May 9, 2011

Hannah Schwarz Honored With Southland Conference Steve McCarty Citizenship Award

Crowned a Southland Conference Champion on Sunday, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball player Hannah Schwarz has been named the women's 2010-11 Southland Conference Steve McCarty Citizenship Award winner, the conference announced on Monday.

The annual award recognizes one male and one female student-athlete who exhibit outstanding qualities in citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership and community service. This year's Steve McCarty Citizenship Award winners will be honored at the Southland Conference Honors Dinner in Galveston, Texas later this month. Schwarz was joined by Northwestern State football player Yaser Elqutub in winning the award.

Schwarz, a native of Kerrville, Texas, is a junior that is so much more than just an athlete. She is also the Community Service Chair for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and the voting member that represents the softball team for the committee.

"On behalf of our entire Athletic Department, we are very proud of Hannah for being selected to receive this prestigious award," Director of Athletics Tim Fitzpatrick said. "Hannah is unquestionably committed to making a difference in every aspect of her life, and her ability to lead by example is inspiring and exceptional."

She has helped lead initiatives for several different charities and has helped organize the collection of pop tops for cancer research, and helped coordinate the "Making Strides" movement for breast cancer awareness on campus as well as the "Samaritan's Feet" program, which helps provide underprivileged children with new shoes that help them avoid the contraction of different diseases. Her efforts have helped make the "Toys for Tots" toy drive a success the past two years at the University and she has also helped collect food and supplies for the local humane society.

Schwarz has served as a tutor on a weekly basis for the Boys and Girls Club along with speaking to young people about her life and experiences as a college athlete. Additionally, she is a Certified Peer Educator for the Islander Athlete Mentor program. She was a Student-Athlete Orientation Leader in the fall of both 2010 and 2011 and was also a member of the planning committee for the group.

She is also a Texas Standing Tall Brief Intervention Training Volunteer and is part of the Islander Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (I-ADAPT) and has been featured in promotions for the iThink, iChoose, iGraduate campaign.

With a 4.0 GPA in Interdisciplinary Studies, Schwarz plans to become a teacher after graduating. In addition to her performance in the classroom, she has done just as much on the field.

The centerfielder for the Islanders led her team to the 2011 Southland Conference Championship, is tops on the squad with a .358 batting average and is third with a .381 on-base percentage. She has a team-high 63 hits and 37 runs to go along with two triples and 13 RBI. She has just one error all season for a .974 fielding percentage. She has started 108 games and played in 109 so far in her two-year career with the Islanders. Last week she was named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team and will be a candidate for Academic All-America honors.

In her first season with the Islanders last year, Schwarz produced a .410 batting average, which was good for 31st in the nation and set a new Islanders single-season record. She was named First Team All-Southland and the Newcomer of the Year by the league while also earning NFCA First Team All-Region honors.

She will lead her team into the Southland Conference Tournament this week as the No. 1 seed, where they will try to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2005 season. They will have a first round bye before playing at 4 p.m. on Thursday against the winner of the game between McNeese State and UTSA.