(MSUB Athletics release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Great Northwest Athletic Conference announced the 2018 all-academic softball squad on Wednesday including five athletes from Montana State University Billings.
Yellowjacket seniors Myrissa Prince and Amanda Barham become three-time all-academic honorees with their selection while Heather Tracy has been named to the team for the second consecutive season. Prince and Barham are the sixth and seventh Yellowjackets to make the list all three times in their MSUB career. Sophomores Maddy Lincoln and Emma Tucker also made the cut in their first year of eligibility for the distinction.
“This is a great achievement for our student-athletes,” head coach Jessica Rayman said “It is a testament to the work they put in to be successful not only on the softball field, but in the classroom as well. We stress the importance of academics and this is a well-deserved honor for each of them.”
A pair of high school classmates, Prince and Barham both joined the Yellowjackets from Spanish Springs High School in Sparks, Nev. Prince led her classmates with a 3.64 GPA while studying health and human performance at MSUB. The second baseman hit .255 with two home runs and 14 RBI in her senior season. Prince started 152 games in her career with the Yellowjackets and collected 131 career hits.
Barham maintained a 3.54 GPA while earning her degree in marketing as a Yellowjacket. In 2018, she capped off her career with 40 hits, 32 runs, two home runs, 14 RBI and three stolen bases, all career-highs. Barham, Prince and Tracy were the only Yellowjackets to start all 47 games this season.
A finance major, Tracy finished her softball career as one of the most decorated players in school history. The Boise, Idaho native graduated with a 3.26 GPA while setting MSUB career-records in batting average, hits, triples, total bases, stolen bases, at-bats, games started and games played. Tracy hit .488 in her senior campaign with nine doubles, four triples and five home runs.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Lincoln was the Yellowjackets’ top arm in 2018 as she collected 12 wins from the circle. The Olympia, Wash. native has a 3.40 GPA while studying elementary education at MSUB. In her second season in the circle, Lincoln improved her numbers across the board with a 3.20 ERA, 102 strikeouts and a .262 opponent batting average in 157.2 innings of work.
Tucker ties Prince for the top GPA on the Yellowjackets as the sophomore carries a 3.64 GPA while studying marketing. She played in 18 games in her second season with the ‘Jackets with seniors Barham and Tracy filling two of the three outfield spots. Originally from Vancouver, Wash., Tucker scored two runs for the ‘Jackets while primarily playing as a pinch-runner and a defensive replacement in 2018. She projects to be a key contributor in 2019.
In order to be named all-academic, a player must be in their second year of competition at their university and carry a GPA of 3.20 or better. Since 2008, MSUB Softball has claimed 57 spots on the GNAC all-academic list.