Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Sports News

3 Redbirds named to MVC scholar-athlete teams

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[May 22, 2012]  ST. LOUIS -- Three Illinois State softball players were named to Missouri Valley Conference scholar-athlete teams, as announced by the league office Monday afternoon. Seniors Caiti Kopp and Megan Warner earned spots on the scholar-athlete first team, while junior Lauren Kellar was named an honorable mention.

Kopp hit .209 for the Redbirds this season with five doubles, a triple and 20 RBIs. This year's selection marks the second MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team honor for the native of Normal who started 58 of ISU's 60 games this season. Kopp posted a perfect 1.000 fielding position as a catcher this season and threw out 14 opposing base runners. In the classroom, Kopp was named an Illinois State Bone Scholar in 2011 and owns an impressive 3.96 grade-point average in anthropology.

Warner is making her third appearance on the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team. Southern Illinois' Mallory Duran-Sellers also earned her third first-team honor, making the duo just the 20th and 21st players in league history to be named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team in each season of eligibility. Warner finished her senior campaign with a 9-8 record and a 3.99 ERA inside the circle. The Milan native tossed 112 1-3 innings for Illinois State and recorded 51 strikeouts. Warner boasts a 3.82 GPA in exercise science and was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 5 First Team earlier this season.

Kellar is making her first appearance on a MVC scholar-athlete team after hitting .298 with a team-best three triples and 12 stolen bases. The junior outfielder also tallied seven doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs, and she led all Redbird outfielders with seven defensive assists. The Colfax native posted a 3.75 GPA in early childhood education.

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Illinois State ended its season with an overall record of 37-23, claimed the 2012 State Farm MVC Softball Championship title and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive season. The Redbirds advanced to the NCAA regional final for the first time since 2007, before bowing out to eventual regional champion No. 9 Missouri.

[Text from news release received from Lauren McLaughlin, graduate assistant, athletics communications, Illinois State University]

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