Jackson, Tenn. - 5/24/2002 - The Union University Lady Bulldog softball team was well represented on this year’s NAIA Softball All-American list. Union’s pitching pair, Rachel Murray and Leah Gronberg, was named to first team All-American. Third baseman, Amy Mejia was selected honorable mentioned All-American. These players helped lead Union to their fifth straight 50 plus win season and their third NAIA World Series appearance in four years.
Senior pitcher and centerfielder, Rachel Murray, was selected to the NAIA All-American team for the third consecutive year. Murray finished the season with a 28-5 record and a 0.44 ERA. She pitched 18 shutouts and five no-hitters during her senior campaign. Murray struck out 301 batters in 224.0 innings pitched compared to only 59 walks. Murray also had solid numbers at the plate as she hit .298 on the season and drove in 21 runs. She led the Lady Bulldogs with nine triples and nine stolen bases. For her career, Murray recorded 126 to only 22 losses. She pitched over 969 innings in her four seasons at Union striking out an amazing 1, 257 batters. This season, Murray was named TranSouth Conference and NAIA Region XI Pitcher of the Year. In 2001, she was the NAIA Pitcher of the Year. Murray has also been named the NCCAA Player of the Year for the past three seasons as she has led the Lady Bulldogs to two straight NCCAA National Championships.
Leah Gronberg, a sophomore from College Station, Texas, received her first NAIA first team All-American selection. Last season, she was named to the second team as a freshman. In the 2002 season, Gronberg had a record of 23-2 with a 0.98 ERA. She pitched 16 shutouts and recorded seven no-hitters on the season. Gronberg struck out 185 batters and walked only 23 in 171.0 innings pitched. Gronberg also played the outfield when not on the mound. She hit .376 on the season with six doubles, two triples, and one homerun. Gronberg was second leading run producer with 38 RBI. This season, Gronberg was also named to the TranSouth Conference and NAIA Region XI first teams, along with NCCAA first team All-American.
Sophomore transfer from McNeese State University, Amy Mejia, earns her first NAIA All-American selection as she is named to the honorable mentioned team. Mejia, from Broken Arrow, Okla., made a great impact with her bat, as well as, her glove in her first season with the Lady Bulldogs. She led the team with a .376 average, 13 doubles, and 41 RBI. Mejia also added three homeruns for Union. At third base, where she started all 58 games for the Lady Bulldogs, she committed only five errors in 173 chances for a .972 fielding percentage. Mejia joined Murray and Gronberg on the TranSouth Conference and NAIA Region XI first teams. She was also named the NCCAA National Tournament MVP.
Union finished the season with a 51-7 record and a 14-2 conference mark. Union has won at least 50 games in each of the past five seasons. This year’s group of seniors, Murray, Park, and French, will leave as four-time TranSouth Conference regular season champions and boast an undefeated home conference record of 42-0 during those four seasons. The Lady Bulldogs have three NAIA Region XI championships in four years and have been to the NAIA World Series three of the last four seasons. This has truly been the most successful period in Union softball history and expectations are even higher for the future.
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