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Eight Colonials Softball Players Named All-America Scholar-Athletes

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pittsburgh -- A few weeks after being recognized for having one of the top five team grade-point averages in Division I, the Robert Morris University softball team had eight of its student-athletes named All-America Scholar Athletes as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). 

The eight honorees for RMU tied for the highest amount among the 11 schools that competed in the Northeast Conference (NEC) in the 2013 season. Robert Morris’ award winners are listed below:

Student-Athlete – Major(s) – 2012-13 GPA

Tess Apke – Early Childhood and Special Education – 3.829

Geena Badolato – Management; Marketing – 4.00 (Double-Major)

Kristen Gabelt – Management – 3.860

Britta Grafton – Business Education – 3.959

Lauren Hackett - Early Childhood and Special Education – 3.583

Maritza Jimenez – Engineering – 3.654

Cassie Show – Psychology – 3.667

Nicole Sleith – Engineering – 3.667 

In a noteworthy display of academic and athletic achievement, Sleith earned both an individual award from the NFCA and the NEC Pitcher of the Year honor for the second straight season. 

The Colonials posted a 3.561 team GPA during the past academic year to tally the fourth-highest mark among Division I softball squads. Robert Morris, which has accrued at least a 3.55 GPA in each of the past five seasons, has led Division I in GPA in three of the past five years. 

While this group of eight Colonials was honored by the NFCA, the remainder of their teammates remained close behind. Amazingly, at the conclusion of the spring 2013 semester, every one of the 17 Colonials on the squad had an individual cumulative GPA in excess of 3.10. RMU softball student-athletes, representing 11 distinct undergraduate majors, also posted 11 semester averages of at least 3.75 during the year. 

Robert Morris is no stranger to individual academic honors either as three of the past four Northeast Conference Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards have been claimed by a Colonial student-athlete. RMU produced its first Academic All-American in program history after the 2011 season and has earned 10 Academic All-District selections in the past eight years. 

The Colonials have tallied 38 All-America Scholar Athlete awards from the NFCA in the past four seasons and also notched a league-high 16 softball selections to the NEC Academic Honor Roll this past season. 

This honor from the NFCA is bestowed upon student-athletes who posted a GPA of 3.50 or higher during the 2012-13 academic year. 

While the Colonials were working hard amassing impressive numbers in the classroom last year, they still succeeded to have a standout season between the lines as well. 

Robert Morris became just the second school in league history to finish in first place in the NEC for three consecutive seasons by virtue of its 16-4 conference mark in 2013. RMU won at least 30 games for the second consecutive season and reset the program record for combined wins in back-to-back seasons (65) in 2012-13. Three Colonials won a major postseason award from the NEC while a fourth was selected All-NEC First Team in 2013. Each of those student-athletes is returning for the 2014 season.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.