Softball Players Honored with Postseason Accolades

MARION, Indiana – After winning the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Region Tournament and competing in the National Softball Championships, several Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) softball players were honored for their play throughout the 2007 season.

Senior Nikki Staten (Ohio City, Ohio/Crestview) and Ashley Jones (Jensen Beach, Fla./Jensen Beach) were each selected to the NCCAA All-American first team. Staten, who holds several career records in Palm Beach Atlantic’s history, was the team’s leading hitter with a .348 batting average. The third baseman also recorded a team-high 57 hits, eight doubles, four triples and eight home runs. Staten was also chosen to represent the Sailfish on the All-Tournament team after going 3-for-4 with an RBI against Bethel College, the national tournament’s eventual champion.

Jones, who received NCCAA Player of the Week honors earlier this season for her 14-strikeout performance against Eckerd, was also selected to the NCCAA first team. As a freshman, Jones posted a school-record 184 strikeouts while tying for a team-high ten wins. As PBA’s ace, Jones pitched 159 innings, and held her opponents to a .234 batting average while maintaining a 2.38 ERA.

The individual awards kept coming, as both Becca Bolinger (Upland, Ind./Eastbrook) and Chelsea Gravini (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian) were awarded with NCCAA All-American second team honors. Bolinger, a sophomore, was the team’s most improved player on the field, boasting a .329 batting average. Hitting from the second spot in the lineup, Bolinger rallied 47 hits, including three doubles and two triples. The right fielder was frequently relied upon for her ability to bunt, as she was credited for 19 sacrifice hits in the 2007 campaign.

Gravini was given a difficult challenge from the beginning of her freshman season, hitting in the leadoff position for Head Coach Kimmy Boemers’ squad. The speedster had no problem with her role though, as Gravini was third on the team with a .313 batting average, tying Staten’s mark with 57 hits. While taking on numerous defensive roles from both corners of the outfield to the designated player position, Gravini also had eight doubles and four triples while racking up 14 RBI throughout 2007. 

Staten, Jones, Bolinger and Gravini were each selected for NCCAA All-Region honors with fellow teammates Andrea Fugate (Lake Wales, Fla./St. Petersburg CC) and Holly Elliott (Seminole, Fla./St. Petersburg CC).

Student-athletes are not only recognized for their accomplishments on the field, but also in the classroom. Junior pitcher Michelle Scales (Martinsburg, W.Va. was chosen as an NCCAA Scholar-Athlete for having a grade point average (GPA) of over 3.40. An elementary education major with an emphasis in pre-primary, Scales currently has a cumulative GPA of 3.70.

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