game, one-hit, 1-0 victory over Tennessee State on March 26. In that game she faced only one batter over the minimum and struck out eight batters.
She also picked up a 4-1 victory over 28-6 Florida Gulf Coast on March 12 and allowed three or fewer hits in five starts, four of them complete games. Loudermilk closed out the month with three stellar outings against Western Carolina, including an 11-strikeout, 3-1 victory in the opener and a two inning win in relief in Game 2. She picked up her second save of the month and third of the season in the series finale as she came in and struck out the side in the seventh inning of a 4-2 game.
It is Loudermilk’s first Pitcher of the Month award this season and the second of her career as she claimed the April 2007 award.
Brooke Loudermilk and the Lady Mocs will next be in action this weekend when they travel to Appalachian State for a weekend series beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 5.