Tiffany Lane, Natalie Land Earn C-USA Preseason Softball Honors

Jan. 26, 2011

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By Sarah Tarasewicz

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With less than three weeks remaining until the 2011 UCF softball season gets underway, Conference USA announced Wednesday that senior Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and junior Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) were named to the 14-member Preseason All-C-USA Softball Team voted on by the league's nine head coaches.

The preseason league honor is the third-straight for Lane and the first for Land in their careers, while it is the sixth and seventh for the Knights' softball program since joining the league in 2006.

Lane enters her senior campaign as C-USA's all-time leader in triples, as she tallied 21 three-baggers in her first three seasons. The shortstop was a member of the All-C-USA First Team in both 2009 and 2010, and garnered C-USA All-Freshman Team honors as a rookie in 2008.

The shortstop currently ranks in the top-15 at UCF in nine career categories and top-10 in 15.

Last season, Lane led the Knights and the league in triples (6), and also paced the Black and Gold in total bases (72), multiple-hit games (12) and slugging percentage (.447). Lane held a team-best 10-game hitting streak in 2010 and scored four game-winning runs and posted two game-winning RBI.

In league play, Lane batted .338 with 24 hits, six doubles, one home run, nine RBI, 33 total bases and nine stolen bases.

Land garnered her first All-C-USA First Team honor in 2010, a year after being named a member of the 2009 C-USA All-Freshman Team, after leading UCF in batting average (.304), runs (32), hits (49), sacrifice hits (17), multiple-hit games (12) and stolen bases (20). The second baseman also ranked in the top-five in league standings in four categories as the season came to a close.

In C-USA contests, Land hit a team-best .355 with 22 hits, 12 runs scored, three doubles and seven RBI.

Land also earned a spot on the ESPN Academic All-District III Second Team, was named to C-USA All-Academic Team, voted onto the C-USA Championship All-Tournament Team, earned the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal and was named to the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll last season.

The league's head coaches also predicted the Knights to finish fifth in C-USA standings in 2011, with Houston being tabbed the preseason favorite to win the regular-season title.

1. Houston (3)
2. East Carolina (3)
3. UAB (2)
4. Tulsa (1)
5. UCF
6. Southern Miss
7. Memphis
9. Marshall

2011 PRESEASON SOFTBALL AWARDS (as selected by C-USA's head coaches)
Toni Paisley, East Carolina (Senior)

Camilla Carrera, UTEP (Catcher/Utility, Senior)

P - Toni Paisley, East Carolina
P - Donna Bourgeois, Houston
P - Lauren Webster, UAB
C - Mandy Lowman, UAB
IF - Samantha Cobb, Tulsa
IF - Natalie Land, UCF
IF - Kayla Orr, UAB
IF - Jazmine Valle, Marshall
IF - Tiffany Lane, UCF
OF - Caitlin Everett, Tulsa
OF - Ashleigh Jones, Houston
OF - Lelani Bernardino, Memphis
OF - Leslie LeJune, Southern Miss
DH - Reina Gaber, Houston
UT - Camilla Carrera, UTEP

UCF hosts its 2011 home-opener Feb. 16 against North Florida at the UCF Softball Complex. UCF head football coach George O'Leary will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the contest, while the first 100 fans through the gate will receive a signed 2011 UCF softball schedule poster.