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MONMOUTH, Ill. – For the ninth straight year, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has bestowed All-America Scholar-Athlete status on multiple members of the Monmouth College softball team, setting the program record for such honorees.
Eight Fighting Scots – the most in the history of the program – earned the status as announced this fall by the NFCA. To be eligible for All-America Scholar Athlete recognition, nominees must achieve a minimum 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
Senior Carolyn Scherpe (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg) earned her third award while juniors Michaela Guthrie (Hampton, Ill./Moline) and Liz Hippen (Toulon, Ill./Stark County) picked up their third awards in as many season. Five other Scots – seniors Maggie Hayes (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) and Chelsea Lee (Knoxville, Ill./Knoxville), junior Kaylee Kurtz (Delavan, Ill./Delavan) and freshmen Laura Dulee (Bloomington, Ill./U-High) and Lauren Sperry (Alexis, Ill./United) earned their first national academic honors from the NFCA.
Scherpe, who graduated in May with a degree in wellness administration, appeared in 29 of the 35 games for Monmouth. The defensive-minded outfielder hit .240 in her final campaign and scored 12 runs. She is the daughter of Rod and Leeanne Scherpe.
Guthrie, an exercise science major, was sidelined with an injury in 2017, a year after she started 38 of the Scots’ 39 games, hitting .328 with 24 RBIs and four home runs as a sophomore. She is the daughter of Jessica Guthrie and John Guthrie.
Hippen, a biopsychology major, posted a team-best 2.19 ERA in the circle. The fireballing pitcher became the program strikeout leader last spring, upping her career mark to 388 Ks. She is the daughter of Jarrod and Kristi Hippen.
Hayes, who graduated in May with a degree in exercise science, started all 35 games last season. The middle infielder hit .300 in her final season, driving in 17 runs – second-best on the team. She is the daughter of Donald Hayes.
Lee, who will graduate this fall with an education degree, hit a career-best .286 as a senior. The shortstop turned in a .955 fielding percentage last spring, also a career-high mark, and led the team in sacrifice flies. She is the daughter of Mike and Ange Lee.
Kurtz, a communication and public relations major, appeared in 29 games last spring, three as a pitcher. The first-baseman and designated hitter slammed three home runs and eight doubles – both career marks – while hitting .291 in 79 plate appearances. She is the daughter of Kent and Diane Kurtz.
Dulee, a business and public relations major, started 27 games as a freshman. An outfielder, Dulee hit a robust .425 with a team-high 11 doubles and turned in a perfect fielding percentage. She is the daughter of George and Beth Dulee. Sperry, a psychology major, played in 28 games last spring, starting in 25.
A catcher/outfielder, Sperry hit .309 and scored 12 runs in her rookie campaign. She is the daughter of Donn and Michelle Sperry.
Founded in 1983, the NFCA (originally called the National Softball Coaches Association) boasts more than 4,100 members. The NFCA offers coaches in-depth training in all aspects of the sport and issues numerous awards to players on a national level.