CMU Softball Honored With Highest Team GPA In NAIA

4 years 10 months 1 week ago December 14, 2011 Dec 14, 2011 Wednesday, December 14 2011 Wednesday, December 14, 2011 2:42:00 PM CST in Sports
By: Jessica Park

FAYETTE, MO - The Central Methodist University softball team played a lot of smart ball enroute to a 41-15 record last spring. That should come as no surprise, given the team's overall grade-point average (GPA) was 3.627.

That earned the Lady Eagles of Coach Pat Reardon recognition as having the highest team GPA in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the third-highest GPA among all university and college softball teams in the nation.

Reardon and the Lady Eagles were honored recently at the annual meeting of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, held in Las Vegas. Over 1,200 softball coaches were on hand for the event.

Thirteen members of the 2011 softball team achieved a 3.50 GPA or higher, and expectations for another successful season on the field and in the classroom is anticipated: 11 scholar-athletes will be returning for the 2012 season. The team has clenched a top 25 spot in the 2011 NAIA Softball Coaches' Preseason Poll, announced in November.

The Lady Eagles finished the 2011 season as the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) regular-season champions as well as runner-ups in the HAAC tournament. In addition to their overall record of 41-15, their conference mark was 16-4.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment for this program," Reardon said. "We have set a high standard both on the field and off, and it is nice for these players to be recognized for their hard work and dedication."

The returning scholar-athletes include sophomores Briana Kirkland from Bullard, Texas, Megan Robbins from Las Vegas, Nevada, Aubrey Utley from Trenton, Missouri, and Melanie Wilmsmeyer from Franklin, Missouri; juniors Brook Brandt from Sullivan, Missouri, Courtney Dennis from Sierra Vista, Arizona and Erika Reinagel from Kelso, Missouri; seniors Kelsey Johnley from Troy, Missouri, Rebecca Lipsey from New Hartford, Missouri, Kayla Schmidt from Boonville, Missouri and Kayla Yount from Olathe, Kansas.

Kirkland, an outfielder, played in 24 games in her first collegiate season. She is a criminal justice major. In 2011, Kirkland had eight runs and one homerun on the season. She also had 14 putouts.

Robbins, an infielder, played in 35 games her freshman year. She is a criminal justice major. In her first collegiate season, she had 13 RBIs and two homeruns. Robbins also had 41 putouts and 46 assists.

Utley, a pitcher, is a biology major. In her first season at CMU, Utley became the first CMU pitcher in school history to surpass 20 wins in a season, as she finished 2011 with an overall record of 24-4 with one save in 32 appearances. She posted a 1.25 ERA and finished with 138 strikeouts. She also led the HAAC in ERA, innings pitched and wins. Utley was named the HAAC Pitcher-of-the-Year in her first collegiate season and was selected to the NAIA All-America Second Team. She also made the All-HAAC first team.

Wilmsmeyer, a catcher, played in 19 games on the season. She had 25 putouts as well as ten runs in 2011. Wilmsmeyer is a mathematics major with a minor in business.

Brandt, a second baseman, played in 11 games. She had four runs on the season as well as four putouts and five assists. Brandt is a nursing major.

Dennis, a first baseman, had three runs and eight RBIs on the season. She also had 11 putouts. Dennis is a communications major with a minor in marketing.

Reinagel, an outfielder, had 57 runs on the season. She ranks 18th in the division for total runs scored. She had 14 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. On the defensive end, she had 58 putouts. Reinagel is a nursing major. She was named to the 2011 All-HAAC first team.

Johnley, an outfielder, was named the CMU team captain in 2011. She played in 55 games and had 38 runs on the season. She had 26 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. On the defensive side, she had 49 putouts. Johnley is a business major with a coaching minor. She was named as an All-HAAC honorable mention in 2011 as well as a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Lipsey, a catcher, played in 53 games as a team captain. She had 216 putouts and 43 assists on the season. She ranks first in the division in fielding percentage and holds the CMU record for single-season fielding percentage. Offensively, she had 18 runs and six homeruns. Lipsey was named to the 2011 All-HAAC second team as well as earning the honor of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete. She is an early childhood education major.

Schmidt, a pitcher, pitched in eight games. She had 20 strikeouts on the season. Schmidt is a biology (pre-med) major with a minor in chemistry. She was named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete in 2011.

Yount, first baseman, had 418 put outs on the season, setting CMU's single-season record. She also had 22 runs and 36 RBIs). She was named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-District Second Team and was an All-HAAC honorable mention. Yount is a business major with a minor in recreation management.

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