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Softball research nets Vrazel scholar award

TWU shortstop Bailey Vrazel has been named a Chancellor’s Student Research Scholar by the Research Committee of the Graduate Council. She is the first athlete and kinesiology student to receive the honor at TWU.

The scholar program honors outstanding achievement by students in research and the creative arts. Vrazel was nominated by kinesiology professor Dr. Young-Hoo Kwon. Her project focused on the contributions of upper-body joints to the velocity of a thrown softball.

Vrazel was presented with a medallion by Ann Stuart, TWU’s chancellor and president, at Tuesday’s Student Creative Arts and Research Symposium. She also will be recognized at commencement and when she graduates.

“We are so proud of Bailey Vrazel’s award,” said professor Charlotte Sanborn, chairwoman of the Department of Kinesiology. “Bailey is the first undergraduate major in the Department of Kinesiology to receive the prestigious award.

“She did a very intricate research project of examining the contributions of the upper-body joints to ball velocity at release of a windmill softball pitch. Using a real-time motion capture system, Bailey assessed the contributions of the joints through the kinematic chain analysis. She epitomizes a true student scholar-athlete.”

Vrazel, a two-time All-American, leads the Lone Star Conference in hits (72) and stolen bases (43). She also leads the Pioneers in runs (53) and triples (six) and is second in batting average (.414). Vrazel holds the career steals records (192) at TWU and in the LSC and led all collegiate softball players in stolen bases the past two seasons.

Vrazel, with a 4.0 grade-point average, received numerous academic honors during her first two years at TWU. She was named the 2012 LSC female academic athlete of the year, the LSC softball academic player of the year, and a second-team Capital One Academic All-American. She received the 2011-12 President’s Award from the TWU Athletics Council.