College sports: West grad Stolsworth is USA South Pitcher of the Year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

Staff report

North Carolina Wesleyan junior Payne Stolsworth is the USA South Pitcher of the Year and a first team All-USA South pick.

Stolsworth was a standout at West Rowan in football, basketball and baseball.

Playing quarterback didn’t work out for the 6-foot-3 athlete at N.C. Wesleyan, but a switch to being a full-time baseball player has paid off. He was the USA South Pitcher of the Week four times this season.

Stolsworth put together a dominant year, taking the pitching “triple crown” for USA South. He led the league in strikeouts (80), ERA (1.99) and wins (9).

Stolsworth took a 9-0 record into the conference tournament, which is under way.

Pfeiffer graduate student John Owen, former East Rowan star, was named as one of the pitchers on the All-USA South second team. He entered the tournament with a 7-2 record.

Methodist sophomore outfielder Jackson Deal, former South Rowan standout,  wasn’t voted to the All-USA South team but has had a sensational season. He’s hitting .336 with three homers, 26 RBIs, 15 steals and 59 runs scored.

Regular season champ N.C. Wesleyan, Pfeiffer and Methodist are contenders for the USA South tourney title.


Pfeiffer dominated the individual awards for USA South softball.

Mooresville’s Kali Morton, the top pitcher for the Rowan Little League team that won the 2015 World Series, is starring at Pfeiffer after transferring from Erskine.

Morton is the USA South Pitcher of the Year. She won her 16th game on Thursday in the conference tournament.

Pfeiffer’s Kenzi Lyall, a two-way player who transferred from Appalachian State, is the USA South Player of the Year.

Pfeiffer’s Monte Sherrill is the USA South Coach of the Year.