Shea receives academic accolades

Ball State softball player Katie Shea is the recipient of the 2002 Verizon Academic All-American University Division Softball First Team award, with a GPA of 3.76.

Shea, a junior, is the third softball player in the Cardinals 28-year history to earn First Team Academic All-American distinction.

"With all the awards and honors that Katie has received this year," said Head Coach Terri Laux, "I don't think there is anyone more deserving."

Shea is also the 33rd student-athlete for Ball State to earn this award.

Shea has proven that hard work and dedication is the key both on and off the field.

"What she has accomplished, both on the field and in the classroom, is a testament to her levels of commitment and dedication to herself, Ball State softball and Ball State University," said Laux.

This season academically, Shea has collected Academic All-Mid-American Conference honors for the third straight season and Verizon All-District Five First Team to go along with her First Team honors.

Shea is also a two-time recipient of the NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete award.

"She sets very high goals for herself and works extremely hard to reach them," said Laux.

In the 2002 season, Shea boasted a team leading batting average of .385 with a career-best 57 hits.

Shea's batting average is the fourth best in school history and placed her third in the MAC.

In 20 MAC games, Shea held a .470 batting average.

Shea is a three-year starter at shortstop for the Cardinals. She held a .943 fielding percentage this season.

Shea racked up even more awards athletically.

She is the 2002 MAC Player of the Year, All-MAC First Team, was the MAC Player of the Week, and is a member of the All-Mideast Region Second Team.

"The greatest thing about all of these honors and awards," said Laux, "Is that Katie is so very humble about all of it."

Shea has stepped into a leader role for the Cardinals, and with one more season left, Shea will definitely continue to prove herself.

"Katie will work just as hard this next year as she did this year," said Laux.

"She should be very proud of her accomplishments. I am so very proud of her and honored to have her represent our program."