October 1, 2008

Tech softball team posts best grades in all of Division I

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Placing three players on the Academic All-District team, 15 members of the squad earning a spot on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll including three Medal of Honor winners, and claiming the OVC Team Academic Award should have been pretty good indicators that the Tennessee Tech softball team was doing well in the classroom.

Just how well? Better than any other Division I team in the country.

When the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced the "Girls Got Game" Top Ten All-Academic Teams Tuesday, based on GPAs submitted for the 2007-2008 school year, coach Tory Acheson's Golden Eagles ranked No. 1.

"When we recruit kids, they know right up front that academic success is one of this program's highest priorities," Acheson said. "We give them the opportunity to develop into the very best they can be, in every phase of their lives, and that includes success in the classroom.

"To be ranked No. 1 in Team GPA is a testament to how hard each of our players works," he said. "It's also a reflection of the tremendous support they receive from the university, from Dr. Lance Jasitt and his staff, and from the entire Athletics administration."

Acheson gave credit to Dr. Jasitt's role as Assistant Athletic Director for Academics and Student Welfare.

"You cannot underestimate the impact Dr. Jasitt played on the team receiving this honor," Acheson said. "His willingness to help strong students become great students is reflected in the team's high overall GPA."

Through this program, the NFCA honors high school and collegiate softball teams for their success in the classroom.

Tennessee Tech University turned in the top GPA in Division I, Grand Valley State had the highest mark in Division II, and Macalester College holds the top team GPA in Division III. Wallace-Hanceville, the NJCAA Division I National Champions for 2008, led the way among junior college programs with the top GPA.

During the 2007-08 academic year, Kristyn Castonzo, Beth Boden and Stephanie Fisher all earned Academic All-District honors. When the OVC announced Medal of Honor winners for the highest GPA in each sport, the softball winners included Tech's Taylor Horseman, Landry Moore and Katie Speiser. The OVC Honor Roll included 15 Golden Eagles: Katie Betry, Beth Boden, Kristyn Castonzo, Lacie Coquerille, Stephanie Fischer, Amanda Glover, Taylor Horseman, Whitney Landrum, Meghan Maynard, Cynthia Medley, Landry Moore, Blaes Schmissrauter, Maddie Schmissrauter, Katie Speiser and Anna Zdroik.

"Tennessee Tech takes the term student-athlete very seriously, and over the past several years none of our teams has done a better job than our softball team," said Mark Wilson. "They have not only been successful on the field, they have also achieved academically. It's a tribute to the great work of our student-athletes and coaches, and our academic support provided by Dr. Jasitt and his staff."

NCAA Division I Top 10 Team GPA

1. Tennessee Tech University, 3.540
2. Gardner-Webb University, 3.478
3. Seton Hall University, 3.450
4. Southern Illinois University, 3.447
5. DePaul University, 3.429
6. Saint Louis University, 3.428
7. University of Evansville, 3.420
8. Mississippi State University, 3.414
University of South Carolina, 3.414
10. Bucknell University, 3.402.