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Golden Panthers sweep softball awards

Over on the Mothership:

FIU softball may have entered the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the No. 2 seed, but the Golden Panthers' evening Tuesday was second-to-none.

FIU made a clean sweep of the performer of the year awards at the conference's annual end-of-season ceremony Tuesday, with team members capturing player, pitcher and freshman of the year honors.

In addition, Beth McClendon, who directed the Golden Panthers to a 36-17 mark in her third year with the team, shared the co-coach of the year award with Louisiana-Lafayette's Stefni Lotief.

The winners:

Ashley McClain (player of the year), Kasey Barrett (pitcher of the year) and Brie Rojas (freshman of the year).

UPDATE: FIU fell to Louisiana-Monroe 1-0 in the opening round of the Sun Belt tournament Wednesday. Barrett allowed a solo home run to Brianna Love in the top of the seventh. The Golden Panthers will try to stay alive Thursday against third-seeded North Texas (27-19), which lost to Troy 8-0 earlier in the day.

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