May 9, 2012
IRVING, Texas - Conference USA announced its 2012 All-Conference first and second teams as well as the all-freshman team and individual postseason award winners for softball on Wednesday, as selected by the league's head coaches.
UTEP's Camilla Carrera collected her second C-USA Player of the Year honor, while the league's top pitching honor was shared between Tulsa junior Lacey Middlebrooks and UCF freshman Mackenzie Audas, who also was tabbed as the Freshman of the Year. Whitney Fletcher of UAB and Ali Schmidt of UCF split the Newcomer of the Year award. Tulsa head coach John Bargfeldt was named Coach of the Year for a second straight season after leading TU to an outright regular season conference title.
In all, 25 student-athletes were voted to the C-USA All-Conference First and Second Teams. Eleven players were selected to the All-Freshman Team. Players from all nine C-USA schools were honored on at least one of the three teams. Tulsa place a league-best four players on the All-Conference First Team, while Houston had three players voted to the first unit and UCF and UTEP each had two First Team players.
Carrera became the second player in conference history to win two Player of the Year honors, joining Marshall standout Rachel Folden (2006 and 2008). Carrera put together one of the most prolific offensive seasons in NCAA Division I history, blasting 32 home runs and slugging 1.199 for the season. Both marks are the second-best in NCAA Division I single-season history. The slugger from Laveen, Ariz., hit a league-leading .447 overall, while posting C-USA-bests in runs (62), RBI (66), on base percentage (.597), total bases (169) and walks (49). Carrera's home run and total bases tally are C-USA single-season records, while her batting average, run and RBI totals are the second-best single-season totals in league history.
Middlebrooks and Audas are the first pitchers from their respective schools to be named C-USA Pitcher of the Year. Middlebrooks went 12-2 during Conference USA play, tying for the lead in wins during league games and held opponents to a .187 average against. She posted a 1.40 ERA during C-USA games and posted an 18-5 overall record. Audas posted 21 wins during her freshman season and won nine decisions during conference play. Her overall ERA of 1.04 was the best in the conference, as were her strikeout (254) and opponent's batting numbers (.170). Audas twirled 10 shutouts this season, including a 2-0 blanking of No.3 Florida, and struck out 10 or more batters 10 times.
UAB's Fletcher hit .326, scored 39 runs and drove in 24 more during her first season with the Blazers. The junior transfer from Northwest Florida State College ranked among the league leaders in runs, total bases and walks and reached base at a .406 clip. Schmidt was a reliable pitcher for UCF after joining the Knights from Philadelphia University for her senior season. She posted a 1.64 ERA and a 13-4 overall record. Schmidt won six conference games and yielded the third-fewest earned runs overall among C-USA pitchers this season.
Bargfeldt led his team to an outright C-USA regular season title with a 19-5 conference record and a 38-12 overall mark. He becomes the third coach to win back-to-back Coach of the Year awards. Bargfeldt has led the Golden Hurricane to three regular-season championships in the past four years and four overall.
The 2012 Conference USA Softball Championship gets underway this Thursday with four games at the UAB Softball Field in Birmingham, Ala., beginning at 11 a.m. CT. Friday's semifinals begin at 2 p.m. CT. The C-USA Championship runs from May 10-12 with the final televised live on CBS Sports Network at 1 p.m. CT Saturday. Quarterfinal and semifinal round action can be seen live on the C-USA Digital Network.
The complete list of all-conference award winners is below:
Conference USA Softball All-Conference Awards
Player of the Year - Camilla Carrera, UTEP
Co-Pitcher of the Year - Lacey Middlebrooks, Tulsa/Mackenzie Audas, UCF
Co-Newcomer of the Year - Whitney Fletcher, UAB/Ali Schmidt, UCF
Freshman of the Year - Mackenzie Audas, UCF
Coach of the Year - John Bargfeldt, Tulsa
All-C-USA First Team
C Haley Outon, Houston
C Mandy Lowman, UAB
IF Holly Anderson, Houston
IF Jill Barrett, Tulsa
IF Samantha Cobb, Tulsa
IF Natalie Land, UCF
OF Melissa Gregson, Houston
OF Caitlin Everett, Tulsa
OF Chelsea Troupe, UTEP
P Lacey Middlebrooks, Tulsa
P Mackenzie Audas, UCF
UT Camilla Carrera, UTEP
All-C-USA Second Team
C Rebecca Gamby, Marshall
IF Jennifer Klinkert, Houston
IF Alianna Telles, Marshall
IF Jazmine Valle, Marshall
IF Laura Curtis, Memphis
IF Farrah Sullivan, UCF
OF Suzanne Riggs, East Carolina
OF Catherine Crawford, UAB
OF Whitney Fletcher, UAB
OF Vanessa Perez, UCF
P Andi Williamson, Marshall
P Lannah Campbell, UAB
UT Kristen McGrath, UAB
Sarah Christian, P, East Carolina
Jaime Edwards, IF, Houston
Jordan Richwood, P, Memphis
Caroline Walker, IF, Southern Miss
Julie Kernen, IF, Tulsa
Heather Pearson, IF, UAB
Mackenzie Audas, P, UCF
Farrah Sullivan, IF, UCF
Kahley Novak, OF/IF, UCF
Hayley Barrow, IF/C, UCF
Tahla Wade, OF, UTEP