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Softball: Draheim, Cherry earn All-America recognition

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 30, 2013

After leading the UL Ragin’ Cajuns to a 47-15 season and their third NCAA Super Regional in four years, seniors Brianna Cherry and Sarah Draheim were named National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Americans, as announced by the NFCA office on Wednesday.

Cherry picked up second-team honors and Draheim picked up third team honors.

It was the first time either has received All-American honors, becoming the 43rd and 44th All-Americans in the program’s history and 15th and 16th in the Lotief ERA.

Cherry finished the season batting .393 with a team-high 65 runs scored and 55 RBIs, with 14 home runs. She had a powerful presence in the Cajuns lineup, starting every game in center field and proving to be one of the best hitters in the country.

“It has always been a goal of mine to be an All-American,” Cherry said after hearing of her selection. “I set out to accomplish what most can say they have never achieved. I knew that it was going to be a grind during the season but my motto was ‘only the strong survive.’ That definitely propelled me to reaching my goal.”

The senior from Petal, Miss., had a clutch two-run home run in the Super Regionals to send the opener into extra innings.

Draheim was behind the plate in every game for the Cajuns providing a spark on both sides of the ball. She batted .409 with 17 home runs 67 RBIs and a .746 slugging percentage, all team and conference highs.

“It has been a goal I have been dreaming of since I was 10,” Draheim said of being named to the All-American team. “With the help of Coach Mike and my sisters, that dream came true today.”

The Flower Mound, Texas, native had a team-best .998 fielding percentage, making just one error in 500 chances. She finished her career with a .994 fielding percentage, which is tied for the highest in school history with Tiffany Whittall (1992-95).

Draheim was also a force in the postseason, leading the Cajuns offensively, and she hit two home runs in the Cajuns 5-0 victory at the NCAA Super Regional against Michigan.

The pair of seniors also picked up first team All-Sun Belt and first-team All-Central region honors earlier this month.