FORT MYERS, Fla., - Carmen Paez (Belle Glade, Fla.) was named Player of the Year of the inaugural Daktronics All-American team. Paez, a junior third baseman, left her mark in Division II softball this year.
Lock Haven junior pitcher Kristen Erb, who is trying to lead her team to a second straight NCAA Division II national championship, and Florida Gulf Coast junior third baseman Carmen Paez, who set an Division II home run record during the 2007 season, head up the inaugural Daktronics, Inc.,/NCAA Division II softball All-America team as the pitcher and player of the year, respectively.
Paez becomes the first FGCU athlete to be named National Player of the Year after her record breaking 2007 campaign. Voting was done by Division II Sports Information Directors across the country.
"Carmen brought so much to our team this season that she has to be one of the main reasons we were so successful," stated head coach Dave Deiros. "Most of it was easy to measure; a national leader in batting average, homers, RBI, walks, runs scored, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. She carried us offensively the entire season. However, her greatest value to us was intangible...her fearlessness, competitive fire, and generosity melded this team into a strong unit. Not bad for someone who has never played third base and had not played competitive fastpitch in two years."
The Eagles finished the year 62-8 and an appearance in the South Region final. The 62 wins is the fifth best mark in NCAA Division II history. Over the last two seasons, the Eagles have compiled a 120-17 mark. Next season, the Eagles return six starters, including Paez, and both starting pitchers and will move to NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference.