PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The University of Houston Softball team garnered the 2016-17 Team Academic Excellence Award, American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco announced Tuesday afternoon.
The Cougars, who posted a 3.54 grade-point average for the academic year, were one of 21 teams recognized by The American for having the highest collective GPA in each conference sport.
The recipients, selected by The American’s Academic Affairs Committee, were chosen based on the 2016-17 GPA of each student-athlete who appeared on an institution's roster as of the last contest of the championship segment in each conference-sponsored sport.
The team academic laurel is the second for Houston in the league’s four-year history. The Cougars also earned the award for the 2013-14 academic year.
In 2017, Houston posted a 30-25 overall record and 12-6 mark in The American. The Cougars finished in second in the conference standings for the regular season and added a runner-up finish at The American Championship. The two finishes under Head Coach Kristin Vesely are both the highest respective finishes as a member of the league.
The Cougars picked up a plethora of conference accolades at the conclusion of the regular season. Senior Shelby Miller was named Co-Player of the Year, and Arielle James was tabbed Rookie of the Year. The duo was joined by sophomore outfielder Maya Thomas and sophomore utility player/pitcher Savannah Heebner on The American First Team. James and pitcher Trystan Melancon were also on the league’s All-Rookie Team.
Houston also had four players named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I All-Region Teams. Heebner was named to the First Team as James and Miller were tabbed to the Second Team. Thomas rounded out the honors with a Third-Team selection.
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