Reah P. Nicholson 05/24/10

Andrea Searls named to NCAA Division I All-Independent Team

DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina Central University outfielder Desanbra Franklin adds another postseason honor to her list of accolades as she was tabbed the 2010 NCAA Division I Softball All-Independent Player of the Year announced Friday, as voted on by all five NCAA Division I Independent softball programs.

"This is a wondrous achievement for Desanbra,” said head coach Mike Charlton. “I couldn't think of a better way to cap off a stellar year than being Player of the Year! She's worked very hard to get to this point and my staff and I are happy we had the opportunity to be a part of her growth and to celebrate this achievement with her.”

Franklin, a 5-3 senior from Piqua, Ohio, collects the honor after being named both the 2010 NCCU Female Student-Athlete of the Year and the team Most Valuable Player. She batted .346 on the year with 44 hits, 22 runs scored, 12 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 25 runs batted in. The Ohio native led the Lady Eagles in every offensive category, earning the best performance of her three-year career with NCCU.

Along with her .346 batting average, she racked up a .614 slugging percentage and went 4-for-4 in stolen bases. Defensively, she totaled a 1.000 fielding percentage with 25 putouts and six assists. She was the only Lady Eagle to start in all 44 games and to go the entire season without an error.

Franklin, who was selected as the NCCU Student-Athlete of the Month for April, was one of three outfielders chosen to the All-Independent Team. She is joined by outfielders Camille Ketsdever of Longwood and Megan Murphy of SIU Edwardsville. 

Andrea Searls, a 5-2 sophomore from Oceanside, Calif., joins Franklin on the NCAA Division I Softball All-Independent Team. Seals was the other Lady Eagle to hit above .300 with a .337 average on the season. She totaled 34 hits, 13 runs scored, six doubles, two triples, one home run and nine RBIs. 

She was second on the team in doubles and tied for first in triples, while earning a slugging percentage of .465. As the Lady Eagles’ ace behind the plate, Searls notched a .931 fielding percentage with 92 putouts and 42 assists. Her powerful arm held opponents to just 55 stolen bases on 74 attempts, while picking off six base runners. 

Searls, who went 4-for-4 in stolen bases and started in 39-of-40 games, was one of two catchers selected to the All-Independent Team. She is joined by Kayla Woodbury of Winston-Salem State. 

The 2010 All-Independent Team consist of 14 student-athletes. Making up the team are five infielders, three outfielders, two catchers, three pitchers and a designated player. 

Taking home the Pitcher of the Year honor was Brianna Wells of Longwood, while Brooke Short of Longwood and Madison Hedderly of Savannah State tied for the Freshman of the Year title. LaTaya Hillard-Gray of Winston-Salem State was named the 2010 Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Rams to a 9-27 record.

2010 NCAA Division I Softball All-Independent Team

Britney Cato, Winston-Salem State
Madison Hedderly, Savannah State
Ashley Kramer, Longwood
Maggie Margadonna, Longwood
Lauren Zembruski, SIU Edwardsville

Desanbra Franklin, North Carolina Central
Camille Ketsdever, Longwood
Megan Murphy, SIU Edwardsville

Andrea Searls, North Carolina Central
Kayla Woodbury, Winston-Salem State

Designated Player
Brooke Short, Longwood

Madison Hedderly, Savannah State
Erika Taylor, SIU Edwardsville
Brianna Wells, Longwood

Player of the Year: Desanbra Franklin, North Carolina Central
Pitcher of the Year: Brianna Wells, Longwood
Freshman of the Year: Brooke Short, Longwood and Madison Hedderly, Savannah Stat
Coach of the Year: LaTaya Hillard-Gray, Winston-Salem State