MACON, Ga. – With the 2013 regular season now having come to a close, the FGCU softball team (35-16, 16-7 A-Sun) collected a total of five Atlantic Sun Conference postseason honors among three Eagles, four came in the form of A-Sun All-Conference honors, while the other two were A-Sun Academic All-Conference honors, the league announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The trio of Eagles consisted of senior Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers HS), junior Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) and sophomore Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty HS).
“Congratulations to our two honorees and our two academic honorees,” said head coach David Deiros. “It is well deserved for all of them as they have done a fantastic job representing the university and preforming on and off of the field.”
Zgrabik was named A-Sun Co-Player of the Year and A-Sun second team catcher after playing in 45 games before suffering a season-ending injury against USC Upstate (Apr. 21). The 2013 A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year posted offensive stats that had her at the top of several A-Sun categories, as well as multiple national categories. Zgrabik finished the season with 15 home runs (second in A-Sun & 25th in the nation) for 56 RBI (tied for first in A-Sun & sixth in the nation) while having posted a .329 batting average, a .713 slugging percentage third in A-Sun) and a .404 on-base percentage. The Eagles’ primary backstop recorded three two-home run games, seven three-RBI games, three four-RBI games and one six-RBI game over the course of her 45-game junior season.
“Despite her season being cut short, Chelsea Zgrabik did well enough during her season to really merit the awards that she got and to be honored as A-Sun Co-Player of the Year,” Deiros explained.
In just her second season as a member of the FGCU squad, Carpenter was named to the A-Sun second team after having shined throughout the year for the Eagles in left field as the sophomore finished with a team-high in batting average (.379), walks (35) and on-base percentage (.487). Carpenter compiled 10 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and 32 RBI over the course of her 51 appearances and 49 starts. Her four triples tied her for first in the A-Sun and 33rd in the nation in the category. The Oviedo, Fla. native ranks third in the A-Sun and 48th in the nation in walks with 35 while placing fourth in the NCAA in sacrifice flies this season with six.
“I would have liked to see Kelsey Carpenter get a little more of her due because I thought she was, if not the best player on our team, one of the best players on our team,” Deiros stated. “I would have liked to see her on the first team because I think she deserved that, but to be honored in her second year is a nice honor for her.”
Carpenter, like Zgrabik, was also a recipient of two A-Sun postseason honors as the sophomore left fielder made the A-Sun Academic All-Conference team as she has posted a 3.90 GPA while majoring in Physical Therapy. Fernandez joined Carpenter on the Academic All-Conference team after recording a 3.86 GPA as an Elementary Education major. Fernandez was also solid on the field for the Eagles by batting .281 this season while scoring 28 runs and putting up a .532 slugging percentage and a .389 on-base percentage.
“Our A-Sun Academic All-Conference selections have just done a fantastic job, both on and off the field,” Deiros said.
FGCU is the No. 3 seed in the 2013 A-Sun tournament and as the 2012 A-Sun tournament champions; the Eagles will begin their title defense on Wednesday, May 8 against No. 6 Stetson at 4 p.m. EST from Draper Diamond in Nashville, Tenn.
In-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Softball), results and a recap from the day’s action will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.
2013 Atlantic Sun Softball Awards and Honors
Co-Player of the Year: Chelsea Zgrabik, FGCU
Co-Player of the Year: Sarah Simon, Jacksonville
Pitcher of the Year: Kaylie Wallace, North Florida
Freshman of the Year: Jamie Ujvari, USC Upstate
Coach of the Year: Marcie Hickey, North Florida
First Team All-Conference
C - Sarah Simon, Jacksonville
P - Kaylie Wallace, North Florida
P - Jamie Ujvari, USC Upstate
IF - Karson Tuck, Jacksonville
IF - Brittany Elmore, Lipscomb
IF - Paige Neely, Lipscomb
IF - Maddison Kieffer, USC Upstate
OF - Meredith Barnes, USC Upstate
OF - McKenzie Woody, Mercer
OF - Shellie Robinson, USC Upstate
UT - Sharon Swanson, Kennesaw State
Second Team All-Conference
C - Chelsea Zgrabik, FGCU
P - Amanda Henderson, Kennesaw State
P - Meredith Owen, Stetson
IF - Krista Kennedy, Mercer
IF - Randi Rea, Mercer
IF - Kelly Wilson, North Florida
IF - Cheyenne Griffin, USC Upstate
OF - Kelsey Carpenter, FGCU
OF - Gracey Aguirre, Lipscomb
OF - Danica Mandarano, North Florida
UT - Meredith Owen, Stetson
Academic All-Conference Team
Scholar Athlete: Sarah Santana, Mercer
Sarah Santana, Mercer – Accounting
Jackie Baird, ETSU - Exercise Science
Kelsey Carpenter, FGCU - Physical Therapy
Mariah Fernandez, FGCU - Elementary Education
Jensen Hackett, Kennesaw State - Exercise & Health Science
Bree Thurman, Lipscomb - Accounting
Danica Mandarano, North Florida - Health Administration
Kaylie Wallace, North Florida - Accounting
Maddison Kieffer, USC Upstate - Nursing
Chrissy Morello, Stetson - Elementary Education
Meredith Owen, Stetson - Marketing