BOCA RATON, Fla. (May 8, 2012) - The Sun Belt Conference announced the 2012 All-Sun Belt Conference teams on Tuesday night, as senior outfielder Ashley McClain earned first-team honors and sophomore pitcher Mariah Dawson earned second-team laurels.
The honor marks the third of its kind for McClain, as she has been named to the All-SBC First Team for the past three seasons, becoming just the second player in program history to earn three first-team nods. The all-conference accolade marks the first of Dawson's career.
McClain leads FIU in most offensive categories, including batting average (.370), total bases (95), hits (57), RBI (37) runs (34), doubles (12) and home runs (8). The two-time NFCA All-South Region pick ranks fourth in the conference in hits, doubles and slugging percentage (.617), and fifth in batting average, on-base percentage (.467) and total bases. This season, McClain has set school records for career RBI (161), home runs (33) and total bases (415), and the Brandon, Fla., native has added to her first-place doubles total with 53 career two-baggers. The 2010 SBC Player of the Year currently owns 253 hits to rank second in school history, remaining 14 hits shy of the all-time record. On April 11, McClain was named one of 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.
Dawson leads the league in strikeouts with 196 K's on the season, a mark which ranks second on the FIU single-season charts. With four strikeouts, the Camas, Wash., native will become just the second player in program history to achieve 200 K's in a season. Dawson has made a league-leading 39 appearances in the circle for the Panthers and owns a record of 19-12, as her 19 wins rank third in the SBC and tied for third in the FIU single-season record books. The sophomore has posted six shutouts across 28 starts, including 16 complete games, totaling 184.1 innings of work. Dawson owns an ERA of 2.77 going into SBC Championship action.
FIU (27-25, 15-9 SBC) will begin action at the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship on Wednesday, May 9, at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. The No. 3-seeded Panthers will face No. 6 seed Troy (31-22, 10-14 SBC) at 11 a.m. Fans can follow all the action via live stats and live video via SunBeltSports.org, and on Twitter (@FIUSoftball).
2012 SUN BELT CONFERENCE TEAMS
Ashley Brignac (Louisiana, Senior, Pitcher)
Jordan Wallace (Louisiana, Freshman, Pitcher)
Karavin Dew (WKU, Junior, Catcher)
Matte Haack (Louisiana, Junior, First Base)
Kayla Toney (Middle Tennessee, Sophomore, Second Base)
Nerissa Myers (Louisiana, Junior, Shortstop)
Natalie Fernandez (Louisiana, Sophomore, Third Base)
Ashley McClain (FIU, Senior, Outfield)
Christi Orgeron (Louisiana, Senior, Outfield)
Katie Smith (Louisiana, Senior, Outfield)
Maddelyn Fraley (North Texas, Senior, Utility)
At-Large: Ashley Rainey (Troy, Freshman, Pitcher)
Mariah Dawson (FIU, Sophomore, Pitcher)
Hannah Campbell (South Alabama, Sophomore, Pitcher)
Hannah Renn (Troy, Junior, Catcher)
Hayden Gann (Troy, Senior, First Base)
Sarah Shields (Troy, Senior, Second Base)
Brittany Fowler (South Alabama, Junior, Shortstop)
Preslie Cruce (WKU, Freshman, Third Base)
Blair Johnson (South Alabama, Freshman, Outfield)
Michelle Hewett (Troy, Senior, Outfield)
Kelsie Mattox (WKU, Sophomore, Outfield)
Taylor Fawbush (Florida Atlantic, Junior, Utility)
At-Large: Sarah Draheim (Louisiana, Junior, Catcher)
Player of the Year: Christi Orgeron, Louisiana
Pitcher of the Year: Ashley Brignac, Louisiana
Freshman of the Year: Jordan Wallace, Louisiana
Coach of the Year: Stefni and Michael Lotief, Louisiana
About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men's soccer). Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU's campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.
About FIU: Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU is worlds ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission and enrolls nearly 48,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. More than 140,000 alumni live and work in South Florida. FIU is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.
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