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
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
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