SFA Ladyjacks — Ashley Kriesel & Marisa Arriaga

Photo courtesy of SFA Athletics

Stephen F. Austin Ladyjack softball players Ashley Kriesel (left) and Marisa Arriaga were both named to the Southland Conference Academic All-Conference teams announced by the league.

A pair of Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks have been named to the Southland Conference Softball All-Academic teams, according to a release from the league office.

Senior Ashley Kriesel and junior Marisa Arriaga were recognized on the first and second teams, respectively, taking their place among the league’s 24-strong academic squads.

The honors, which are the first in the career for the pair, come on the heels of a superlative season that was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. Even still, Kriesel and Arriaga had put together campaigns that ranked them among the Southland’s best before play was halted, and their athletic accomplishments along with their work in the classroom earned them the all-academic accolades.

To be eligible for the All-Academic Teams, an athlete must have put forth a 3.00 cumulative GPA prior to the current championship season, and have spent at least a full academic year at the nominating institution (freshman and first-year transfers were not eligible).

Kriesel, a senior pitcher, had already hurled a dominant season before reaching the conference slate and then led the Ladyjacks to an opening-weekend sweep of Lamar to open SLC play. The right hander finished the campaign leading the league in ERA (0.88), wins (11), strikeouts (116), strikeouts looking (31) and batting-average-against (.122). She set a school record with 19 strikeouts in a no-hitter effort against Southern to open the campaign, and her six shutouts was also an SLC-best.A Kinesiology major, Kriesel sported a 3.28 GPA.

Arriaga’s impact on both sides of the ball was pivotal to the Ladyjack’s success in the shortened campaign, as she ranked third on the team and ninth in the SLC with a .383 batting average on the season. She also ranked third on the team in hits (23), doubles (6) and runs scored (16). In her spot in the outfield, she completed 27-of-28 chances for a .964 fielding percentage. A Cedar Hill native, Arriaga sports a 3.75 GPA as a biology major.

2020 Softball Student-Athlete of the Year: Megan McDonald, Sam Houston State

2020 SOUTHLAND

CONFERENCE SOFTBALL

ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS

First Team

Samantha Bradley 2 — ACU

Reagan Sperling — UCA

Tylar Vernon — UCA

Caitlyn Brockway — HBU

Jade Lewis # — Lamar

Alayis Seneca — McNeese

Kennedy Hebert — Nicholls

Elise Vincent 2 — Northwestern State

Kaitlyn St. Clair 2 — Northwestern State

Megan McDonald %5E, 2 — Sam Houston

Madisen Blackford 2 — SELa.

Ashley Kriesel — SFA

Second Team

Kayla Crutchmer — UCA

Jordan Johnson — UCA

Heidi Jaquez — HBU

Renee Hoffman — UIW

Shannon Klaus 2 — Lamar

Mackenzie Savage — Lamar

Lauren Brown — McNeese

Cori McCrary — McNeese

Allie Amerson — Nicholls

Tiffany Thompson 3 — Sam Houston

Bailey White — Sam Houston

Marisa Arriaga — SFA

2 — Two-time All-Academic selection

3 — Three-time All-Academic selection

# — CoSIDA Academic All-District

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