IRVING, Texas - East Carolina redshirt sophomore pitcher Toni Paisley has been named the 2008-09 Conference USA Co-Female Athlete-of-the-Year, according to an announcement by league officials Wednesday afternoon. Paisley is the first Pirate in any sport to earn the conference’s Athlete-of-the-Year award. The honor is based solely on athletic achievement during an academic year and the winners are determined through a vote by the league’s Directors of Athletics.
She shares this season’s recognition with Tulane volleyball player Sara Radosevic and is just the second softball player to be named Athlete-of-the-Year, following Houston’s Angel Shamblin a year ago. This is the first time Co-Female Athletes-of-the-Year were named.
Paisley was named the Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Year and was a First Team All-C-USA selection this season. She was the league’s Pitcher-of-the-Week seven times in 2009, tying Southern Miss’ Courtney Blades (2000) for the most single-season weekly awards in league history.
The Lakewood, Calif., native led C-USA in wins (30), innings pitched (270.2), earned run average (1.22), opponents’ batting average (.177), batters struck out (297) and batters struck out looking (92). Paisley also tied for the league lead in saves with three. Nationally, she finished the year ranked seventh in wins, 11th in ERA, 16th in strikeouts, 26th in saves and 30th in shutouts (9).
Paisley was also named to the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I Mideast All-Region Team. She will return for her junior season in 2010 ranked among the ECU career leaders in pitching appearances, wins, strikeouts and shutouts.