June 14, 2011
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced Tuesday that Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.), a member of the UCF softball team, was one of 12 student-athletes selected to receive the C-USA Spring Spirit of Service Award. The C-USA Spirit of Service Award is designed to recognize the community service efforts of the league's student-athletes, based upon significant community service, good academic standing and participation in their elected sport.
The Spirit of Service award is presented three times throughout the season, with Tuesday's honorees representing C-USA's spring sports: baseball, equestrian, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, softball, men's and women's tennis and men's and women's outdoor track and field.
Members of the UCF softball team have claimed each of the three C-USA Spring Spirit of Service Awards since its inception in 2008-09. Breanne Javier was the Knights' inaugural recipient of the spring award in 2009, while Abby McClain garnered the honor in 2010.
As a junior in 2011, Land was named to the All-C-USA First Team for the second-consecutive year after ranking in the league's top-10 in 11 different categories, while also ranking among the nation's best in triples and stolen bases. The second baseman also earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-District III Team and the C-USA All-Academic Team for the second time in her career this season.
Away from the softball diamond, Land paired with a local middle school student in a Pen Pal Program, writing back and forth to help promote literacy. She was also a volunteer for the Miracle League, assisting mentally/physically handicapped youth to help build confidence through a game of tee-ball.
While maintaining a 3.651 GPA as an athletic training major, Land has also been actively involved in several fundraisers, including the Central Florida Children's Home Golf Classic, Walk Now for Autism Speaks and the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
The junior is a three-time member of the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll and a two-time C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal recipient.
2011 SPRING C-USA SPIRIT OF SERVICE HONOREES:
Colleen Estes, East Carolina, Women's Golf
John Fortune, Houston, Men's Track & Field
Ashley Gue, Marshall, Softball
Heather Mott, Memphis, Softball
Farah Madanay, Rice, Women's Track & Field
Lauren Lieberman, SMU, Equestrian
Danielle LaPointe, Southern Miss, Softball
Ashley McKenney, Tulane, Women's Golf
Megan Melott, Tulsa, Women's Rowing
Nick Crawford, UAB, Baseball
Natalie Land, UCF, Softball
Courtney Ware, UTEP, Softball