Gamecocks Add NJCAA All-American Shannon Plese for 2016-17
July 11, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head coach Beverly Smith added a fourth member to her incoming group for the 2016-17 academic year, inking NJCAA All-American outfielder Shannon Plese to a scholarship after Plese’s two-year stint at Chattanooga State.
A two-time NJCAA All-American for the Tigers, Plese hit .436 with a .623 slugging percentage in two years, scoring 142 runs and driving in 128 in 126 career games. A first-team All-American as a freshman along with new teammate Jessica Elliott (Chipola College), Plese helped Chattanooga State make the NJCAA Division I World Series with her 99 hits, ranked fourth in NJCAA Division I, seven homers and 59 RBI. She stole 13 bases and scored 72 runs, the latter ranking 10th in the country. As a sophomore, Plese ranked 26th in the country with 23 doubles with a .437 batting average. She also posted seven outfield assists in 2016 as part of her second-team All-America campaign.
The Knoxville, Tenn., native played her prep days at the Christian Academy of Knoxville, hitting .537 with 65 runs and 39 RBI during her senior season. She swiped 16 bags as well en route to Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State honors for Division I Class AA. The Warriors made the state semifinals in 2014. Plese also earned All-State honors as a sophomore as a pitcher. On the travel-ball circuit, Plese played with the Tennessee Sting.
Plese is the third former Tiger to continue her softball career in Columbia, following Melissa Hendon (2007-08) and Kaela Jackson (2011-12). She joins three-time South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year Cayla Drotar, Mackenzie Boesel and Alexis Lindsey as newcomers to the 2017 Gamecock Softball roster.
The Gamecocks, in their sixth season under Smith’s direction, made their fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament, advancing to the championship round in the Tallahassee Regional while ending the campaign with a 38-23 overall record.