National Champions Leah O'Brien of Arizona and Kerry Novak of California (PA.)Named to 1997 GTE Academic All-America Softball Team

STAMFORD, Conn., -- A pair of softball players who helped their teams to national championships are among the 22 student-athletes named to the 1997 GTE Academic All-America Softball First Team, announced today by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

First baseman Leah O'Brien of Arizona, a senior from Chino, Calif., made the first team in the University Division. O'Brien batted .383 with two home runs and 47 RBI's this year and made the All-Tournament Team as the Wildcats beat UCLA for the national title. She is a physical education major with a 3.44 Grade Point Average (GPA) who was also named the GTE Academic All-America Team Member of the Year, an honor which goes to the person who "best represents the qualities of an Academic All-America team member." UCLA also had a first team member -- infielder Alleah Poulson, a senior from Irvine, Calif. (3.39/sociology).

In the College Division, outfielder Kerry Novak of California (Pa.) University made the first team as her squad beat Wisconsin-Parkside in the Division II title game. A senior from Canonsburg, Pa., Novak has a 3.52 GPA as an elementary education major. She batted .467 with two homers and 50 RBI's for the year and led all hitters in the College World Series with a .600 average as she made the All-Tournament team.

The GTE Academic All-America Teams are selected by a vote of the 1,800-member CoSIDA. To be eligible, an athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20 on a scale of 4.00. Sports information directors nominate eligible athletes from their schools who are named to district teams prior to being voted upon on the national level. CoSIDA has been selecting Academic All-America teams since 1952.

The University Division also includes two players from Notre Dame -- infielder Meghan Murray, a senior from Minnetonka, Minn. (3.40/finance/business economics); and designated hitter Katie Marten, a senior from Lisle, Ill. (3.43/arts & letters pre-professional/psychology).

The Team Member of the Year in the College Division is infielder Amber Peterson of Missouri Southern, a senior from Siloam Springs, Ark. (4.00/criminal justice), while two players made the first team for the second straight year -- catcher Sunny Montas of the College of New Jersey, a senior from Union, N.J. (3.57/law & justice); and designated hitter Liz Bartels of Rollins, a junior from Naples, Fla. (3.53/psychology).

In addition to O'Brien and Poulson in the University Division, Kelly Holmes of Michigan and Robyn Yorke of Fresno State also helped their teams reach the College World Series. In the College Division, Montas and Lisa McNeley of Florida Southern starred on teams that reached the championship finals.

GTE has been the exclusive sponsor of the Academic All-America program since 1985. With revenues of more than $21 billion in 1996, GTE is one of the largest publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. In the United States, GTE offers local and wireless service in 29 states and long-distance service in all 50 states. GTE was the first among its peers to offer "one-stop shopping" for local, long-distance and Internet access services.

Following is a complete list of the 1997 GTE Academic All-America Softball Teams in the University and College Divisions:


First Team

Pos.Name SchoolYr. Hometown GPA/Major
P Christine Engelhardt SE Missouri St. Soph. Pinckneyville, Ill.3.92/Pre-Engineering
P Kelly Holmes Michigan Sr. Canton, Mich.3.33/Accounting
C Amy Jauert Cleveland St. Jr. Findlay, Ohio3.58/Sport Mgmt./Phys. Ther.
IF Meghan Murray Notre Dame Sr. Minnetonka, Minn. 3.40/Fin.e/Bus.Econ.
IF Leah O'Brien*** Arizona Sr. Chino, Calif.3.44/Physical Education
IF Alleah Poulson UCLA Sr. Irvine, Calif.3.39/Sociology
IF Kim Rondina UNLV Sr. Scottsdale, Ariz. 3.68/Sports Injury Mgmt.
OF Jen Cherveny Eastern Illinois Sr. Streator, Ill.3.83/Elementary Education
OF Christy Lunceford Creighton Grad. Trabuco Canyon, CA 3.38/Counseling
OF Robyn Yorke Fresno St. Sr. Lisle, Ill. 3.52/Liberal Studies
DH Katie Marten Notre Dame Sr. Lisle, Ill. 3.43/Arts & Letters

Second Team

P Ali Andrus-Sagas Utah Sr. Tulsa, Okla. 3.37/Human Development
P Bridgett McCaffery Connecticut Sr. Pennsville, NJ 3.37/Physical Therapy
C Christy Burge Southern Utah Soph. Riverton, Utah 3.89/Computer Info. Systems
IF Stephanie DeFeo SW Louisiana Sr. Pleasantville, NJ 3.41/Criminal Justice
IF Julie Glasser Furman Sr. Smyrna, Ga 3.68/Health/Exercise Science
IF Beth Iwamoto Boston Univ. Sr. Sacramento, Calif. 3.33/Physical Therapy
IF Kara McMahon Notre Dame Sr. Pasadena, Texas 3.78/Science Pre-Professional
OF Beth Corriea Pacific Sr. Norco, Calif. 3.90/Political Science/History
OF Erin Hickey DePaul Sr. Morris, Ill. 3.61/Education
OF Stacey Slick Arizona St. Sr. Scottsdale, Ariz. 3.86/Accounting
DH Lori Graham Canisius Sr. Kennedy, N.Y. 3.29/Physical Education

Third Team

P Jennie Allerding Kent St. Sr. Loudonville, Ohio 3.67/Elementary Education
P Joy Battersby Notre Dame Sr. Morris, Ill. 3.73/Sci. Pre-Prof./Psych.
C Natalie Poole McNeese St. Sr. Baton Rouge, La. 3.58/Art
IF Yvette Healy DePaul Soph. Orland Park, Ill. 3.69/Communication
IF Tracy Reidhead Tennessee Sr. Taylor, Ariz. 3.73/Sport Management
IF Jennifer Rothrock Lafayette Sr. Bethlehem, Pa. 3.45/Biology
IF Kristen Sandel Bucknell Jr. Laureldale, Pa. 3.80/Chemistry
OF Angie Holwell Oklahoma Sr. Del City, Okla. 3.57/Accounting
OF Jennifer Moffitt Morehead St. Sr. Pendleton, Ind. 3.31/Nursing
OF Rachel Nelson Minnesota Sr. Good Thunder, Minn. 3.24/Kines./Adapted P.E.
DH Erica Shepherd SW Missouri St. Soph. Bartlesville, Okla. 4.00/Biology

***GTE Academic All-America Team Member of the Year - University Division


First Team

Pos.Name SchoolYr. Hometown GPA/Major
P Shauna Koolhaas Calvin Jr. Escondido, Calif. 3.92/3.73/Education/Spanish
P Lisa McNeley Florida Southern Sr. Woodward, Iowa 3.74/Psychology
C Sunny Montas College of New Jersey Sr. Union, N.J.3.57/Law & Justice
IF Melanie Bolt Calvin Sr. Grand Rapids, Mich. 3.81/Business Admin.
IF Gwyn Jones Millikin Sr. Olney, Ill. 3.56/Physical Education
IF Amber Peterson*** Missouri Southern Sr. Siloam Springs, Ark. 4.00/Criminal Justice
IF Kristin Schueler Cal.-San Diego Sr. Sacramento, Calif. 3.85/Biochemistry
OF Dawn Neighbarger Baldwin-Wallace Sr. Mt. Vernon, Ohio 3.88/Education
OF Kerry Novak California (Pa.) Sr. Canonsburg, Pa. 3.52/Elementary Education
OF Grace Robbins SUNY Brockport Sr. Watertown, N.Y. 3.61/Criminal Justice/Psych.
DH Liz Bartels Rollins Jr. Naples, Fla. 3.53/Psychology

Second Team

P Kelly King St. Mary's (Minn.) Sr. Lansing, Ill. 3.65/Criminal Justice
P Kelly Schade Simpson Soph. Osceola, Iowa 3.89/Economics
C Marci Braund Wisconsin-LaCrosse Sr. Holmen, Wis. 3.82/Health Education
IF Julie Backof Western Maryland Jr. Westminster, Md. 3.35/Biology
IF Lori Lennon Ursinus Sr. Southhampton, Pa. 3.70/Psychology
IF Gina Shields St. Benedict Sr. Mendota Hghts., Minn. 3.91/Int'l. Mgmt./French
IF Robin Theising Mount St. Joseph Sr. Sunman, Ind. 3.77/History/Education
OF Tricia Hoffman Misericordia Jr. Elysburg, Pa. 3.77/History/Education
OF Sarah Schmitz North Dakota St. Soph. Rochester, Minn. 3.81/Industrial Engin.
OF Tracy Young Skidmore Sr. Porter Corners, N.Y. 3.95/Biology
DH Janetta Trecroce Ursinus Sr. Phoenixville, Pa. 3.62/Exercise & Sport Science

Third Team

P Amy Croll Moravian Sr. Slatington, Pa. 3.71/Elem. Ed./Sociology
P Jennifer Rouse Quincy Jr. Unionville, Mo. 3.56/Elementary Education
C Julie Cobb Central Missouri St. Soph. Rosemount, Minn. 4.00/Safety Management
IF Molly Carr Indiana (Pa.) Soph. Saint Marys, Pa. 4.00/Elementary Education
IF Laura Espenmiller Nebraska-Kearney Soph. Logan, Iowa 3.43/Education
IF Paige Krul Rollins Jr. Poway, Calif. 3.98/Spanish
IF Susan Punzo Central Missouri St. Sr. Tecumseh, Kan. 3.66/Accounting
OF Melanie Harriff Calvin Jr. Cadillac, Mich. 3.47/Biology/Secondary Ed.
OF Jenn Hull Gannon Jr. Wattsburg, Pa. 3.92/Finance
OF Paige Wofford Kennesaw St. Sr. Canton, Ga. 3.70/Early Childhood Ed.
DH Jennifer Garin St. Mary's (Minn.) Soph. Wuakon, Iowa 3.91/Environmental Biology

***GTE Academic All-America Team Member of the Year - College Division

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