FORT MYERS, Fla. – Leading up to the 10th year in FGCU Softball history, the program is announcing its Top 10 Most Influential Players of the last decade. After the votes were tallied, head coach David Deiros lists the players in alphabetically order.
These players helped the Eagles compete at the Division II level for their first five seasons, qualified for the postseason in two of their three eligible seasons, transitioned to Division I, joined the Atlantic Sun Conference, produced three Conference Players of the Year and three All-Americans, and won 382 games. After evaluating more than 500 games of history, a panel selected the Top 10 Most Influential Players to lead up to the first pitch of the 2012 season.
FGCU Softball’s Top 10 Most Influential Players List
#3 Ashley Cecil (Spencer) (2003-05) - Cecil, an outfielder, played three seasons at FGCU, went on to become FGCU’s all-time leader in stolen bases with 170. Her 228 hits are third in the record books and was a two-time Division II All-Independent team selection in 2004 and 2005. Cecil also was a CoSida All-Academic second team honoree. In her senior season in 2005, Cecil swiped 66 stolen bases and was named an NFCA All-America D-II third team selection.
GP: 162 Avg: .425 Runs: 156 Doubles: 15 Triples: 14 RBI: 55 SB: 170
#8 Rachael Edinger (2006-08) – Edinger, a right-handed starting pitcher, finished three seasons as an Eagle and holds numerous all-time records, including most wins (75), strikeouts (680), complete games (82) and shutouts (29). In 2006, Edinger was named ICAA Pitcher of the Year, All-ICAA Softball D-II first team and NFCA All-South Region D-II first team. In 2007, Edinger went 29-3 in the circle to share the all-time single-season record for most wins with 29.
GP: 109 W: 75 L: 18 CG: 82 Shutouts: 29 S: 8 Win%: .806 ERA: 1.24 SO: 680
#23 Jessica Gary (2007-10) – Gary, an outfielder, played four seasons for FGCU and finished with 98 stolen bases, good for second all-time in the record book. Gary was named an Atlantic Sun All-Conference second team honoree in 2010. Gary is second all-time in runs scored (176) and career hits (239). Gary was a table setter for the Eagles and her 699 at bats is second all-time.
GP: 224 Avg: .342 Runs: 176 RBI: 74 Doubles: 21 SB: 98
#1 Cheyenne Jenks (2006-09) - Jenks, a third basemen, turned in three All-Conference worthy seasons to begin her career, but saved her best year for last in 2009 when she was named a first team All-American by Easton and a third team selection by the NFCA. Jenks’ senior campaign featured a school record .473 batting average and the nation’s second-best home run total with 23, earning the program’s second A-Sun Player of the Year. She finished her career as a two-time NFCA Southeast All-Region first team selection and the program’s all-time leader with 55 home runs.
GP: 256 Avg: 381 Slg%: .683 HR: 55 Runs: 227 RBI: 225 Doubles: 49 Triples: 10
#22 Catherine McDaniel (2009-11) – McDaniel, a right-handed starting pitcher, closed out her three-year career at FGCU with the fourth-best ERA in program history at 2.16 and sits fourth with 48 career wins. Also third in the record book with 347 strikeouts over 474 innings pitched, McDaniel was an A-Sun All-Conference second team member after posting a 16-10 record during her senior year with the sixth best ERA in the conference at 1.56. In 2009, she was named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA South All-Region first team after posting a team-best 22-1 record, tossing 15 complete games with six shutouts.
GP: 81 CG: 49 Shutouts: 11 W: 48 L: 24 Win%: .666 ERA: 2.16 S: 2 SO: 347
#5 Carmen Paez (Jimenez) (2007-08) - Paez, an outfielder, played two seasons at FGCU and became one of the school’s most decorated student-athletes at the Division I and Division II levels. In her initial season in 2007, Paez set NCAA Division II records with 28 home runs and 80 RBI en route to being named Daktronics South Region and Division II National Player of the Year. The switch to Division I in 2008 didn’t slow Paez down, as she was named the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year after belting 22 home runs and leading FGCU to a share of the A-Sun title. Paez was one of 25 semifinalists for the NFCA Player of the Year award and earned NFCA Southeast All-Region status.
GP: 133 Avg: .430 Slg%: .934 HR: 50 Runs: 134 Doubles: 20 RBI: 148
#6 Jessica Paez (2008-09) - Paez, a shortstop, played two seasons at FGCU, with her senior season in 2009 garnering Louisville Slugger/NFCA South All-Region first team. Also named to the Atlantic Sun All-Conference second team and earned A-Sun All-Academic honors, Paez hit .328 on the season with a .639 slugging percentage. She set a career high with 14 home runs, 62 RBIs, and 58 runs scored. Paez was an A-Sun first team selection in 2008 after hitting 12 home runs and driving in 46 runs.
GP: 119 Avg: .333 Slg%: .613 HR: 26 Runs: 124 Doubles: 21 Triples: 7 RBI: 108 SB: 28
#3 Courtney Platt (2008-11) – Platt, an outfielder, finished her four seasons as a four-time A-Sun All-Conference outfielder and 2009 NFCA All-South Region first team member, while ending her career atop the FGCU record book in walks (175) and doubles (49), second in on-base percentage (.514), fourth in RBI (124) and fifth in home runs (25), slugging percentage (.602) and triples (9). During her senior season in 2011, Platt became the third FGCU player to win the A-Sun Player of the Year award and was a finalist for the Eagle Scholar Athlete award.
GP: 223 Avg: .355 HR: 25 Runs: 151 Slg%: .602 Doubles: 49 Triples: 9 RBI: 124 SB: 27
#21 Kelly Powe (2004-05) – Powe, a right-handed starting pitcher that finished two seasons with the Eagles with 50 wins, which places her third all-time. Powe finished her two years with a 0.87 ERA in 444 innings pitched, adding 54 complete games to rank second all-time. Named to the D-II All-Independent team in 2004 and 2005, Powe also earned D-II All-Independent Softball Pitcher of the Year in 2004 and 2005, while being named NFCA All-South Region second team in 2005.
GP: 74 CG: 54 Shutouts: 26 W: 50 L: 15 Win%: .769 ERA:0.87 S: 4 SO: 426
#12 Jessica Rouse (2004-07) – Rouse, an outfielder, played four seasons for the Eagles and was the 2006 All-ICAA Division II Player of the year, All-South Region first team and the Eagles' Offensive Player of the Year. In her junior season in 2006, she had 18 home runs, 16 doubles, 66 RBI and led the team in hitting at .393. Rouse was also a two-time CoSida Academic All-District honoree, earning first team in 2006 and second team in 2007. Her 34 total home runs are good for third all-time, while she ranks second all-time in RBI at 164.
GP: 233 Avg: .308 Slg%: .589 HR: 34 Runs: 143 Doubles: 38 Triples: 12 RBI: 164 SB: 29
FGCU opens its 10th season for the fifth consecutive year at the USF Tournament, where they will face the tournament host USF and No. 2 University of Florida on Friday, Feb. 10th.
Fans will be able to relive the Top 10 Most Influential Players List and all the Top 10 Moments at www.fgcuathletics.com/softball.