Photo | Aly Fowler
Senior softball catcher Aly Fowler of Spring Hill College (SHC) has been nominated for the 2020 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Woman of the Year Award.
Rooted in Title IX, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize graduating female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
A biology/pre-health major from Dripping Springs, Texas, Fowler was hitting .348 in her career with 24 runs scored, 10 doubles, a triple and 46 runs batted in during 98 games played prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown of NCAA sports in March. Splitting time between catcher and first base, Fowler fielded at a .970 pace with 258 career putouts and 38 assists.
Fowler was also a star in the classroom. A member of the 2019 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) All-Conference and All-Tournament first-team rosters, Fowler previously was a member of the Academic All-District 5 team in 2019 and 2020, as well as the Academic All-America second-team in 2019. In addition, she is a three-time member of the SIAC Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll and a two-time member of the SIAC Softball All-Academic Team.
Fowler was the 2019-20 SHC Senior Female Student-Athlete of the Year, as well as the Female Co-Academic Student-Athlete of the Year, holding a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, including 259 nominees from Division I, 126 from Division II and 220 from Division III. Nominees competed in 24 sports, with multisport student-athletes accounting for 128 of the nominees.
From the Top 30, the Woman of the Year selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division and announce nine finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year, who will be named this fall.
USA leads Sun Belt in report
The NCAA office has released its Multi-Year Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores. The University of South Alabama (USA) Department of Athletics once again had the highest combined figure in the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) after posting a 986 score during the four-year reporting period.
The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement that measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or academic term, providing a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport.
“This is a testament to the hard work and daily commitment of our student-athletes toward their academic success,” said Jason Kelly, USA’s senior associate athletic director/internal operations. “These scores and our overall academic success reflect the commitment that the Jaguar Athletic Department places on academic excellence and ensuring our student-athletes earn their degree.”
USA was led by the men and women’s cross country and golf teams, which received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for ranking among the top 10 percent of their sport based on the most recent APR data. The Jaguar men’s and women’s track and field teams also compiled the best score in the SBC based on figures from the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2918-19 academic years.
The men’s tennis squad currently stands second in the SBC, with the men’s basketball, baseball, softball and women’s tennis teams ranking in the top five in the conference as well.
Nine Jag programs — women’s basketball, softball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s track and field — finished with a perfect 1,000 APR score during the 2018-19 campaign. They were joined in the top half of the SBC in the NCAA single-year data by the USA football and men’s track and field squads.
UM students honored
* The University of Mobile (UM) has had several athletes nominated by the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) for the A.O. Duer Scholarship Award. Each conference in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) selects one male and one female nominee to be considered for the NAIA’s overall winner, which will be announced in September.
Nominees must have a GPA of 3.75 or better and have attained junior academic standings. The selection will be based on scholarship, character, citizenship and playing ability. From UM are:
Volleyball player Rachel Hart — Listed achievements were a 3.87 GPA as a kinesiology major; ranked 15th in the NAIA in blocks/set and 16th in overall blocks; involved in team Bible study and launched a campus-wide Fellowship of Christian Athletes; 2019 SSAC All-Academic Team and 2018 SSAC All-Freshman Team;
Men’s basketball player Andreas Koutsougeras — Listed achievements were a 3.8 GPA, with three consecutive semesters of a 4.0 as a mathematics major; founded the Mathematics Club at Mobile; helped the Rams pick up their most road wins since 2009;
Women’s basketball player Lauren Bodino — Listed achievements were a 3.76 GPA as a biology major with a pre-health concentration, and chemistry and general business minor; SSAC All-Academic Team and Musco Lighting Champions of Character Team; started 27 of 28 games in 2019-20, averaging 11.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game; student leader on athletics ministry team at Mobile.
* The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has announced all-academic honors for the 2020 NAIA Men and Women’s Track & Field season. Three Lady Rams honored were Chelsea Kendall, Angel Peterson and Anna Cabrera.
The criteria for being named a USTFCCCA NAIA All-Academic Athlete include having a cumulative 3.25 GPA, having achieved an “A” or “B” standard in a championship event, and having completed at least two semesters or three quarters at the certifying institution.
Overall, a total of 193 women from 53 NAIA institutions were named USTFCCCA NAIA All-Academic Athletes.
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