Softball places six on Academic All-Big 12 Team
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The University of Texas Softball team placed six players on the 2008 Academic All-Big 12 Softball First and Second Teams, the league office announced Friday night. Junior catcher Kacie Gaskin and sophomores Brittany Chalk, Tallie Thrasher and Erin Tresselt earned spots on the first team, while sophomore shortstop Loryn Johnson and junior third baseman Crystal Saenz made the second team.
Texas' six players joined 48 other student-athletes from the league's 10 softball teams on the Academic All-Big 12 Softball Team. The Longhorns' six academic selections marked UT's highest total since the 2005 season.
Nominated by each institution's director of student-athlete support services and the media relations offices, the academic all-league softball squad consisted of 40 first team members combined with 14 on the second team. First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.
Gaskin, a psychology major from College Station, Texas is enjoying a standout year in 2008, hitting .297 with five homers, 15 RBI and 29 runs scored. Gaskin's .997 fielding percentage is the best on the team and currently ranks in the top 10 of Texas' single-season record books. The junior was an All-Big 12 First Team selection in 2007 and earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team honors earlier this week.
Chalk, a 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team selection is a liberal arts major and a key contributor in the Texas outfield, registering three homers in 37 contests this season.
Thrasher, a liberal arts major from Southlake, Texas, is an All-Big 12 Second Team selection and headlines the heart of the Texas lineup, ranking second on the team in batting average (.357), hits (45), homers (8), walks (22) and stolen bases (12).
Tresselt, a liberal arts major from Missouri City, Texas, bolsters the Texas bullpen, keeping hitters off-balance with her ability to mix speeds. The sophomore has appeared in 11 games this season, throwing 22.1 innings and striking out 14 batters.
Johnson, an All-Big 12 First Team selection is a health promotion and fitness major and Texas' offensive leader. The Alvin, Texas, native leads the Horns' offense in batting average (.363), homers (10), hits (57) and RBI (30).
Saenz, a corporate communications major anchors the Texas defense from her third base position. She has appeared in 48 of UT's 49 games in 2008, posting a career-best three home runs and 15 RBI.
To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters. All players nominated must have participated in 60 percent of her team's scheduled contests, while pitchers are required to have at least one inning pitched per game played by the team or have appeared in 20 percent of their team's total games. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.
Texas returns to action at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 10 when it takes on fifth-seeded Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Conference Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla.