May 15, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Loyola Marymount dominated the Pacific Coast Softball Conference postseason awards, sweeping the top conference honors. Christine Foley was named Player of the Year, Tiffany Pagano was named Pitcher of the Year, Melissa Dykema was named Freshman of the Year and Gary Ferrin was named the Coach of the Year. Ten players were selected to the All-Conference teams, with five Lions earning first team honors. This is the most from any school and the most in LMU history.
Foley, Pagano and Dykema join Kirsten Whitt and Kirsten Slouber as first team All-PCSC selections. Megan Ackerman, Tracy Cook, Margo Pineda and Kylie Conroy earned second team honors, while MiaSarah Cesena was an honorable mention selection.
Foley becomes the fourth Lion in five years to earn the PCSC Player of the Year award. The freshman was also named to the PCSC first team. The first baseman had a phenomenal season, hitting .411 with five home runs and a school-record 17 doubles. In conference play, she was even better, hitting a league-high .439 with three home runs, four doubles and 15 RBI. She was named PCSC Player of the Week three times this season, including twice in conference play. Foley is the first freshman to earn PCSC Player of the Year honors.
Pagano earns PCSC Pitcher of the Year honors for the second time in her career. The junior earned the honor in 2005, and repeats on the PCSC first team as well. Pagano was unstoppable in conference play, finishing the season with a perfect 10-0 record and six shutouts. She recorded a shutout in every conference start at home this season, and finished the year with seven straight home shutouts. For the year, she had a 1.92 ERA and broke her own LMU single season record for strikeouts with 220. She also broke the LMU career marks for strikeouts and shutouts. In PCSC play, she finished with a 1.06 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 66.0 innings of work. She allowed just 10 earned runs and 36 hits in 10 complete games.
Dykema is the second consecutive and third overall LMU player to earn PCSC Freshman of the Year honors. The pitcher also earned PCSC first team honors. She leads the Lions in wins with a 25-7 record and has a 2.22 ERA. In PCSC play, her 1.61 ERA was second in the conference as she went 8-2 with one shutout. On the season, she had 198 strikeouts in 214.1 innings with three shutouts, including a perfect game. Dykema shares the Freshman of the Year honors with Portland State's Brandi Scoggins and San Diego's Jennifer Ellenbeck in a three-way tie.
Ferrin earned the top coaching honor for the second time in three seasons after leading the Lions to the PCSC title. LMU went from a fifth place finish a year ago to the top of the standings in 2007. The Lions were picked to finish third in the preseason coaches' poll. It is the third time in his career that he has been named Coach of the Year, as he earned the 2000 WAC Coach of the Year honor.
Whitt had a phenomenal improvement over the course of the season, hitting .436 in PCSC play. The senior designated player hit .436 with four home runs and scored 18 runs in 17 conference games. She raised her overall batting average to .320 with six home runs for the year.
Slouber hit .395 in conference play, leading all outfielders. As a leadoff hitter, she led the team in runs scored with 19 and also drove in 12 runs with seven doubles and two home runs. She hit .341 overall with five home runs, 14 doubles and leads the team with 74 hits.
Pineda earned second team honors in 2007 after a spot on the first team in 2005 and 2006. She hit .407 overall with a team-high 74 hits. She drove in 42 runs with five home runs, three triples and 13 RBI. In conference play, she batted .333 with a team-high 16 RBI.
Cook and Ackerman are second team selections for the second consecutive season. Cook hit three home runs in conference play and six overall. She hit .242 on the season, and had a .982 fielding percentage in PCSC play, best among third basemen. Ackerman came on strong in PCSC play, hitting .392 against conference opponents with three home runs and seven doubles.
Second baseman Conroy earned second team honors in her first and final season at LMU. The transfer from Baylor hit .322 overall and led the team in RBI with 43. She also hit six home runs, 12 doubles and two triples.
Cesena picked up honorable mention honors after hitting .319 in PCSC play. The outfielder drove in 13 runs, scored 13 and hit four doubles and a triple. For the season, she hit .280 with 21 RBI, seven doubles, one home run and 26 runs scored.
LMU's 10 players honored is the most this season, and the highest number in LMU history. The Lions won the PCSC title with an 18-2 record, the most wins in PCSC history. LMU's overall record fo 45-16 broke the school record for wins in a season.
The Lions open NCAA Tournament play on Friday at the Los Angeles Regional. LMU will take on host UCLA at 5:00pm at Easton Stadium. All games in the regional will be televised live on ESPNU.
- GO LIONS! -