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Three softball players named to NFCA All-region Team
The Lake Erie College softball team had three players named to the 2008 Louisville Slugger National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III All-Central Region Team, including first-team at-large honoree senior Shaina Vanderpool (Chillicothe, Ohio/Kingston) and second-team honorees junior Brittney Binko (Warren, Ohio/John F. Kennedy) at first base and freshman Katie Puda (Euclid, Ohio/Euclid) at third base. This is only the second year in program history that a Storm player has been honored by the organization – the first time occurring last season with Vanderpool’s all-region honor. Additionally, it’s the first time in program history that multiple honors have gone to Storm players in the same season.
Vanderpool was one of 15 players honored on the first-team, while Binko and Puda were two of the 15-member second-team. Vanderpool, who earned Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) First-Team honors for the second consecutive season hit .348 with 12 doubles, five home runs and 25 RBIs. She was sixth in the AMCC in doubles and will finish her career as the program’s third all-time leader in RBIs.
Binko, who earned AMCC Co-Player of the Year and AMCC First-Team honors, hit .435 with a program season record of 47 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .702 as the team’s leading hitter. She was third in the AMCC in average and the league leader in RBIs. Her RBI total ranked her 24th in NCAA Division III, while also moving her into Lake Erie’s career leader spot. Additionally in the AMCC, she was third in hits (54), home runs (9) and total bases (87), fifth in slugging percentage and ninth in on base percentage (.478). Her .989 fielding percentage led the team and was the third best in the conference with more chances than any other player in the AMCC at 263.
Puda, an AMCC Second-Team selection, set Lake Erie’s season record for home runs with 10 and hit .435 with 40 RBIs. She also had 10 doubles, 35 runs scored and was named AMCC and ECAC South Region Player of the Week in her collegiate debut season. She was the league’s ninth leading hitter, who ranked third in slugging percentage (.800) and RBIs, fourth in runs and ninth in hits, while leading the AMCC in home runs and total bases (96).
These three players helped Lake Erie to a second place AMCC standing – the highest in program history. The team recorded just its second 20-plus win season in history and qualified for the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament for only the second time. The Storm won in ECAC First-Round action, 6-4 in nine innings against Alvernia and advanced to the four-team double elimination portion of the tournament which will be played May 11-12.