FLORENCE, S.C. – Ten members of last year’s Francis Marion University women’s softball team have received National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America Scholar-Athlete recognition.
Earlier this fall, FMU earned Girls Got Game/NFCA All-Academic Team recognition for the fourth consecutive year. With a 3.329 cumulative grade-point average, Francis Marion ranked 24th among Division II programs.
The 10 players who earned individual recognition were outfielders Stevie Arrand, Lakyn Bendle, Jessica Birchmeier, and Megan Pangburn; infielders Kat Beauvais, Tamela Bell, Laura Hauff, and Shawn Moore; utility player Jessie Alesi; and left-handed pitcher Michaela Wolf.
To be eligible for the team, players must have compiled a 3.5 grade point average (or higher) for the past (2008-09) academic year. Bendle earns this award for the fourth time, while Pangburn and Moore are three-time honorees. Arrand (2008), Beauvais (2007), Birchmeier (2008), and Wolf (2007) are named to the squad for the second time.
Bendle, who hails from Amsterdam, Ohio, and Pangburn, from Covina, Calif., both graduated in May. Bendle earned a B.S. degree in psychology (magna cum laude) and Pangburg received the B.B.A. degree in finance (cum laude).
Arrand, a native of London, Ontario, Canada, is majoring in early childhood education, while Birchmeier, a Port Richey, Fla., product, is a business major.
Beauvais, a native of Manassas, Va., is a management major, while both Bell of Covington, Ga., and Hauff of Columbia are elementary education majors.
Moore, a product of Pamplico, S.C., is majoring in marketing and finance, while Alesi of Elk Grove Village, Ill., is majoring in marketing, and Wolf of Littleton, Colo., is a mass communications major.
Francis Marion ended the 2009 season with a 32-19 record, and narrowly missed earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
Over the past five years, the FMU softball program has garnered 37 NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes awards.