Redbird Softball Earns NFCA Team Academic Honor

Oct. 24, 2012

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State softball team finished the 2011-12 school year with a team grade-point average of 3.47 and was named to the 2012 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Academic Team Rankings. 91 teams were ranked at the Division I level.

The Redbirds ranked 14th on the list and were one of four teams in the top 15 that participated in the 2012 NCAA Softball Regional. Alabama, the national champions, were No. 7, while Houston and Harvard were No. 11 and No. 12, respectively.

"There is a great correlation between success on the field and in the classroom," head coach Melinda Fischer said. "It's really good to see a team that does so much traveling and puts in so much preparation for a sport be able to have great balance in the classroom as well. These players prepare hard in the classroom and prepare hard on the field and success breeds success. It is certainly a great honor and it's a team high GPA, and they are very proud of that."

The Redbirds were one of five Missouri Valley Conference schools that were on the NFCA All-Academic Team list. Southern Illinois had the highest ranking for the Valley, coming in fourth with a GPA of 3.582. Drake was the only other Valley foe in the top-15, ranking eighth with a team GPA of 3.553. Bradley finished 31st with a GPA of 3.355, while Missouri State tied for 60th with a mark of 3.227.

"The other thing I think is great is to see the representation throughout the Valley with Southern Illinois being No. 4 and Drake being No. 8 and we are at No. 14, and Bradley and Missouri State were also on the list," Fischer said. "That speaks volumes for the type of importance that has been placed on the balance of mixing athletics and academics in the Valley."

The Redbirds finished their fall season with a doubleheader against a team of all-stars from the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) League. ISU will release its spring schedule in the coming months. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.