Emerson’s softball team has a longstanding reputation of being successful both on the field and in the classroom.
For this reason, news on Sept. 26 that the Lady Lions had the highest cumulative GPA, 3.64, in all of Division III Softball last season came as no surprise to head coach Phil McElroy.
“Our kids have always been focused first and foremost on their academics,” said McElroy, who is entering his 15th year as head coach. “Doing well in school seems to be vital to every Emerson student, and for them, the success on the field comes second.”
This is the team’s third consecutive year as the number one National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-Academic team and its fifth year receiving the award overall. In 2013, the team had the highest GPA, 3.7, in all three divisions of NCAA softball.
Senior captain Annie Jenkins, whose GPA through her junior year was 3.81, said her teammates channel the competitive mindset of being an athlete to their classwork.
“I think with wanting to be successful on the field, comes the dedication and skill set one can translate into life and school situations,” said the journalism major. “There is a correlation between success academically and success athletically, because it takes someone who is motivated and has that desire to want to achieve [in both aspects].”
The Lions struggled in their first season in the New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference last year, finishing with two NEWMAC wins. They were, however, a model of consistency in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, which Emerson left in 2013. They qualified for the postseason 13 years in a row and won the conference in 2007.