Softball Racks up Academic Awards


Photo Courtesy of Jack Connaghan

Not only does SLU’s softball team excel on the field during their season in the spring, they find time in their busy schedules to keep their GPA’s up pretty high. Sixth place in the nation highand this was the third top-ten finish for the Billikens in the last four years.. 

   13 of the 18 (72 percent) members of the squad were named to the Easton All-America Scholar-Athletes listthe most in the Atlantic-10 Conference. 

   This is really no small feat considering the majors that these women are working with, such as Civil Engineering, Financial Analysis, Physical Therapy, Occupational Sciences, and Accounting. 

   Junior Sadie Wise said, “a lot of times we’ll go from practicing together to studying together in the library or Chaifetz so it creates an environment where you want to excel academically.”

   Alyssa Chavez added, “the support we give one another within our team is amazing. We really value our academics and understand that our education comes first. Everyone has bought into our team culture and that’s a very special thing to see.” 

   For athletes, there are a number of people that support each individual in addition to the teamfrom coaches, teammates and academic advisorsboth through the athletic department and advisors from SLU. Coach Christy Connoyer credits softball’s academic advisor, Heather Freehill, with some of her team’s success off the field. Connoyer told SLU athletics, “We appreciate Heather’s assistance with academic arrangements when we travel, her help with obtaining tutors and her overall support of the academic careers of our student-athletes. She truly cares about their time at SLU and the future ahead of them.”

   The team’s 3.653 GPA was the program’s highest in history. Chavez said, “it takes a lot of commitment to succeed both on the field and in the classroom. It’s not easy, but when we all have the same goals it makes achieving our goals possible.” 

   On top of their crazy schedule while at home in the spring, the team travels about 11 times for games throughout the spring semester, missing about two days of class each time. Hearing about how much class they miss and how much time is spent with mandatory softball related activities, it just makes this achievement that much more impressive. 

   Chavez said, “receiving the award of being sixth in the nation for GPA was a great feeling. It was a program best for our team last year and to get recognized for our hard work was awesome! It also motivates us to keep working hard and move up in the rankings this year.” 

   Softball has set the standard for what it means to be a student-athlete at SLU and continues to be nationally ranked year after year. A number six ranking in the polls is an incredible accomplishment, but a number six ranking for GPA is that much more impressive. These women know the importance of getting their education and that one day, softball will end and they have to enter the “real world.” 

   Along with the accomplishments in the classroom last season, graduated senior Kallen Loveless (SLU ‘19) was a part of an award-winning engineering group that won the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology Most Outstanding Senior Project award in biomedical engineering for last school year. 

   The awards for academics continue to pile up for SLU softball and is something Billiken fans can look forward to this coming year.