AUSTIN, Texas — Four KCAC softball players were named to the 2020 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) NAIA Softball Academic All-America teams, the organization announced Monday. Madison Byrd of Tabor College and Jessica Jones of McPherson College were named to the first team, while Kelsei Davis of Avila University and Kaylee Clinton of Oklahoma Wesleyan University were named to the second team. Jones is no stranger to the CoSIDA NAIA Softball All-America team, having been named to the second team a year ago.
The NAIA Academic All-America® program is financially supported by the NAIA national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2019-20 NAIA Academic All-America® teams.
Despite the cancellation of spring competition during COVID-19, CoSIDA continued its sponsorship of the Academic All-America® awards program. Student-athletes were selected based on career statistics.
Alt was named the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year for NAIA softball. The Schaumburg, Illinois, native is the first Mariner softball player to ever be named to the Academic All-America® NAIA softball team. She is one of 11 student-athletes to land on this year’s first team.
A two-way player for the Mariners, Alt has had an impressive career with a 48-28 record in the circle with 36 complete games and a 1.68 earned-run average in 491.2 innings pitched. Before the season was halted in 2020 she was 6-2 with a 1.33 ERA and was batting .455 in 55 at-bats with a .655 slugging percentage. In her career, she is a .537 hitter in 488 at-bats with 101 RBI and 68 runs scored. She has amassed numerous awards in her career including Sun Conference Player of the Year in 2019, three-time all-conference honors and was voted to the Southern States Athletic Conference All-Tournament team as a freshman.
In addition to her success on the field, Alt has excelled in the classroom as she finished the year with a 3.88 cumulative grade-point average as an elementary and special education major. The 11 member of the CoSIDA Academic All-America® first team have an average GPA of 3.85, while Meredith Adams of Lawrence Technological University was the only honoree with a 4.0 GPA.
There were five repeat CoSIDA Academic All-America® selections. Catcher Hannah Stephenson of the University of Cumberlands, infielders Rachael Jones of Central Baptist College and Lexi Merritt of Grand View University, and outfielder Jessica Jones of McPherson College were first-team honorees in 2020 after being named to the second team a year ago. Georgia Gwinnett College designated player Sydney Willhite was named to the second team this season after being selected to the first team in 2019.
2019-20 Academic All-America® Softball Teams – NAIA
|P||Paige Alt||College of Coastal Georgia||3.88||Sr.||Elementary & Special Education|
|P||Madison Byrd||Tabor College||3.65||Sr.||Communications|
|C||Hannah Stephenson (2)||University of the Cumberlands||3.95||Sr.||Psychology|
|INF||Meredith Adams||Lawrence Technological University||4||Sr.||Biomedical Engineering|
|INF||Alli Davis||Olivet Nazarene University||3.99||Jr.||PR & Strategic Communication|
|INF||Lexi Merritt (2)||Grand View University||3.96||Sr.||Elementary Education|
|INF||Allison Seats||Central Baptist College||3.74||Jr.||Kinesiology Exercise Science|
|OF||Payton Carli||Arizona Christian University||3.94||Sr.||Secondary Education|
|OF||Jessica Jones (2)||McPherson College||3.92||Sr.||Sociology / Criminal Justice|
|OF||Rachael Jones (2)||Central Baptist College||3.97||Sr.||Middle Level Education|
|OF||Emily Martin||Indiana Institute of Technology||3.74||Sr.||Business Administration / Management|
|OF||Riley Swickard||Baker University||3.91||Sr.||Mass Media|
|DP||Katlin Anders||Midland University||3.49||Sr.||Criminal Justice / Sociology / Business Admin.|
|P||Alexa Dickerson||Columbia College (Mo.)||3.96||Jr.||Elementary Education|
|P||Abby Whelan||Lindsey Wilson College||3.92||Sr.||Human Services & Counseling|
|C||Baileigh Loux||Oklahoma City University||3.6||Jr.||Mathematics|
|INF||Kaylee Clinton||Oklahoma Wesleyan University||3.93||Sr.||Psychology|
|INF||Erin Cozad||Taylor University||3.98||Sr.||Public Relations|
|INF||Andrea Gahan||Thomas More University||3.32||Sr.||Athletic Training|
|INF||Ally Gischer||Missouri Baptist University||4||Sr.||Behavioral Science|
|INF||Kennedy Jackson||Oklahoma City University||3.66||Jr.||Elementary Education|
|INF||Lauren Quirke||Southern Oregon University||3.5||Sr.||Communications|
|OF||Kelsei Davis||Avila University||3.44||Sr.||Nursing|
|OF||Lauren Harrison||Menlo College||3.8||Sr.||Marketing|
|OF||Maddie Horn||Point Park University||3.98||Jr.||Biology & Pre-Med|
|DP||Sydney Willhite (1)||Georgia Gwinnett College||3.5||Sr.||Exercise Science|
Academic All-America® of the Year: Paige Alt, College of Coastal Georgia
(1) – CoSIDA Academic All-America® NAIA first-team selection in 2019
(2) – CoSIDA Academic All-America® NAIA second-team selection in 2019