Lady ‘Canes top PBC with 5 All-Academic selections

AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern softball team placed a league-high five players on the recently released 2011 Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team. Junior Gabby Buck and seniors Nichole Griffin and Katie Mueller were first team selections. Senior Heather Hodge and sophomore Cayla Smith received an honorable mention. 

Buck started all 50 games for the Lady Hurricanes this spring, splitting time as a third baseman, left fielder and catcher. She finished the season with a .348 on-base percentage while finishing second on the team in home runs (4) and runs scored (24) and third in runs batted in (20) and walks (21).  Buck, a Sharpsburg, Ga. native, had seven multi-hit games and a five-game hitting streak this season.

In the classroom, the childhood education major holds a 3.87 grade point average.

Griffin started 48 games for the Lady Hurricanes this spring, splitting time in center field and at shortstop. She finished the season as the squad's leader in multiple categories, including: batting average (.368), runs (30), hits (56), doubles (8), triples (4), total bases (81), slugging percentage (.533) and on-base percentage (.451). She had 18 multi-hit games to lead the squad and posted a seven-game hitting streak during the season. Griffin, a Leesburg, Ga. native, hit .400 in conference play and was recently named to the PBC All-Conference First Team.

In the classroom, the accounting major holds a 3.38 grade point average.

Mueller appeared in 14 games for the Lady Hurricanes this spring, starting four contests. She posted a team-low 1.16 earned run average over her 36 1/3 innings of work. She held opponents to six earned runs and a .210 batting average. A Tallahassee, Fla. native, Mueller recorded an individual-game team-high six strikeouts on Feb. 28 at Fort Valley State.

In the classroom, the childhood education major holds a 3.90 grade point average.

Hodge played in all 50 games for the Lady Hurricanes this spring, starting 49 contests at second base. She finished the season as the squad's leader in multiple categories, including: RBIs (25), doubles (8), multi-RBI games (7). Hodge, a Covington, Ga. native, had 14 multi-hit games and finished the season with a .961 fielding percentage.

In the classroom, the middle grade education major holds a 3.37 grade point average.

Smith appeared in 29 games for the Lady Hurricanes this spring, starting 15 contests in the outfield. She finished the season with a .364 on-base percentage. Smith, a Carrollton, Ga. native, had a pair of mulit-hit and multi-RBI games in 2011. She went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a double on Feb. 28 at Fort Valley State and added a 2-for-2 performance with a walk and hit by pitch on Mar. 15 against Georgia College.

In the classroom, the nursing major holds a 3.49 grade point average.

A total of 25 student-athletes received the 2011 All-Academic honor. The Lady Hurricanes matched Francis Marion with five selections this spring for tops in the conference. Georgia College and UNC Pembroke followed with three apiece on the list.

The All-Academic Team is part of a season-long program recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of PBC student-athletes in the classroom as well as on the field. To be eligible for the team, a student-athlete must participate in at least half of her team's events and be either a starter or significant contributor; have achieved a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale); and have completed at least one full academic year at her current institution.

2011 Softball All-Academic Team

Major (Minor)
Brandy Bossle USC Aiken Soph. North East, Md. 3.73 Biology
Gabby Buck Georgia Southwestern Jr. Sharpsburg, Ga. 3.87 Childhood Education
Jamie Burwell UNC Pembroke Jr. Enka, N.C. 3.42 Biology
Kacee Camp Augusta State Jr. Harlem, Ga. 3.89 Biology
Hilary Cox North Georgia Jr. Douglasville, Ga. 3.38 Management
Shelby Duff Armstrong Atlantic St. Soph. Springfield, Ga. 3.65 Radiologic Sciences
Caitlin Duvall Georgia College Jr. Douglasville, Ga. 3.75 Politial Science
Tristan Faile Francis Marion Soph. Lancaster, S.C. 3.67 Biology
Olivia Ferguson Francis Marion Soph. Roanoke, Va. 3.84 Biology
Lynn Grantham UNC Pembroke Sr. Goldsboro, N.C. 3.48 Exercise & Sport Science
Nichole Griffin Georgia Southwestern Sr. Leesburg, Ga. 3.38 Accounting
Keeley Kennedy Columbus St. Sr. Fortson, Ga. 3.52 Physical Education
Kasey Knight North Georgia Sr. Watkinsville, Ga. 3.55 Physical Education
Cea Knox Francis Marion Sr. Myrtle Beach, S.C. 3.86 Political Science
Lauren Locklear USC Aiken Sr. Charleston, S.C. 3.33 Business Administration
Katie Mueller Georgia Southwestern Sr. Tallahassee, Fla. 3.90 Early Childhood Education
Anna Parker Georgia College Jr. Columbus, Ga. 3.42 Psychology
Chelle Phillips Francis Marion Sr. Waukee, Iowa 3.34 Accounting
Bailey Thompson Georgia College Sr. Vidalia, Ga. 4.00 Athletic Training
Kelly Van Dyke UNC Pembroke Soph. Salisbury, Md. 3.71 Criminal Justice

Honorable Mention: Heather Hodge, Georgia Southwestern; Murphy McConnell, Francis Marion; Stacy Piagno, Flagler; Megan Qualls, Armstrong Atlantic State; Cayla Smith, Georgia Southwestern