By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director
TOWSON, Md. – Stephens College softball standout Jessica McConnell was named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® First Team today.
Selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), McConnell becomes the Stars’ first-ever Academic All-American® in any sport.
She was one of 11 student-athletes to earn first-team honors and is the lone representative for the American Midwest Conference (AMC).
“This honor speaks volumes about Jess’s commitment to excellence on the field and in the classroom,” said Athletics Director Deb Duren. “During her time at Stephens, she has been a tremendous asset and model student-athlete for our program.”
McConnell finished her career as the Stars’ all-time leader in hits (148), doubles (31), triples (13), runs batted in (44), total bases (208) and slugging percentage (.515). As a four-year starter for the softball team, she started all 144 games of her college career.
This season, the Edwardsville, Ill., native was named first-team AMC All-Conference, another first for the Stephens softball program. She was the Stars’ leading hitter with a .394 average while driving in a team-high 17 runs. She also had eight doubles and four triples.
The Edwardsville, Ill., native is a recent graduate of the M.B.A. program at Stephens, where she also finished her undergraduate degree in business and marketing with a 3.94 grade point average.
As a multi-sport athlete, McConnell racked up several academic awards in her time at Stephens. She is a five-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and eight-time AMC Academic All-Conference honoree.
“Across the country, there are several student-athletes who perform at an elite level and some who achieve at a high level in the classroom,” Duren added. “But, there are very few who excel at the level that Jess has in both areas.”
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.30, have reached sophomore athletic and academic status at their current institution and be nominated by their sports information director.
On May 1, McConnell became eligible for the Academic All-America® team by earning Capital One Academic All-District honors for District 3, which covers the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
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