Softball Garners Multiple Postseason Awards
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
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FORT MYERS, Fla. - After finishing the Atlantic Sun regular season in third place, the FGCU softball team earned additional honors on Tuesday. The conference announced their postseason honors, with FGCU taking home four awards.

Senior Jessica Gary (Naples, Fla.) and junior Courtney Platt (Naples, Fla.) picked up Second Team All-Atlantic Sun honors, while freshmen Mariah Fernandez (Cape Coral, Fla.) and Tiffani Upchurch (Lake Wales, Fla.) earned All-Freshman Team selections.

In FGCU’s third year in Division I play, Gary hit .342, which ranked 10th in the A-Sun. The Naples, Fla. native, who played shortstop for the first time in her life over the team’s final 26 games, also ranked tied for 4th in the A-Sun with 40 runs scored, 6th in the A-Sun with 87 total bases, and 7th in the conference with a .540 slugging percentage. Gary’s seven homers and 11 doubles were good for second place on the Eagles this season.

“JG’s all-conference selection has been a long time coming,” said head coach Dave Deiros. “She has been one of the most under appreciated players in the conference the past three seasons, but I am happy that she has finally received the recognition that she deserves. I am very proud of Jessica Gary.”

Platt had another solid season on the field for the Eagles. She hit .311 on the season and finished with 31 RBI, 83 total bases, and 42 hits. Platt also finished with a .615 slugging percentage, a .475 on-base percentage, 40 walks, 12 doubles, nine homers, 83 total bases, and 31 runs scored, which all are top-10 in the conference.

“Courtney Platt built on the success she had as a sophomore and had a really good junior season in 2010,” said Deiros. “She continues to be our main offensive force and we are looking for big things from her next year.”

Fernandez and Upchurch had solid freshman campaigns for the Eagles. Fernandez started all 52 games and switched from third base to center field midway through the season. Fernandez batted .296 with four home runs and 14 RBI, while also registering a .415 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage in A-Sun games. Upchurch also started all 52 games for the Blue and Green and switched positions from shortstop to third base midway through the year. She hit .210 (.246 in conference play) with three home runs and 15 RBI.

“Mariah and Tiffani were good players for us this past season,” said Deiros. “Both of them improved tremendously at their position and at the plate as the year progressed.”

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.