Conference USA officials announced Tuesday that senior Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) and junior Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) of the UCF softball team were honored as repeat selections to the 11-member Conference USA All-Academic Team as voted on by the league’s sports information directors. The pair of Knights were both members of the league’s all-academic team in 2010, while McClain was also honored as a sophomore in 2009.
In order to be eligible for the recognition, student-athletes must hold a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, be of at least sophomore academic standing and have competed in at least 60 percent of games this season as a starter or key reserve.
McClain is no stranger to earning accolades for her successes on and off of the playing field, as she is making her third-straight appearance on the C-USA All-Academic Team. McClain is also a two-time selection to the Capital One Academic All-District III First Team after being named to the second team as a sophomore in 2009. The catcher holds an impressive 3.80 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and is set to graduate with a degree in biology.
The senior has been the recipient of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal for maintaining a 3.75 GPA or better four-consecutive years, while also being a four-time C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll member. McClain has also earned a spot on the C-USA All-Academic Team two-straight seasons and was named one of C-USA’s Spring Spirit of Service Award recipients in 2010.
On the field, McClain will conclude her career as a Knight ranked in UCF’s top-10 in 23 career categories. She has been named to the All-C-USA Second Team in both 2009 and 2010, while also being honored with a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team in 2008. This season, the senior leads the Knights in home runs (8), RBI (23), walks and fielding percentage and is second in total bases (61), slugging percentage (.508) and sacrifice flies (2).
Land was named to the all-academic team for the second-straight season for maintaining a 3.67 cumulative GPA as an athletic training major, while also proving to be one of the top offensive producers on the team and in C-USA.
The junior has twice been named to the Capital One Academic All-District III Team and earned the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal in both 2009 and 2010, while also being named to the Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll on three occasions. Like McClain, Land was also a member of the C-USA All-Academic Team in 2010.
Land has put together the most impressive season of her career in 2011, as she leads C-USA in all games in triples (5), while ranking third in batting average (.353) and seventh in slugging percentage (.527).
The pair of selections are the seventh and eighth for the Knights to the all-academic team since joining C-USA in 2006.