Scots’ Softball Earns National Academic Team Honor, Breaks Team Record with 11 All-American Scholar-Athletes


MONMOUTH, IL (10/04/2019) John Goddard’s softball team at Monmouth College continues to raise the bar. For the first time in program history the Scots were named an Easton/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American Scholar Team for academic excellence.

Goddard’s women posted a team grade point average of 3.31 last spring, earning the distinction for the first time in program history, but the team wasn’t finished. For the third straight season, the Scots’ softball team set a new program high when 11 student-athletes were named All-American Scholar-Athletes for academic excellence.

The Scots have steadily added honorees named All-American Scholar-Athletes, from eight for the 2017 season, to nine in 2018 and 11 – exactly half the team roster – from the 2019 campaign. To be eligible for All-America Scholar-Athlete recognition, nominees must achieve a minimum 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

Seniors Kaelan Bradley (Milan, Ill./Rock Island) and Angela Schaumburg (Colona, Ill./Geneseo) each earned their first NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete award. Joining the two seniors, who are now Monmouth graduates, were juniors Laura Dulee (Bloomington, Ill./U-High), Lauren Sperry (Alexis, Ill./United) and Zelinda Taylor (Springfield, Ill./Rochester). Five sophomores – Savannah Ball (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria), Darcy Kepner (Walnut, Ill./Bureau Valley), Alexis Opel (Morton, Ill./Morton), Morgan Pizur-Kranc (Joliet, Ill./Plainfield South), and Abby Tucker (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) – and freshman Allie Ramlo (Tremont, Ill./Tremont) rounded out the record-setting group.

Ball picked up her second straight Scholar-Athlete award. The first baseman played in 21 games and recorded a team-high 147 putouts. The daughter of Pepper Ball and Michael Ball, she is an economics and math major.

Bradley played in all 36 games last spring and led the outfielders with 67 putouts. Offensively, she hit .331 and led the team in RBIs (21) and runs scored (23). The daughter of Shayla Weinbrandt and Bryan Bradley, she received her degree in psychology.

Dulee earned her second award after claiming the honor two years ago during her freshman campaign. The leftfielder, who appeared in all but one game last spring, hit .290 with 14 RBIs. The business and public relations major is the daughter of George and Beth Dulee.

Kepner picked up her first NFCA honor. The middle infielder, whose season was cut short due to an injury, majors in kinesiology and is the daughter of James and Jeannie Kepner.

Opel started all but three of the team’s 36 games and earned her second honor from the NFCA. The shortstop hit .275 with 10 RBIs and 18 runs scored. A biology major, she is the daughter of Kevin and Amy Opel.

Pizur-Kranc, an infielder, earned back-to-back scholar awards from the national organization. The daughter of Dennis and Megan Kranc, Pizur-Kranc is an exercise science major.

Ramlo, who hit .295 in her rookie season, was among five first-time recipients of the award. The infielder posted a .913 fielding percentage with 43 putouts and 52 assists. A business major, she is the daughter of Jeffrey and Carleena Ramlo.

Schaumburg, who came back from an injury earlier in her career, appeared in 26 games in her final season for the Scots. She was perfect on stolen base attempts during her senior campaign. The daughter of Jim and Jenny Schaumburg received her degree in sociology and anthropology.

Sperry grabbed her third NFCA award in as many years. The right fielder recorded 27 putouts. A psychology major, she is the daughter of Donn and Michelle Sperry.

Taylor garnered her first national academic award. The pitcher posted a team-best 2.85 ERA last spring over 34-1/3 innings. The biochemistry major is the daughter of William and Judith Taylor.

Tucker made it two-for-two, collecting her second NFCA award in as many seasons. The middle infielder appeared in 31 games last season, starting 21 times. Tucker recorded 41 assists, third most on the team. A biopsychology major, she is the daughter of Craig and Danielle Tucker.

“Our women really understand and believe in the value of their education,” said Goddard, who is entering his 13th year guiding the program. “We’ve seen a steady growth in our team’s GPA over the years with more and more women earning this national honor. It’s becoming a matter of pride for the team to continue to improve, both on the field of play and in the classroom. They challenge themselves and each other to continue to be the best they can. It’s almost become a competition amongst the team to see who can get the highest GPA.”

The 2019 season marks the 11th straight year the NFCA has bestowed All-America Scholar-Athlete status on multiple members of the Monmouth College softball team.

Founded in 1983, the NFCA (originally called the National Softball Coaches Association) boasts nearly 6,000 members. The NFCA offers coaches in-depth training in all aspects of the sport and issues numerous awards to players on a national level.

Spread the word

Trending Now

Featured Sports Podcasts

Choose a Category

Continue Reading