ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop Athletics honored five former student-athletes on Jan. 29 as they were inducted into the 2010 Hall of Fame.
The five inductees were: Diane Sisley Adams, class of 1986, who was a two-time NAIA All-American in softball; Carl Dale, class of 1995, Winthrop's first former baseball player to reach the Major Leagues; Adam Growley, class of 2002, a three-time Big South Conference MVP in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track; Dr. Jennifer Pritchard, class of 2003, a two-time All-Big South volleyball player and a first team Verizon Academic All-American; and Leigh-Ann Pursifull, class of 1997, who is a member of the Lady Eagles' 1,000-point club in basketball, and an all-conference performer in women's track and field.
Pritchard and Dale were unable to attend the event held in McBryde Hall. Accepting on behalf of Pritchard was Jim Johnston, chairman of the Winthrop biology department, who was Pritchard's academic advisor and professor. Winthrop head baseball coach Joe Hudak accepted for Dale, who was one of the first two players signed by Hudak when he took over the Eagles' coaching duties in 1991-92.
The latest inductees were recognized during halftime at the Winthrop men's basketball game against Coastal Carolina on Jan. 30. The Hall of Fame has selected 35 inductees since its creation in 2004.
Other interesting notes about each player and their remarks:
Diane Sisley Adams – She was a two-time NAIA All-American in 1984 and 1985 while playing the shortstop position. She ranks among Winthrop’s top 10 career leaders in five categories – runs scored (151), hits (200), total bases (271), stolen bases (67) and bases on balls (61). Now living in Sumter where she manages a Petco, Adams called her time at Winthrop among the best four years of her life.
Carl Dale – Following his junior year, the right handed pitcher was drafted in the second round of the 1994 Major League draft as the 53rd overall pick and later played for the Oakland Athletics and the Milwaukee Brewers. He ranks among the Winthrop career pitching leaders in five categories – wins (22), games started (39), complete games (21), strikeouts (236), innings pitched (280.1). Hudak related that Dale appreciated the coach giving a skinny kid from Cookeville, Tenn., a chance to pitch in Division I baseball. Dale now works for Tennessee Tech.
Adam Growley – Growley helped lead Winthrop’s cross country team to back-to-back Big South Conference championships in 2000 and 2001. He was named a NCAA All-Southeast Region cross country performer in 1998 and 2000 and qualified for the 2000 NCAA Cross Country Championship. He was selected Big South Cross Country MVP in 2001 after winning the league’s individual championship and was also the 2001 Big South Indoor Track MVP and the 2001 Big South Outdoor Track MVP. Growley said running is an individual sport but Coach Ben Paxton and his team mates made the experience a treasured one. He now works as a financial advisor from Merrill Lynch/Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C.
Jennifer Pritchard – She was a standout volleyball student-athlete during her four-year career as she led Winthrop to back-to-back Big South Conference championships in 2001 and 2002, and was the first Winthrop female student-athlete to be selected to the Verizon Academic All-America 3rd Team in 2001 and the 1st Team in 2002. She compiled a perfect 4.0 grade point average during her college career. She was a two-time All-Big South selection in 2001 and 2002 and was selected on the 2002 Big South All-Tournament Team. Now in a medical residency program at the University of Alberta in Canada, she wrote that she was grateful for her volleyball career and academic training at Winthrop. She expects to finish her training in emergency medicine in 2012.
Leigh-Ann Pursifull – Pursifull graduated Cum Laude as a two-sport athlete in women’s basketball and track. Following graduation, she played professional basketball in Sweden where she was selected to the 2001 All-Star team. Pursifull was a two-time All-Big South Conference selection in 1998 and 1999. She holds the Winthrop career records for free throws attempted and free throws made and ranks among the Winthrop top 10 career leaders in 12 categories. She finished her career with 1,173 points. As an outdoor track performer, Pursifull placed in the Big South Conference Outdoor Track Championship in both the shot put and javelin. Now employed at Anderson University, she said she played sports because of her love of the games and didn't do it for the awards or statistics. She especially appreciated the support of the university as she neared scoring more than 1,000 points.