MACON, Ga. - Mercer senior Sarah Santana highlights a group of five Mercer softball players named to Atlantic Sun All-Conference and All-Academic teams on Tuesday as she was selected as the A-Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Santana, who carries a 3.91 GPA in accounting at Mercer, picks up the conference's top student-athlete academic award less than a week after she was named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team. She headlines a collection of five Mercer players to be named to one of the four All A-Sun teams including: Junior McKenzie Woody (First Team All-Conference), juniors Krista Kennedy and Randi Rea (Second Team All-Conference) and freshman Marissa Botz (All-Freshmen Team).
"It's a great honor to have these student athletes recognized by the conference for their commitment to excellence both on and off of the playing field," head coach James DeFeo said. "I think this is a testament to the hard work and dedication that our student athletes put in every day as a Mercer Softball athlete and representative of the positive direction that our program is headed in."
In addition to being the Scholar Athlete of the Year, Santana was also named to the A-Sun Academic All-Conference Team for her efforts this season.
"I couldn't think of another student-athlete that is more deserving to receive the Scholar Athlete of the Year award than Sarah," DeFeo said. "She possesses the spirit, tenacity, and work ethic that it takes to excel at the highest levels in every endeavor that she is involved in. Sarah truly embodies what it means to be a Mercer University softball player."
For Woody, the First Team selection is the second in as many years as she led the conference once again with 80 hits and a .437 batting average - both of which broke her own Mercer single season records from a year ago.
Woody now carries a .399 career batting average in her three years and is just four hits shy of breaking the all-time hits record at Mercer.
Krista Kennedy and Randi Rea claimed second team honors for the first time in their careers after remarkable junior campaigns. Kennedy set the Mercer single season mark with 57 RBI and Rea had the conference's sixth best slugging percentage.
The two traded for the team lead in homeruns throughout the year with Kennedy finishing with 13 and Rea right behind her with 12. The two combined for the most homeruns among any duo in the A-Sun.
Freshman Marissa Botz fought through adversity and injury in her first year in Macon, yet still managed to bat .337 and secure All-Freshmen honors on Tuesday. Botz played in just over half the team's games because of injury but was able to contribute 30 hits and 12 RBI in that time.
2013 Softball Postseason Honors and Awards
Co-Players of the Year: Chelsea Zgrabik, FGCU; Sarah Simon, Jacksonville
Pitcher of the Year: Kaylie Wallace, North Florida
Freshman of the Year: Jamie Ujvari, USC Upstate
Coach of the Year: Marcie Hickey, North Florida