(Editor’s Note: This is a release from MSU Billings)
PORTLAND, Ore. – Eight players from the Montana State University Billings softball squad have earned academic all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference honors for the 2017 season, announced the conference office Friday.
Juniors Amanda Barham, Myrissa Prince, and Katlyn Stringari were all repeat selections for the Yellowjackets, winning the award for the second straight season. Seniors Kelsey Devlin, Katie Jackson, Nicole Tiffany, and Taylor Tokach, and junior Heather Tracy were also academic all-conference selections, and MSUB’s total of eight was tied for second-highest in the GNAC.
“I am very proud of our ladies, as this is a great honor,” said MSUB head coach Jessica Rayman. “They take great pride in their academics, so it is good to see their hard work in the classroom pay off.”
Barham has a 3.52 grade point average, and is a marketing major from Sparks, Nev. Barham had 59 at-bats before an injury cut her third year at MSUB short, and she totaled 17 runs scored with nine RBIs as the team’s starting leftfielder.
Prince, one of the top defensive players in the GNAC at second base, carries a 3.63 GPA while studying health and human performance. The Sparks, Nev., native is batting .299 this year with a pair of home runs and 14 RBIs, and she holds a .961 fielding percentage.
Stringari, MSUB’s other repeat academic all-GNAC selection, has a 3.51 GPA while studying history. Stringari has seen action in 18 games as a shortstop, and the Shepherd, Mont., native is batting .273 with one home run and seven RBIs.
Among MSUB’s first-time selections is Devlin, a senior from Great Falls, Mont., who is hitting .315 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs this year. Devlin enters the final weekend of the year No. 4 in MSUB history with 29 career home runs, and she earned academic honors with a 3.22 GPA in history.
Tracy, the team’s top player with a .451 batting average, also has a 3.22 GPA and is studying finance. The Boise, Idaho native broke the MSUB single-season hits record last week, and enters this weekend’s series with an unprecedented 73 knocks on the year.
Tiffany, Tokach, and Jackson are three other seniors who will be honored during Saturday’s Senior Ceremony in between games of a doubleheader against Simon Fraser University. Tiffany, from Nine Mile Falls, Wash., has a 3.20 GPA in elementary education, Tokach, of Mesa, Ariz., is a liberal studies major with a 3.46 GPA, and Jackson, from Kent, Wash., is studying healthcare administration with a GPA of 3.64.
Tiffany has seen action in 31 games this year, with a pair of home runs and six RBIs. Tokach has been one of three pitchers used by the ‘Jackets, tossing 37 1/3 innings over 16 appearances. Jackson started nine games and had 14 at-bats before an injury shortened her final collegiate season.
A total of 52 softball players from the GNAC earned academic all-conference honors this season. Cassidy Fifield of Northwest Nazarene holds the top GPA in the league, at 3.92 while studying chemistry. Players must be in their second year of competition with their team, and must hold a minimum 3.20 GPA in order to be eligible for the academic all-GNAC squad.
MSUB (15-30, 9-15 GNAC) closes its 2017 season this weekend, hosting Simon Fraser in a four-game series at Avitus Group Stadium. Doubleheaders are scheduled for noon on both Saturday and Sunday.