For the second consecutive year, five members of the Valparaiso softball team earned All Mid-Continent Conference recognition as the league announced its annual awards today. Taylor Callahan (Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) and Shannon Robinson (Toronto, Ont./John Redmond) were named to the First Team, while Megan Carroll (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids), Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North) and Andrea Zappia (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) earned Second Team honors.
Callahan earned league recognition for the third time in her career, following a First Team selection in 2005 and Second Team honors last year. The senior third baseman finished second on the team and fourth in the league with a .356 batting average, including a .431 mark in league play. She broke the Valpo single-season doubles record with 19, a mark that is the second-most all-time in the Mid-Con, and currently ranks third in NCAA Division I with 0.41 doubles/game. Callahan also broke Valpo's single-season total bases record with 86, and ends her career as the Crusaders' all-time leader in at-bats (600), hits (170), doubles (38), total bases (251) and assists (424). She is also second all-time in runs scored (91) and RBIs (79).
Robinson received First Team honors this season after being named to the Second Team in 2006. The junior catcher led the league with a .392 batting average, which improved to an astounding .464 clip in Mid-Con action. She broke Valpo's single-season hits record, recording 58 hits over the course of the season, and also posted numbers among the Crusaders' single-season top-five in slugging (.568), on base (.434), runs scored (31), RBIs (25) and total bases (84).
Carroll earned league honors for the second time in her career, as she also was named to the Second Team in 2005. The senior outfielder hit .318 for Valpo this season with 48 hits, tied for fifth-most in a season in school history. 12 of her hits were doubles, the fourth-most two-baggers in a single season at Valpo. She also scored 22 runs and registered 17 RBIs for the Crusaders in 2007. Carroll put together one of the most impressive stretches in NCAA Division I softball history March 5-6, registering hits in nine consecutive at-bats, tied with UCLA's Natasha Watley for the fifth-longest streak all-time.
Korb received conference accolades for the first time in her career. The sophomore outfielder hit .263 for Valpo this season with 26 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. Korb led the Mid-Con with 13 runs scored in league games, and was a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen bases during those games. She is already Valpo's career leader with 35 sacrifice hits and is second in Crusader history with 36 stolen bases.
Zappia was named to the Second Team for the second consecutive season. The junior pitcher moved into 14th in NCAA Division I history this year, picking up the 14th save of her career, a Valpo and Mid-Con record. Zappia earned eight wins for the Crusaders this year and led the team with a 2.76 ERA and 130 strikeouts, third-most in a single season in Valpo history. Zappia also boasted an opponents' batting average against of .238, the best in the league.
The quintet helped the Crusaders to match the program record for victories in a season with 27. In addition, Valpo broke or matched nine other single-season school records in 2007.