Greenwood, Ind. -- Two University of Lynchburg softball players earned spots on the Google Cloud College Sports Information Directors of America's Academic All-District team, CoSIDA announced Thursday afternoon.
Senior pitcher Taylor Belknap (Arden, N.C.) and junior shortstop Kayla Hugate (Chesterfield, Va.) were two of 11 players voted onto the Division III District 5 team, which covers the American Southeast from Mississippi to Virginia.
The honor makes the Lynchburg duo eligible for CoSIDA's Academic All-America teams, which will be released next month. The Academic All-America program recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom.
Lynchburg softball has had players earn Academic All-America honors on three occasions, Christy Mays in 2005 and Brittany Allsop in 2007 and 2009.
Belknap, a political science and philosophy double-major, carries a 3.89 cumulative GPA and will head to University of North Carolina's School of Law after graduation. She has enjoyed a career year in the circle for the Hornets with a 9-3 record and a 2.94 ERA in 69 ⅓ innings, all career-bests. Belknap was the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Hugate, who is majoring in biomedical science and holds a 3.85 GPA, has been a staple at the top of the Lynchburg batting order. She leads the team with 12 doubles and 44 runs scored, hitting .355 with 19 RBI and 12 stolen bases.
Lynchburg's softball team brings its 32-12 record and No. 17 national ranking into the NCAA tournament's Virginia Beach Regional, where the Hornets will take on No. 13-ranked Manhattanville in the tournament's first ballgame. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Virginia Wesleyan University.
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