NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team is ranked 13th in the country by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in academics for the 2012-13 school year.
The Lady Bisons finished with a 3.46 team grade point average. The Lady Bisons were the highest ranked Atlantic Sun team.
“This is a very, very exciting honor,” said Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman. “We had a great year academically. We typically have a very strong academic group.
“This is something we don’t take lightly. We work and work and work on the academic side as much as we do on the field.”
The Lady Bisons meet every other week with the coaches for academic discussions. Players must have weekly signed records from instructors concerning attendance and grades.
“We put a lot of emphasis on making sure that at the end of each semester we don’t have any surprises,” Ryman said. “We want to be in tune enough with what is going on during a semester that we can offer advice and help them however we can if little issues come up.
“We want to keep them on track for four years. We want to know that when they finish here that they have a plan in mind of what they want to do. Hopefully, we can help them reach their goals.”
Ten of the 19 players on the 2013 spring roster finished the academic year with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher to earn NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes honors for 2012-13: Dee Baddley (Biology), Kelsey Cartwright (Psychology), Rena' Cothron (Marketing), Brittany Elmore (Elementary Education), Heather Montgomery (International Business), Tanner Sanders (Elementary Education), Kristen Sturdivant (Elementary Education), Bree Thurman (Accounting), Brianne Welch (Journalism & New Media) and Madison Wray (Spanish). Both Thurman and Wray have 4.0 GPAs.
Also 16 of 19 players made a 3.0 GPA or higher, qualifying for the Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team.
“We want to steer them into the right paths,” Ryman said. “I think that is important. There are a lot of little things we do within our program that aren’t required but we feel like are necessary to help us maintain a strong GPA.
“Lipscomb as a university places a big emphasis on academics. We want to mirror that as a program. We want to maintain the strong reputation of our athletes in the classroom.”