AZUSA, Calif. -- Juniors Mariah Worley and Heather Koch were named to the first team of the 2012 Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America College Division Softball Team, and senior Natalie Barnaby was a second-team selection for Azusa Pacific, which wrapped up a 42-11 campaign with a second consecutive NAIA Softball National Championship appearance.
Azusa Pacific was the only institution with two first-team selections in the College Division, which includes student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian, and two-year institutions, and the Cougars were one of just two programs with three overall representatives on the division’s Academic All-America team, which was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Worley, a junior liberal studies major with a 3.62 GPA, was one of two pitchers selected to the first team after posting a 14-1 record with a team-best 1.27 ERA in the 2012 season. She won her first 13 decisions of the season, and she threw eight complete games and four shutouts while collecting a team-high three saves.
Koch was selected as the Academic All-America designated player, playing 31 of her 51 appearances this year in that spot. A sociology major with a 3.84 GPA, Koch is a senior academically who just completed her junior season of athletic eligibility. She batted .313 on the season with 12 doubles, two triples, and three home runs, and she ranked second on the team in runs scored with 45.
Barnaby, a senior shortstop with a 3.64 GPA as a sociology major, was part of the Cougars’ senior class that notched four consecutive winning seasons and led the program to back-to-back national tournament appearances for just the second time in program history. Barnaby was one of three Azusa Pacific players with a batting average over .400 in 2012, batting .407 with 39 runs and a team-high four triples. She stole 18 of her 40 career stolen bases this season to move into eighth on the program’s career list.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.