CIAA Announces 2022 Preseason Softball All-Conference Team and Predicted Order of Finish

By: Ben Baxter

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) announces the 2022 All-CIAA preseason softball team, as voted on by the CIAA Softball Coaches Association and Sports Information Directors Association, and the predicted order of finish as selected by the head coaches.

The 2022 preseason team is highlighted by three previous All-CIAA honorees from Claflin University in junior pitcher Shaniya Thomas, junior catcher Marion Goins, and junior outfielder Ashley Thomas. 

In a condensed 2021 season, Shaniya Thomas finished with a 3-3 record, including NCAA regional play, with a 4.42 earned run average. The 2019 CIAA Rookie & Pitcher of the Year also posted 19 strikeouts and just five walks to help lead the Lady Panthers into the 2021 postseason. In 2021, Goins registered 12 hits with a .343 batting average, two homeruns, a triple, three doubles, and nine RBI in just 11 games while also posting a .977 fielding percentage behind the plate. Ashley Thomas went 11 for 11 on stolen bases in seven games in 2021 while also recording four hits with two runs batted in. 

Claflin leads the preseason team with three selections followed by Fayetteville State, Virginia Union, and Winston-Salem State with two each. 

Claflin was also picked to win the Southern Division title and Elizabeth City State was selected to win the Northern Division crown. The Panthers were also voted by league coaches to finish atop the CIAA standings. 

Claflin finished 8-3 in 2021 (8-1 in conference play), earning the conference’s automatic bid to NCAA regionals. In the league’s last full year of competition, the Panthers made history during their inaugural CIAA season with an 18-0 conference record (38-19 overall) to win the school’s first division title while finishing as runner-up at the 2019 CIAA Softball Championship.

The Vikings, led by coach Erin Forbes and preseason All-CIAA second baseman Sikia Korneagy, finished with a 6-8 record in 2021. Korneagy led the Vikings with 18 hits and .429 batting average last season. 

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2022 All-CIAA Preseason Softball Team

Pitcher                                  Shaniya Thomas, Claflin
Catcher                                Marion Goins, Claflin
First Base                             Arianna Burford, Virginia Union
Second Base                        Sikia Korneagy, Elizabeth City State
Third Base                            Semaj Brown, Winston-Salem State
Shortstop                              Angel Johnson, Fayetteville State
Outfield                                 Kamryn Kirby, Winston-Salem State
Outfield                                 Ashley Thomas, Claflin
Outfield                                 Makyiah Mitchell, Fayetteville State
Designated Player                Mya Tino, Virginia Union
Utility Player                          Evelyn Buehlman, Bowie State

2022 CIAA Softball Predicted Order of Finish

1.  Claflin
t2. Elizabeth City State
t2. Fayetteville State
4. Bowie State
5. Winston-Salem State
6. Johnson C. Smith
7. Lincoln (PA)
8. Shaw
9. Virginia State
10. Virginia Union
11. Saint Augustine’s
12. Livingstone

Northern Division

  1. Elizabeth City State
  2. Bowie State
  3. Lincoln (PA)
  4. Shaw
  5. Virginia State
  6. Virginia Union

Southern Division

  1. Claflin
  2. Fayetteville State
  3. Winston-Salem State
  4. Johnson C. Smith
  5. Saint Augustine’s
  6. Livingstone