STARKVILLE, Miss.—After tying for second place in the Sunshine State Conference last season, the Barry softball grabbed the top spot in the league academic standings as released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Barry compiled a 3.427 GPA to earn a spot on the 2011-12 NFCA Division II All-Academic Teams. The Bucs, ranked 12th on the list, were tops of three SSC teams recognized for their course work. Florida Tech was ranked 59th with a 3.1 average. Right behind the Panthers was Tampa, which tied for 60th with a 3.09 team GPA.
A total of 64 Division II teams were recognized by the NFCA for their academic achievements. Grand Canyon University led the entire division with a 3.6 team GPA.
The Bucs were paced by senior outfielder Grace Collins. Collins became one of the most decorated student-athletes in Barry history during her career. In addition to being the first athlete to win the prestigious President’s Award for outstanding service and leadership for the benefit of the Barry University Community, she earned Professor Emerita Neill Miller Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, picked up an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship, was selected as Sunshine State Conference Woman of the Year and advanced to be one of nine finalists for NCAA Woman of the Year.
Collins, who was an NFCA Scholar All-American all four years, closed out her academic career with a 3.871 GPA with a dual major of philosophy and history in Barry’s honors program.
In addition to Collins, teammates Paula Mackin, Jessica Tabor, Sarah Broeseker, Kayla Monroy, Cassy Zamora, Hannah Shy, Julie Brito and Whitney Roberts all earned 2012 Scholar All-America.
The Bucs have been among the top squads in the country under head coach Danielle Penner. Over her seven years the Bucs have consistently been a Top-20 team, ranking 17th (2006), seventh (2007), 10th (2008), third (2009), 11th (2010) and 12th (2012) in NCAA Division II in team grade point average.