ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina softball juniors Verity Long-Droppert (Claremont, Australia/Shenton (Western Australia)) and Brittany Birnbaum (Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala) were both recognized by the Big South Wednesday, May 7 at the conference's annual softball banquet. Long-Droppert was named Second Team All-Conference as a utility player, while Birnbaum earned a spot on the All-Academic Team.
Long-Droppert has played a variety of positions for the Lady Chanticleers during the 2008 season, including second base, third base, left field and center field. One of three players to start in all 56 games, Long-Droppert is one of Coastal's offensive powers and leads the Lady Chants in batting average (.314), runs (26), hits (50), doubles (9), triples (2), home runs (6), total bases (81), slugging percentage (.509), walks (24), hit by pitches (8) and on-base percentage (.437). Of her six home runs, three have come against Big South opponents with two being in two-run shots in the series with Charleston Southern. Long-Droppert owned Coastal's longest hitting streak of the season, registering at least one hit in 17 games (March 16-April 8). During that streak, she batted .444, going 24-for-54 from the plate with six doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI.
Birnbaum is one of seven Big South athletes named All-Academic. Off the field, she maintains a 4.0 grade point average as a health promotion major. On the field, Birnbaum has started in all 56 games at first base. She is the nation's leader in sacrifice hits with 0.46 per game. With 26 bunts this season, Birnbaum is tied with Rachel Ray for third on Coastal's single-season list and is just two behind leaders Cari (Rowe) Rosiek and Sara Thompson.
Coastal Carolina is seeded third in the Big South Conference Tournament and opens its postseason play against sixth-seeded Charleston Southern Thursday, May 8 at Terry Field in Rock Hill, S.C. The winner of the Coastal-Charleston Southern game faces second-seeded Radford at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.