UCF's McClain, Land Earn ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Softball Honors

May 6, 2010

By Sarah Tarasewicz

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For the first time in program history, two members of the UCF softball team were honored by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) with spots on ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III teams. Junior Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) was voted onto the first team, while sophomore Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) garnered second-team honors.

McClain is no stranger to earning accolades for her successes on and off of the playing field, as she was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team as a sophomore in 2009. The catcher, who is pursuing a degree in biology, holds an impressive 3.82 cumulative grade point average (GPA). With her first-team selection, McClain is now eligible to be voted onto a CoSIDA Academic All-America team.

The junior has been the recipient of the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal for maintaining a 3.75 GPA or better three-consecutive years, while also being a three-time C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll member. McClain has also earned a spot on the Dean's List and the A.D.'s Honor Roll all five semesters at UCF.

Land was named to the second team by members of CoSIDA for maintaining a remarkable 3.86 cumulative GPA while pursuing a degree in athletic training off of the field, while also leading the Knights in batting average (.309), runs (26), hits (43), sacrifice hits and stolen bases (16) on the diamond.

In only her second season at UCF, Land has twice been the recipient of the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal, while also being named to the Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll on back-to-back occasions. Like McClain, Land has been a member of both the Dean's List and the A.D.'s Honor Roll every semester she has been attended UCF.

The pair of selections mark the seventh and eighth time that a member of the softball team has earned Academic All-District III honors. Stephanie Best was a first-team pick in 2003 and 2004 and was selected to the second team in 2005. Kacie Feaster was a first team selection in 2007, and Cat Snapp and McClain were second-team picks in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

In order to be nominated for a spot on an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team, student-athletes must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30 (on a 4.0 scale) in both undergrad and graduate work, must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing and must have completed at least one academic year at their current institution.

The Knights return to C-USA action this weekend when they travel to El Paso, Texas, to take on UTEP in a three-game series at Helen of Troy Softball Stadium. The action kicks off Saturday at 2 p.m. ET with a doubleheader, before the regular-season schedule comes to a close Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

The UCF softball team is set to compete in the Conference USA Championship hosted by Houston on May 13-15. The top eight teams in league standings will participate in the single-elimination tournament, with the winning team earning C-USA's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.