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Clark and Crais Named 2005-06 American Southwest Conference Athletes of Year
Louisiana College Softball and Texas Lutheran Baseball Standouts are Top Athletic Performers
June 22, 2006

This Release in PDF (Includes Bios of All Nominees)

RICHARDSON, Texas --- Two diamond sport standouts who led their respective teams to NCAA Division III regional tournament appearances and claimed top conference Division player honors have been selected as the 2005-06 American Southwest Conference Athletes of the Year. Louisiana College senior softball athlete Sandi Clark (Hineston, La./Oak Hill HS) and Texas Lutheran University senior baseball athlete Aaron Crais (Georgetown, Texas/GHS) earned the top athletic honors in the conference as voted by the ASC sports information directors and selected media.

The American Southwest Conference Athlete of the Year award recognizes the male and female student-athlete whose athletic accomplishments best contributed to their sport, their institution's overall athletic program and to the conference for the 2005-06 year. Each ASC member institution nominates its campus Athlete of the Year award recipients to the conference-wide ballot with the winners selected by the ASC sports information directors and selected media.

Both Clark and Crais are the first student-athletes from their institutions to earn ASC Athlete of the Year honors. This is the seventh year the Conference has presented the Athlete of the Year awards.

Sandi Clark

Sandi Clark completed the most dominant pitching career in American Southwest Conference softball history when she took Louisiana College to the semifinals of the 2006 NCAA Division III Softball Regional Tournament, a second ASC East Division title in three years and a final No. 14 ranking in the NFCA Coaches Poll. Clark was voted ASC East Division Pitcher of the Year for a third consecutive year cialis generico farmacia online and earned a place on the NFCA All-Atlantic Region First Team.

A pitcher-designated player who battled nagging injuries throughout the 2006 season, Clark posted an 18-5 record with a 2.04 ERA. For most of the season, Clark posted an ERA under 1.00 and finished her collegiate career with a 1.06 ERA. Offensively Clark enjoyed her best year, hitting .327 with 35 RBI and six home runs, two coming in the NCAA Regional.

Clark finishes her career holding ASC career pitching records for wins (67), appearances (91), shutouts (35), innings pitched (570.1) and strikeouts (569). She has twice been named the Louisiana College Female Athlete of the Year (2004-05, 2005-06), and was runner-up for the ASC Female Athlete of the Year award a year ago. Clark was the Louisiana College Sportsmanship Award recipient in 2006.

Clark graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, and has been accepted at the University of Louisiana-Monroe School of Pharmacy. Clark was a three-time ASC All-Academic pick and earned places on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team and Academic All-District VI First Team.

Aaron Crais

Aaron Crais finished his Texas Lutheran baseball career with selection to the All-America Second Team -- his second All-America citation from the American Baseball Coaches Association -- after leading the Bulldogs to within one game of a NCAA Division III College World Series berth for a second consecutive season. Crais helped TLU to the 2006 ASC Baseball Championship and a return trip to the NCAA Division III Baseball West Regional.

Voted ABCA NCAA Division III West Region Position Player of the Year and the ASC West Division Player of the Year, Crais carried Texas Lutheran for much of the 2006 season. He led the team in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.422, career-best), hits (76), slugging percentage (.639), home runs (9), RBI (52) and on-base percentage (.511). The senior catcher topped the conference in hits and average, and was second in RBI, total bases, walks and on-base percentage. Crais claimed ASC West Division First Team honors for a fourth consecutive season.

The Most Valuable Player of the ASC Baseball Championship Tournament Series for a second straight year, Crais batted .533 with three home runs and 10 RBI in the championship round of the 2006 conference tournament series. Crais was named to the ABCA All-America Third Team in 2005.

A business management major, Crais will receive his Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Lutheran in August.

2005-06 American Southwest Conference Athletes of the Year
Male: Aaron Crais, Texas Lutheran University (Baseball, Senior)
Female: Sandi Clark, Louisiana College (Softball, Senior)

Institution Athletes of the Year / ASC Athlete of the Year Nominees
  Male Female
Austin College -- --
Concordia University at Austin Greg Warren (Baseball) Michelle Heckmann (Volleyball)
East Texas Baptist University Cedric Isom (Basketball) Janna Wilson (Soccer)
Hardin-Simmons University David Wu (Tennis) Nicole Cortez (Softball)
Howard Payne University Greg Nixon (Football, Track & Field) Meia Daniels (Basketball)
LeTourneau University Damon Stokes (Baseball) Shannon Toews (Soccer)
Louisiana College Wes Cooper (Football) Sandi Clark (Softball)
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor P.J. Williams (Football) Jennifer Pietrowski (Softball)
McMurry University -- --
Mississippi College Jonathan Russell (Football, Baseball) Lacey Kennedy (Basketball)
University of the Ozarks Ron Hogsett (Soccer) Mandi Carter (Basketball, Soccer)
Schreiner University -- --
Sul Ross State University Sidney Hooper (Basketball) Emerald Setzler (Volleyball)
University of Texas at Dallas Randy Black (Baseball, Cross Country) Natalie Taylor (Soccer)
University of Texas at Tyler Clay Copeland (Baseball) Sarah Stanley (Basketball)
Texas Lutheran University Aaron Crais (Baseball) Natalie Wood (Track & Field)

Top Three Vote Recipients 2005-06 ASC Athlete of the Year
Male: 1. Aaron Crais (TLU); 2. Greg Nixon (HPU); 3. Cedric Isom (ETBU)
Female: 1. Sandi Clark (LC); 2. Meia Daniels (HPU); 3. Nicole Cortez (HSU)

Annual American Southwest Conference Athletes of the Year
Year Male Athlete of the Year Female Athlete of the Year
1999-2000 Brad Parris, McMurry University Ogonna Merritt, McMurry University
2000-01 (co) Aaron Kernek, Austin College;
(co) Robert Moore, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Talitha Belcher, McMurry University
2001-02 Robert Moore, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Kendra Anderson, Hardin-Simmons University
2002-03 Preston Meyer, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Kendra Anderson, Hardin-Simmons University
2003-04 Cody Fredenburg, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Brittany Cary, McMurry University
2004-05 Cody Brotherton, McMurry University Holly Glover, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
2005-06 Aaron Crais, Texas Lutheran University Sandi Clark, Louisiana College

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