Paisley Receives C-USA Scholarship

UABSPORTS.COM Toni Paisley is East Carolina's 2011 Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship Award recipient.
Toni Paisley is East Carolina's 2011 Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship Award recipient.

June 13, 2011

IRVING, Texas - Toni Paisley, an East Carolina graduate who recently completed her eligibility with the Pirate softball team, has been named one of 12 Conference USA recipients of the Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship Award, according to an announcement Monday by league commissioner Britton Banowsky.

C-USA annually presents the $4,000 postgraduate scholarships to graduates selected by the conference's faculty athletics representatives and approved by the board of directors. This is the third year the award has been named for Dr. Castañeda, who served Rice University for 46 years as an educator, coach and faculty athletics representative before he passed away in November 2008.

Paisley, the three-time Conference USA Pitcher-of-the-Year, plans to attend Long Beach State and earn a master's degree in criminal justice.

The Lakewood, Calif., native graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work in May 2010 and wrapped up her eligibility with the Pirate softball program in May after becoming the school and conference record holder in career wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and appearances. Last month, Paisley was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 3 Second Team for the first time. She also repeated as a C-USA Softball All-Academic Team selection following her nod to the team in 2010.

A five-time member of the Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll, Paisley also received national attention for her academic prowess in February, when she was named a top-30 candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Paisley was the only student-athlete selected from Conference USA.



On the field, Paisley helped ECU to its second-straight league tournament title and NCAA Regional final appearance after going 32-13 with a 1.03 earned run average. This year, she was a top-25 finalist for the Amateur Softball Association of America's Player of the Year Award and was named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Mideast All-Region First Team for the second-straight season.

2010-11 Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients
Student-Athlete, School, Sport
Toni Paisley, East Carolina, Softball
Katy Beth Sherman, Houston, Softball
Elizabeth Fleming, Marshall, Volleyball
Janelle Valle, Memphis, Softball
Elizabeth Nesbit, Rice, Women's Soccer
Audra Egenolf, SMU, Women's Swimming & Diving
Jana Mason, Southern Miss, Women's Soccer
Amaris Genemaras, Tulane, Volleyball
MacKenzie Ayer, Tulsa, Women's Soccer
Natalie Mitchell, UAB, Softball
Abby McClain, UCF, Softball
Melissa Desilets, UTEP, Women's Soccer