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Blackbird Softball Stars Earn All-NEC Honors

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Teaneck, N.J. – Senior Blaire Porter of the Long Island University softball team was named the Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year for an unprecedented third straight season as announced at the NEC Softball Banquets on Thursday evening. Junior shortstop Bianca Mejia was tabbed as the NEC Player of the Year and four additional Blackbirds garnered league honors. Long Island also took home the Coaching Staff of the Year award.

Porter’s third consecutive Pitcher of the Year award comes after compiled a 24-7 record in regular season play and breaking Long Island’s career win record on May 1. Now with 75 career victories, Porter continued her dominant dealings inside the circle in 2010 with an earned run average of 1.65 and 148 strikeouts. In conference play the Redmond, Wash., native boasted an 11-2 record and held opponents to a .205 batting average. Long Island has now had a player win the award eight of the last nine seasons.

After earning a spot on the All-NEC First Team at shortstop in 2009, Mejia repeated the honor this season as well as taking home Player of the Year accolades. Mejia shined during NEC play, posting a .508 batting average and smacking eight of her 10 dingers on the year. The junior lead the team in nearly every offensive category including homers (10), doubles (17), hits (60), slugging percentage (.722) and walks 26.

Joining Porter and Mejia on the All-NEC First Team are seniors Mariesha Marker and Chelsea Martinson. Marker garnered her second straight appearance on the squad after a career year at the dish. The senior tallied personal bests in batting average (.369), homers (6) and doubles (15) while keeping a constant presence behind the plate at catcher. Marker gunned won 14 opposing base stealers and helped the LIU pitching staff record a 1.86 earned run average on the year.

Martinson turned the corner in her senior campaign as she became one of Long Island’s most feared hitters. Martinson was a terror on the basepaths all season, swiping 11 bases in as many attempts and scoring 27 runs, good for third on the team. In NEC competition, the left fielder hit to a .348 batting average and reached base at a .403 clip. Martinson played every inning in left and is one of four Blackbirds to start every contest thus far.

All-NEC Second Team honors were bestowed upon senior second baseman Brynn Lewis. Earning the award for the third straight season, Lewis was one of Long Island’s most feared hitters outside of the conference with a team-leading .320 batting average. Lewis excelled with runners on base, tallying 29 runs batted in and belting a career-high five home runs through 50 games.

Sophomore Sterling Hoham was again named to an All-NEC squad, this team earning All-Second Team accolades at third base. Hoham once again showed a knack for reaching base with 20 walks and a team-leading 11 hit-by-pitches. The versatile sophomore also filled in at first base and shortstop when needed to allow LIU defensive flexibility all season.

This is the eighth occasion in which head coach Roy Kortmann and his staff have won NEC Coach of the Year and the first since 2004. In their 16 years at the helm, Kortmann and assistant coach Bill Gehrke have compiled 468 wins and seven NEC titles.

Posted 05/13/2010

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