FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – While working its way to an NCAA Tournament bid last season, the University of Arkansas softball team also prospered in the classroom with a nation- and SEC-leading 18 individuals earning NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete honors as announced Tuesday afternoon. The Razorbacks’ honors mark a six-player increase from last year’s total. To be considered, a student-athlete had to register a 3.5 or higher GPA for the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters.
2016-17 NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes
Autumn (Russell) Buczek*
*returner for 2017-18 season
Arkansas continues its fall schedule Wednesday afternoon with a doubleheader against Butler CC at Bogle Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. The Razorbacks will then host Oklahoma State on Oct. 20, another doubleheader in Fayetteville. All fall games at Bogle Park are free and open to the public.
The Razorbacks are under the direction by head coach Courtney Deifel, set to begin her third year in Fayetteville. On the field, Arkansas will be led by its four-member senior class of Buczek, Krzysko, A.J. Belans and Tori Cooper. Buczek tallied a team-leading .349 batting average in 2017 while Cooper and Belans are the top returning power hitters with 10 and eight home runs last year, respectively. Kryzsko reached base safely in the final 17 games of the season.
Belans and sophomore Autumn Storms return to the field after All-SEC performances in 2017. Belans earned a spot on the All-SEC Second Team after hitting five of her eight home runs against conference competition. Storms, named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and NFCA All-South Region Third Team, finished the 2017 campaign with team highs of 16 wins and a 2.28 ERA.
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