Softball Takes Home C-USA Awards
May 6, 2009
IRVING, TEXAS - Toni Paisley has been named the Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Year, according to an announcement by the league at the end-of-the-season banquet on Wednesday night in El Paso, Texas. Head Coach Tracey Kee was also honored as the league's Coach-of-the-Year. The final Pirate to earn league recognition was Jessica Johnson, as she was named First Team All-Conference USA for the second time in her career.
Paisley was selected as the Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Week seven times this season, tying Southern Miss' Courtney Blades (2000) for the most single-season weekly awards in league history. Paisley finished the year leading Conference USA in wins (30), innings pitched (257.2), earned run average (1.17), opponents' batting average (.173), batters struck out (284) and batters struck out looking (90). The redshirt sophomore is also tied for the lead in saves with three. Nationally, Paisley is ranked fourth in wins, 11th in strikeouts, 14th in ERA, 18th in shutouts (9) and 23rd in saves.
In the ECU career ranks, she is second in strikeouts with 525, tied for fifth in wins with 54 and alone in fifth in shutouts with 22.
Two seasons ago, Paisley was named the Conference USA Freshman-of-the-Year and Second Team All-C-USA after she went 19-5 overall and 10-3 in league play. She missed the majority of last season due to injury.
In her 13th year as ECU's head coach, Kee was named Conference USA's Coach-of-the-Year for the second time. It is the third Coach-of-the-Year award of her career as she also earned the nod from the Big South conference in 1997 and C-USA in 2005.
Kee needs one more win to record career victory number 575. This year, she led the squad to the most C-USA wins in program history with 19 and to the 40-win plateau again. Her teams have won 40 or more games 10 of the past 13 seasons and have tallied at least 50 in four of her years as head coach. Since East Carolina began fastpitch softball in 1984, the Pirates have recorded 971 victories, with Kee being a part of 892 of those wins as a player, assistant coach or head coach.
Johnson leads this year's team with a .356 batting average, 53 hits, 11 doubles, eight home runs, 37 runs batted in and a .604 slugging percentage. She was also among the Conference USA leaders in walks (29/3rd), home runs (t-5th), on base percentage (.473/t-5th), RBI (5th), total bases (90/6th), slugging percentage (6th) doubles (t-8th) and batting average (10th).
The March 30 C-USA Hitter-of-the-Week ranks second in ECU history in home runs (33), third in walks (104), fifth in RBI (151) and eighth in hits (190). In Conference USA history, Johnson is seventh in career home runs and eighth in RBI.
The second-seeded Pirates open play in the Conference USA Tournament on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET against host and seven seed UTEP.
All-Conference USA First Team
All-Conference USA Second Team
All-Conference USA Freshman Team