by Keith Gentry
12 Southwest student athletes receive national academic honors
No less than a dozen Saluqis recently received national recognition in honor of their outstanding academic performance. Of the honorees, three are members of the Saluqi Women’s Soccer team that debuted last year.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) names players who achieve a 3.6 or better grade point average (GPA) to its Academic All-America Team. Women’s Soccer freshman forward Kristin Crocker made the first team with a perfect 4.0 GPA for the 2017-2018 academic year. Named to the third team were Women’s Soccer freshmen defender Hannah McKinley and defender/forward Katie Smith, along with Saluqi Women’s Softball’s sophomore second baseman Anna Beth Willoughby and freshman third baseman Hannah Hurdle. Saluqi Baseball’s sophomore pitcher Ben Kirby and freshman pitcher Brayden Green and Saluqi Men’s Basketball’s freshman guard Donnie Malone also were named to the third team.
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) named four members of the softball team to its 2017-2018 All-America Scholar-Athletes Team. Willoughby and Hurdle are joined by sophomore catcher Destinie Grace and freshman shortstop/outfielder Sydney McLerran. NFCA honors student-athletes who achieve a 3.5 GPA or better.
Congratulations to these outstanding student-athletes! Go, Saluqis!
Stajduhar named Second Team All-TCCAA Softball
Sophomore first baseman Melanie Stajduhar, one of the top hitters in the history of Southwest softball, was named second team All-TCCAA infielder in a vote by the conference’s coaches. Stajduhar finished the season with a .454 batting average which ranked her third in the TCCAA and the third best all-time in Lady Saluqi history. She also led the team with four home runs, 32 runs batted in, 82 total bases, .631 slugging average and a Southwest-record .510 on-base average.
In her two-year career at Southwest, Stajduhar set new school career records with a .437 batting average (which broke the old record by 37 points) and also a .497 on-base average. In addition, she ranks among the Lady Saluqis’ all-time career leaders with a .636 slugging average (2nd), .9882 fielding average (2nd), 118 hits (4th), 566 put-outs (4th), 586 total chances (4th), 22 doubles (6th), 71 runs batted in (5th), 169 total bases (5th) and 9 home runs (9th).
Nobles named Second Team All-TCCAA Baseball
Sophomore shortstop Jacob Nobles, who led the Saluqis’ baseball team in nearly every statistical category this season, was named second team All-TCCAA infielder in a vote by the conference’s coaches. Nobles led the team batting .419 batting with 45 runs batted in (RBIs) and 7 home runs.
Nobles had multiple hits in 15 games including three hits against Central Baptist JV and back-to-back conference games against Jackson State. He also drove in at least two runs in 11 games with four runs batted in against Mineral Area and Central Baptist JV.
In his two year-career, Nobles ranked in Southwest’s all-time top ten in hits, doubles, total bases, RBIs, on-base average and batting average.
All TCCAA Saluqis
Hannah Hurdle (softball)
- 3.666 GPA
- NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete
- NJCAA Academic All-America Third Team