Softball Holds Annual Banquet; Honors Several Players with 2012 Season Awards

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HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac softball team held their annual banquet on Saturday, October 13th in honor of the 2012 spring season. Pitcher Heather Schwartzburg, as previously announced at the Quinnipiac Department-wide Awards Ceremony in May, was named Most Valuable Player. Outfielder Christy Cabrera was named Offensive Player of the Year, shortstop Alex Alba was named Defensive Player of the Year, and Ashley Heiberger received the Spirit of the Bobcat award.

Schwartzburg capped off an illustrious career as she was named the 2012 Quinnipiac Female Athlete of the Year. Among her individual accomplishments for the 2012 season, Schwartzburg was named NEC Pitcher of the Week twice, named 1st Team All-NEC, NEC All-Tournament Team, and was a NFCA Academic All-American. She finished the 2012 season with another banner year as she led the team in wins (20), saves (three), complete games (22), innings pitched (193.1), strikeouts (212), earned-run-average (1.52), batting average against (.154), and shutouts (two). Her season granted national attention as she ranked 9th in the nation in hits allowed per seven innings, 22nd nationally in ERA, and 54th nationally in strikeouts per seven innings. Within the NEC, Schwartzburg ranked first in ERA, third in innings pitched, second in strikeouts, first in strikeouts looking, third in wins, and third in saves. She also holds many school and conference season and career pitching records.

Cabrera finished the season as Quinnipiac's leader in several hitting categories including batting average (.342), on-base percentage (.412), runs scored (32), hits (54), walks (19), fewest strikeouts (10), and pitches seen per plate appearance. She finished the season ranked fifth in NEC in hits and batting average with runners in scoring position while also finishing 11th in batting average.

Alba took home the defensive honor after being named to the Second-Team All-NEC. She led the team in defensive fielding percentage and led all NEC shortstops in defensive fielding percentage. Not only was she a force defensively but offensively she carried the Bobcats all season with the most doubles (15), home runs (seven), runs batted in (32), and slugging percentage (.581) among all Quinnipiac players. She also ranks second on the team in hits (52), runs scored (22), fewest strikeouts (12), batting average (.335), and on-base percentage (.366).

Heiberger won the Spirit of the Bobcat award which distinguishes the team's emotional leader throughout the season. She appeared in 49-of-50 games throughout the 2012 season and most of which were as the team's catcher. Also, like Schwartzburg, Heiberger was named an NFCA Academic All-American. She led the team in stolen bases (eight), recorded a .985 fielding percentage with over 330 chances, and threw out a league-best 41 percent of runners attempting to steal (the average among all NCAA catchers is 25 percent).

Quinnipiac softball head coach Germaine Fairchild said about Heiberger, "perhaps most revealing of her uncommon mental and physical toughness is the fact that she led our team, the conference, and ranked third in the nation in hit-by-pitch, taking one for the team 24 times throughout the season. Ashley was going to do whatever it took to help the team succeed, both on and off the field, something she has passed on to her younger teammates."

The Bobcats have concluded their Fall season schedule and will be back in action in the Spring semester where they will kick off the 2013 season.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu