Lady Cougars Earn NCCAA East Region
Honors and Top Seed
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (4-23-2008) -
Eight members of the Mount
Vernon Nazarene University womenís fastpitch
softball team were recently honored when the
National Christian College Athletic
Association East Region honors were
announced and the Lady Cougars also earned
the top seed in the NCCAA National
Tournament, which will get under way on
Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Kristin Eyerman, Candace White, Kristin
Kurelic, Tasha Konkle, Leslie Banichar, and
Staci Graham were each named to the NCCAA
East Region Team, while Karly Clay and
Caitlin Murphy were NCCAA East Region
Honorable Mention selections. Head coach
Jeana Howald was also selected as the NCCAA
East Region Coach of the Year after leading
MVNU to the NCCAA East Region title and the
teamís first berth in the NCCAA National
Touranment since 2004.
Eyerman, a senior pitcher from Delaware,
Ohio, has posted a 9-5 record this year with
a 2.86 ERA. In 107.2 innings of work, the
former Buckeye Valley High School standout
has registered 78 strikeouts. She has also
tossed 11 complete games in 16 starts.
White, a junior pitcher from Gahanna,
Ohio, has posted a 10-9 record on the mound
with a 1.92 ERA. In 116.2 innings of work,
the former Gahanna Lincoln High School star
has struck out 91 batters while issuing just
21 walks. She has also tossed four shutouts
and has 16 complete games in 16 starts.
Kurelic, a freshman second baseman from
Delaware, Ohio, leads the Lady Cougars with
a .383 batting average. The former
Worthington Christian High School standout
has started all 34 games and has compiled
three doubles, six RBI, 18 runs scored, and
is tied for the team lead with 12 stolen
Konkle, a sophomore shortstop from
Urbana, Ohio, is batting .277 while starting
all 34 games. The former West Liberty-Salem
High School star has two doubles, 11 RBI, 21
runs scored, and five stolen bases. She has
also committed just six errors in 123
fielding chances (.951).
Banichar, a sophomore outfielder from
Shelby, Ohio, is batting .347 with 33 starts
in 34 games played. The former Shelby High
School product leads MVNU with 22 runs
scored, and four triples, while tying for
the team lead with 12 stolen bases. She also
has six doubles and 24 RBI.
Graham, a sophomore designated player
from Marengo, Ohio, is batting .340 with 34
starts. The former Highland High School
standout has compiled six doubles, one
triple, one home run (a grand slam), 11 runs
scored and a team-leading 25 RBI.
Clay, a junior third baseman from
Blacklick, Ohio, is batting .204 while
starting all 34 games. The former Gahanna
Lincoln High School product has posted three
doubles, 13 RBI, and 10 runs scored.
Murphy, a sophomore catcher from Gahanna,
Ohio, is batting .262 while starting in all
34 games behind the plate. Another former
Gahanna Lincoln High School star, she has
registered five doubles, two triples, one
home run, 13 RBI, and 15 runs scored while
throwing out 19 of the 38 runners who have
tried to steal on her.
MVNU, which will enter play in the double
elimination NCCAA National Tournament hosted
by Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.) University
with a 19-15 overall record, will face the
winner of the first-round game between the
host Sailfish, who are 29-22 and seeded
sixth, and seventh-seeded Judson (Ill.)
University (20-19) at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday.
Palm Beach Atlantic and Judson will square
off at 4:00 p.m.
The two other first round games will
feature second-seeded Spring Arbor (Mich.)
University (23-16) versus fifth-seeded
Central Baptist (Ark.) College (29-9) at
2:00 p.m. on Thursday and third-seeded
Mid-Continent (Ky.) University (13-32)
versus fourth-seeded Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
University (41-7) also at 2:00 p.m.
The Lady Cougars will then play at either
2:00 p.m. on Friday in the loserís bracket
or at 4:00 p.m. on Friday in the winnerís
bracket. The tournament will wrap up on