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FAU Softball Picked to Win C-USA Championship in 2016

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Florida Atlantic, with nine first place votes and 141 of a maximum possible 144 points, has been tabbed as the favorite to take the 2016 Conference USA softball crown, as selected by the league's 12 head coaches. UAB's Caitlin Attfield, the reigning 2015 C-USA player of the year, was named the 2016 preseason player of the year. For the second-consecutive season, Florida Atlantic snagged preseason pitcher of the year honors, thanks to junior ace Kylee Hanson.

2016 C-USA Softball Preseason Team
P – Kylee Hanson, Florida Atlantic, Jr.
P – Jordan Dixon, Marshall, Jr.
P – Lexi Betancourt, Charlotte, Sr.
C – Krysta Tutsch, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
C – Morgan Harris, Middle Tennessee, So.
IF – Caitlin Attfield, UAB, Sr.
IF – Stephanie Texeira, FIU, Jr.
IF – Sara Beth Williamson, UAB, Sr.
IF – Emily Lochten, Florida Atlantic, So.
IF – Elicia D'Orazio, Marshall, So.
OF – Morgan Zerkle, Marshall, Jr.
OF – Kendall Burton, UTSA, So.
OF – Kaelynn Greene, Marshall, Sr.
OF – Christina Martinez, Florida Atlantic, Sr.
DP/UT – Kawehiokalani Netane, UTEP, Sr.

2016 Preseason Player of the Year
Caitlin Attfield, UAB, Sr.

2016 Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Kylee Hanson, Florida Atlantic, Jr.

2016 Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Florida Atlantic (9)
2. Marshall (2)
3. UAB
4. UTSA (1)
5. Louisiana Tech
6. FIU
7. Charlotte
8. WKU
10. North Texas
11. Middle Tennessee
12. Southern Miss
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All Conference awards a plenty!

After capturing its first Conference USA regular-season title, the Florida Atlantic University softball team was prominently featured in the postseason awards announced Wednesday by Conference USA. A total of five players as well as Head Coach Joan Joyce were honored.

Kylee Hanson and Madisyn Palmer were named C-USA Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, respectively, while Joyce was named C-USA Coach of the Year. Hanson and Palmer also were named First-Team All-Conference and were joined by teammates Emily Lochten, Melissa Martinez and Amanda Wilson. Christina Martinez was named to the second team.

Joyce was named Coach of the Year for the seventh time in her career, the last coming in 2007, in FAU’s first year in the Sun Belt Conference. She has led FAU to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances and has an 876-519-1 career record as the Owls head coach.

Hanson was tops in the conference in ERA (0.64), wins (26-3), opposing batting average (.134), shutouts (14) and strikeouts (273). Her 14 shutouts lead the nation, while her 0.64 ERA is second in the country. She has thrown two no-hitters this season and has three in her collegiate career. Prior to the season, Hanson was named the C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year and earned a Preseason All-Conference team spot. She was named C-USA Pitcher of the Week seven times over the course of the 2016 season.

Palmer hit .450 on the season, taking over as the everyday left fielder early in the conference schedule. The freshman also led the Owls in on-base percentage (.500) and stolen bases (25) and hit .490 against conference opponents. She also was also named First Team All-Conference and to the all-freshman team.

Second baseman Melissa Martinez hit .363 during the regular season, including .420 in conference play. She leads the team in RBI (44) and is second in slugging percentage (.605). Her 20 doubles, and counting, on the season set FAU’s single season record. Martinez was named C-USA and NFCA Player of the Week after hitting .700 in a sweep of WKU that clinched the regular-season crown for the Owls. She is second in school history in both career doubles (47) and career RBI (137).

Shortstop Emily Lochten batted .366 on the season with a team-best 13 home runs and added 43 RBI. She also had team highs in slugging percentage (.704) and walks (33). She hit .394 with a .682 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage in conference play.

Amanda Wilson has been the other half of FAU’s two-headed monster in the pitching circle, going 13-4 on the year and 6-2 in C-USA play. She is second in the conference, trailing teammate Hanson, and is 29th nationally with a 1.68 ERA. The lefty had 82 strikeouts in regular-season play.

Senior outfielder Christina Martinez was named to the second team. Martinez, who was named preseason C-USA, hit .329 on the season. She is 9-for-9 in stolen bases and third all-time in school history with a .336 career batting average.

The Owls are the No. 1 Conference USA Tournament seed. FAU will play its first game on Thursday, May 12 at 3 p.m. ET versus the team to advance out of Wednesday’s action.

  • Justin Johnson, SID
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Kaylee leads the nation in ERA again now, LSU pitcher gave up a 3 run dinger today! :cool:
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GeorgiaOwl said

Kaylee leads the nation in ERA again now, LSU pitcher gave up a 3 run dinger today! :cool:
Posted On: May 11th 2016, 6:48 PM #356119

She is now a top 10 finalist for national player of year!  Impressive.
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