April 17, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Fayetteville State freshman sensation Tia Caldwell picked up a pair of conference honors on Tuesday.
Caldwell, a pitcher from Newport, N.C., was named to the All-CIAA Second Team and to the All-Rookie team after turning in a dazzling season as the Lady Broncos' ace.
Caldwell is 5-8 on the season, but has been devastating in CIAA play, owning a 5-2 record and a 1.50 ERA in league games. She has struck out a staggering 88 batters in just 54 conference innings pitched, an average of 1.6 strikeouts per inning, and has held conference opponents to just a .148 batting average with only six extra base hits.
Even against standout nonconference opponents, Caldwell's statistics hold up. She has fanned 121 batters in 100 innings this season and owns a 3.69 ERA with a .242 opponents' batting average against in all games pitched this year.
Caldwell, who was recently named the CIAA Pitcher of the Week, has helped the Lady Broncos surge in CIAA play after a difficult start to the season. Fayetteville State was 10-6 in league play, and finished second in the Southern Division. It is the fifth straight season under coach Miguel "Coach Who" Justiniano that the Lady Broncos have finished at least second or better in the division standings, marking the fifth consecutive time Fayetteville State has qualified for the CIAA Tournament.
That tournament begins on Thursday in Petersburg, Va., with Fayetteville State taking on the Northern Division's No. 3 seed, Virginia State. The first game will take place at noon from the Petersburg Sports Complex.
Bowie State freshman catcher Cara Nance was named the CIAA's Softball Player of the Year while Bowie State outfielder Cassandra Claybourne was the league's Rookie of the Year.