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TWU Notebook: Prestigious award goes to Vrazel

Profile image for By Randy Cummings / For the Denton Record-Chronicle
By Randy Cummings / For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Bailey Vrazel’s collection of postseason awards keeps growing, with the most recent being the Elite 89 award presented to the Pioneers’ shortstop last week.

Vrazel received the award last Wednesday at a banquet prior to the start of the NCAA Division II national tournament, which TWU played in for the first time.

The Elite 89 award recognizes the athlete who has reached the “pinnacle of competition” on the national championship level while also excelling in the classroom. It is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average who is participating at the finals site for each NCAA championship.

Vrazel, a kinesiology junior, tied for the honor with two other tournament participants with 4.0 GPAs. The tie was broken because Vrazel had completed the most hours of study.

Two voted All-America

Juniors Katy Hines and Vrazel have received All-America honors from the NFCA and Daktronics.

Hines, who led the Pioneers with a .398 batting average and was second in the nation with 25 home runs, was named to the NFCA and Daktronics second teams. Hines finished with an 11-3 record and a 3.12 ERA.

Vrazel received honorable mention on the Daktronics team, marking the third time in her career to receive All-America recognition. Vrazel led the Pioneers in runs (64), hits (89) and stolen bases (52) with a .389 batting average.

Academic honors

Hines and Vrazel have joined an exclusive group in TWU softball history by becoming the second and third players to be named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Hines, a nutrition junior, holds a 3.40 GPA. She set single-season school records in home runs and RBIs this season and was named the Lone Star Conference Player of the Year.

Vrazel previously was named the 2013 Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year.

Top-10 finishers

Several Pioneers will finish among the top 10 in various NCAA Division II statistics, headed by sophomore Sarah Wittenburg leading the country in the hit-by-pitch category.

Wittenburg was plunked 61 times this season. She is No. 2 in hit-by-pitch per game at 0.54.

Hines is second in home runs (25), third in home runs per game (0.40) and fourth in RBIs per game (1.35). The outfielder-pitcher also ranks 11th in slugging percentage at 0.856.

Vrazel missed capturing her third straight stolen base title by landing second with 53.

Senior infielder Jordan Readicker ranked fourth in home runs with 21.