FORT MYERS, Fla. – After claiming the Atlantic Sun Tournament title and earning an upset win over fifth-seeded Florida, the FGCU softball team has announced its yearly postseason awards, voted upon by the coaching staff on Wednesday.
Freshman Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe HS) was chosen as the Team MVP after going 23-8 in the circle with a 1.55 ERA, both FGCU season records since the Division I era in 2008. Morgan also had a season record nine shutouts in 203 innings of work and 150 strikeouts, good for the second best mark since 2008. The High Springs, Fla. product racked up other postseason awards that included, A-Sun Tournament MVP, A-Sun Pitcher of the Year, A-Sun All-Conference first team, NFCA All-South Region second team and A-Sun All-Freshmen team. Morgan was a two-time A-Sun Pitcher of the Week on April 9 and April 23.
Sophomore catcher Chelsea Zgrabik (Venice, Fla./Venice HS) was named the team’s Offensive Player of the Year after posting solid numbers in her first season as an Eagle. Zgrabik led the team with a .329 batting average on 55 hits, 10 doubles, 13 home runs, 53 RBI and a .635 slugging percentage. The Venice, Fla. native had a memorable postseason in which she had two walk-off winners in the A-Sun Tournament, including a game-winning grand slam to defeat Jacksonville, 8-4. Zgrabik was selected to the A-Sun All-Tournament team, a unanimous A-Sun All-Conference first team accolade and NFCA All-South Region second team honoree.
Sophomore Kirsten Bembnowski (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake HS) was honored as the team’s Impact Player of the Year recipient after an outstanding season starting 58 of 62 games at third base with 133 assists, which ranked second on the team. Bembnowski was fourth on the team with a .287 batting average on 48 hits, 10 doubles, six home runs and 27 RBI. The Palm Harbor, Fla. product had a clutch solo home run against fifth-seeded Florida to give the Eagles an early 1-0 lead and was selected to the A-Sun All-Conference second team. Bembnowski was also named to the A-Sun All-Academic team with a 3.39 GPA in English. Also she was the A-Sun Player of the Week on March 19.
Sophomore Brittney Garabedian (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep HS) rounds out the team awards by being chosen as the Defensive Player of the Year after starting 56 of 62 games at second base this season. Garabedian was stellar defensively helping the Eagles set a new school record for most double plays turned at 28 this season. Garabedian was a part of 17 of the 28 double plays turned and made a handful of highlight reel diving grabs. The Miami, Fla. native had 111 assists, which ranked third on the team, to help FGCU set a season record with 620 assists on the year.
The Green and Blue finished the season with a 38-22 record and a 14-4 mark in the A-Sun. The Eagles became the first program at the school to win a game in the NCAA Tournament after defeating fifth-seeded Florida, 2-1, on May 18. FGCU will look to defend its 2012 A-Sun regular season and Tournament titles as they return all nine starters from a team that hit 50 home runs and had a team ERA of 2.07, that ranked in the top 30 in the nation.
FGCU SOFTBALL TEAM POSTSEASON AWARDS
Offensive POTY- Chelsea Zgrabik
Defensive POTY- Brittney Garabedian
MVP- Shelby Morgan
Impact POTY- Kirsten Bembnowski