Softball tops NFCA Division I GPA rankings
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
By Mark McGee
Softball tops NFCA Division I GPA rankings

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lipscomb University’s softball team posted the top grade point average for the 2014-15 school year as announced Tuesday by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

“We set goals in the fall every year,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “One of the team goals they had was they wanted to improve and get within the top 10 and not just be the 10th team.

“It was something they were very serious about. It was something they knew they could achieve. We have created a standard. We know the type of student-athlete we want to recruit.”

The Lady Bisons posted a team GPA of 3.645. Last year they were 10th.

“I am so proud of them,” Ryman said. “Being anywhere in that ranking is impressive, but to top the list is just another benchmark for our program. I would have been excited to just be in the top 10 but to be at the top is so exciting.

“I am proud of the effort they have put in to be the best student-athletes they can be. We talk all the time that if you can pull an `A’ in a class then don’t settle for a `B’. Not giving your best to get your best grade is not acceptable in our program. And our girls have bought into that.”

Ryman credits Dr. Lin Garner, Associate Athletic Director for Academics and Senior Women’s Administrator; and Brian Mast, senior director of the Academic Success Center, for their contributions.

“There are so many people who play into achieving a goal like this,” Ryman said. “First and foremost it is our student-athletes and the effort they put in on a daily basis to be great students first. It is not easy being a Division I student-athlete. I applaud their work ethic in the classroom.

“But it goes beyond them. For anyone that knows anything about Lipscomb they know the support system is top notch. People like Dr. Garner and Brian Mast and all of the people who work under them, play a huge role. And we appreciate all of the professors who go above and beyond to help our girls be successful. We do things right as a program.”

The top 10 in NCAA Division I:
1. Lipscomb – 3.645; 2. Grand Canyon – 3.640; DePaul – 3.640; 4. Southern Illinois – 3.619; 5. Harvard – 3.595; 6. Wagner – 3.583; 7. UT Martin – 3.578; 8. Saint Francis (Pa.) – 3.551; 9. Eastern Michigan – 3.518; Kent State – 3.513.