The Southern Illinois University softball team, fresh off earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, got more good news Monday as five Salukis were selected to Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete teams.
Jenny Jansen, Katelyn Massa, Jordan Spicer and Maddy Vermejan earned MVC Scholar-Athlete first team honors while Megan Brown was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention team.
Southern's five honorees tied Drake for the most of any Valley school. Nominees must be starters or important reserves, have played at least 75-percent of a team's games, and must carry at least a 3.20 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
Jansen earned the first MVC Scholar-Athlete honor of her career after she finished top-10 in the MVC in six statistical categories including fourth in total bases (91), fifth in doubles (12), sixth in batting average (.393), tied for seventh in RBI (40), tied for eighth in hits (59) and ninth in slugging percentage (.607). Jansen was also selected to the All-MVC first team and earned MVC All-Tournament team recognition.
Massa added to her haul of postseason awards with her second-straight MVC Scholar-Athlete honor. The junior catcher was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year, earned a spot on the All-MVC first team and was selected to the MVC All-Defensive Team. Massa hit .313 with six home runs and helped SIU hold opponents to just 21 stolen bases- the fewest allowed in the MVC.
Spicer was named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete first team for the first time. She slashed .293/.587/.413. Spicer finished third in the league in slugging percentage (.727) in conference-only games and had the most home runs in MVC games of any Saluki.
Vermejan earned her second-straight MVC Scholar-Athlete first team nod. The junior second baseman slashed .413/.683/.580 in league games and her .580 on-base percentage in conference play was a league-best. In the field, she is the only second baseman nationally to not have committed an error.
Brown earned her first MVC Scholar-Athlete honor after she claimed a spot on the honorable mention team. Brown hit .284 with a .431 slugging percentage. She tallied two doubles, five home runs and 17 RBI.
SIU is back in action at noon Friday in Evanston, facing the Louisville Cardinals in the opening game of the Evanston Regional.