AUSTIN, Texas — The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced its 2017 Academic All-America® softball teams. NCAA Division I, II and III had three teams apiece, while two teams made up the College Division. Auburn’s Kasey Cooper (DI), Southern Arkansas’ Maddie Dow (DII), Texas Lutheran’s Amanda Lochte and Reinhardt’s Taylor Weeks (College/NAIA) were selected the winners of the CoSIDA Academic All-America® of the Year award for softball in their respective divisions.
College Division Teams: PDF | doc
NCAA Division III Teams: PDF | doc
NCAA Division II Teams: PDF | doc
NCAA Division I Teams: PDF | doc
A mechanical engineering major with a 3.97 G.P.A., Cooper also is a three-time first-team Academic All-America® honoree, having previously made the top squad in 2015 and 2016.
A native of Dothan, Alabama, Cooper holds the Southeastern Conference record for career RBI (269) and is one of only two student-athletes in SEC history with 250 hits and 250 RBI in her career. The third baseman led Auburn to NCAA Women’s College World Series appearances the past two seasons, reaching the semifinals in 2015 and finishing as the national runner-up in 2016.
This season, Cooper has helped the Tigers to their third consecutive NCAA Super Regional berth, batting .311 while ranking among the SEC leaders in home runs (10), RBI (45), on-base percentage (.484), slugging percentage (.578) and walks (49).
A three-time All-American and recipient of the 2016 NCAA Elite 90 Award, Cooper was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) second-team all-Southeast Region selection this season, becoming the first four-time all-region honoree in school history. She also was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, while earning second-team all-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team accolades this year, her fourth consecutive all-conference citation and third all-defensive honor in a row.
An athletic training major, Dow has a 3.87 G.P.A. She is now a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America® selection after earning second team honors a year ago.
A native of Bonham, Texas she led Southern Arkansas to a 46-18 record and a berth in the Central Regional. The Lady Muleriders reached the Great American Conference championship game before losing to top-ranked Harding University.
Dow, a senior, was named the 2017 GAC Player of the Year and is an NFCA Division II Player of the Year Top-25 finalist. She was previously accorded NFCA and D2CCA All-Central Region honors, and was a first team All-GAC selection. Dow earned D2CCA All-Region honors four times and was a two-time NFCA All-Region choice. In addition, she was an all-conference selection three times.
Dow ended an illustrious career with a record-breaking senior campaign, setting nine single-season records. She hit .423 with 12 doubles, a triple, 22 home runs, and 61 RBI. She led the GAC in six different offensive categories, including batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage. She became the second player in GAC history to lead the league in batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage.
She ranks in the top ten in the country in home runs (first), on-base percentage (second), slugging percentage (fifth), walks (fifth), total bases (sixth), and home runs per game (seventh).
Dow is now at the top of 12 career records at SAU. She is the all-time leader in batting average (.363), on-base percentage (.522), hits (244), home runs (74), RBI (224), walks (175) and total bases (502), She now ranks in the top-20 all-time in Division II softball in walks (second), home runs (fourth), total bases (tied 10th), and RBI (tied 20th).
An exercise science (pre-physical therapy) major with a 3.97 grade-point average, Lochte was selected as the winner of the CoSIDA Division III Academic All-America® of the Year award for softball.
A CoSIDA Academic All-America® second-team selection in 2016, Lochte is one of 11 individuals who have earned multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America® honors among the 34 student-athletes selected to this year’s three teams.
Twenty of the 34 members of the CoSIDA Academic All-America® softball teams have a 3.90 or better G.P.A., with six achieving a perfect 4.00 G.P.A. The 11 members of the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division III softball first team maintain an average G.P.A of 3.89.
Lochte, a senior pitcher, earned CoSIDA Academic All-America® first-team honors this season, after being named to the second team last year. She earned National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association (NFCA) All-West Region honors this spring after posting a 15-2 record with two saves and a 1.39 ERA in 105.2 innings from the circle. Lochte ended her career with a 38-4 record and a program-best .905 winning percentage. She went 9-0 in conference play with a 1.07 ERA, and she had a win and a save in the SCAC Championship Tournament. She tossed a five-hit, complete-game shutout in the Bulldogs’ title-clinching win over Southwestern.
A native of Fredericksburg, Texas, Lochte collected 73 strikeouts to 14 walks and allowed a .220 opponent batting average. She will attend the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas in the doctor of physical therapy program.
TLU won the SCAC title, both regular-season and playoff, for the fourth straight season and finished with a 38-6 record, which included a school-record 38-game win streak. The Bulldogs made their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship and finished as the regional runner-up for a third time in four seasons.
Lochte has remained engaged in a variety of activities and projects outside of athletics, including internship opportunities with Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg, Texas; Mills and Associates Physical Therapy in Fredericksburg; Knopp Nursing Home and Assisted Living Center in Fredericksburg; Fredericksburg Physical Therapy and Guadalupe Regional Medical Center in Seguin, Texas.
A senior early childhood education major from White, Georgia, Weeks carries a 3.96 grade-point average.
Starting 57 games, Weeks recorded a .408 average with four doubles, five triples, 30 RBI, and 45 runs scored. She ranks in the top 50 in the NAIA in three categories, including 21st in total triples and 35th in total hits (73). Helping Reinhardt to 43-15-1 overall record, Weeks earned Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament MVP honors as the Eagles swept the league’s regular-season and tournament championships and advanced to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
A three-time academic all-conference honoree, Weeks landed on the All-AAC First Team three times. She wraps up her career at Reinhardt with a .396 average with 12 doubles, eight triples, 81 RBIs and 119 runs scored.
— Courtesy of CoSIDA