May 17, 2011
FULLERTON, CA -
The Cal State Fullerton softball team placed eight players on the 2011 All-Big West Conference squads and senior K.C. Craddick was named the league's inaugural Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday as voted on by the coaches and released by the conference office.
The Titans joined regular season champion Pacific and Long Beach State with the most honorees on this year's all-conference teams, but the Tigers led the league with seven first-team selections after winning the first Big West softball title in the history of the program.
Fullerton's eight selections are the most for the program since the Titans placed nine on the all-conference ledgers in 2001 en route to a 48-14 overall record and a second-consecutive Big West Conference title.
In addition to Craddick's major award, the battery of senior Ari Cervantes and sophomore Ariel Tsuchiyama each earned All-Big West Second Team honors to lead the way as Cervantes, who was also named to the honorable mention squad as a utility player, was an all-league selection for the third time in her career while Tsuchiyama was honored for the first time.
Five other Titans were named to the honorable mention squad: sophomore Katey Laban (pitcher), Craddick (first base), Nicole Johnson (third base), Torrie Anderson (outfield), and Ashley Carter (outfield). Laban, Johnson, and Carter were all honored for the first time in their careers while it was Anderson's third all-conference honor of her career and the second for Craddick.
Craddick was one of the premier defenders in the Big West in 2011, committing just one error in 381 chances for a .997 fielding percentage - the top percentage among conference defenders with at least 100 chances in the field - and was a part of 13 double plays this season. Offensively, Craddick experienced a career year, batting .321 with a home run and 15 RBI, setting career high's in numerous categories, including average, hits (43), runs scored (12), and RBI. She struck out only seven times in 134 at bats and ranked second on the team with 12 multi-hit games in 2011.
Cervantes was 16-14 with a 2.93 ERA in the circle this season, posting 21 complete games and three shutouts in 196 innings, striking out 106 while walking just 42 batters and holding opponents to a .264 average. Tsuchiyama also had a career year at the plate, batting .297 (including a team-best .404 mark in Big West play) with two home runs and 12 RBI while committing just one error in 199 chances (.995 fielding percentage) and throwing out eight would-be base stealers.
Johnson, who earned her first career all-conference honor, led the Titans with a .331 average while starting all 47 games, scoring 22 runs to go with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs and 17 RBI. She was also hit by a pitch 15 times this season (tied for fourth in a single season in school history) and her 37 career HBPs rank third all-time.
Laban finished 5-7 overall with a 3.40 ERA in the circle for the Titans in 2011 with all five of her wins coming against conference opponents. She led Fullerton with a 2.66 ERA in Big West play and stymied opposing batters to the tune of a .268 average in 55.1 innings of conference action.
Anderson, a first-team honoree the previous two seasons, hit .246 overall with three home runs and a team-high 24 RBI, but picked things up significantly in Big West play, batting .328 in 21 games with a team-best 12 RBI. She became only the second Titan in the history of the program to lead the team in RBI in three consecutive seasons, joining Missy Coombes, who accomplished the feat all four years of her college career from 1987-90.
After batting just .180 as a freshman, Carter emerged as a force atop the Fullerton lineup, batting a career-best .312 with 19 runs, three triples, and eight RBI. She finished the season with a team-high 16 multi-hit games, including 10 such games in the team's last 19 contests, and hit .343 with 10 walks and 14 runs scored in Big West play.