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Robert Morris Earns Best GPA in Division I Again

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pittsburgh – For the third time in the past four years, the Robert Morris University softball team posted the highest grade point average amongst all Division I softball programs according to figures recently released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).

Although the Colonials are familiar with being at the top, the squad actually managed to break new ground with its academic exploits. Robert Morris posted a 3.609 GPA during the 2011-12 academic year which was not only the top mark in Division I but across all of the college subdivisions that the NFCA recognizes including Division II, Division III, NAIA and Junior Colleges. The 2011-12 year marks the first time that RMU has had the best GPA among all college categories.

“This is a great tribute to our kids and the efforts that they put into their work in the classroom and on the field,” said Robert Morris head coach and athletic director Craig Coleman. “The support of our faculty is key to helping our kids succeed in the classroom.”

Robert Morris previously earned the top GPA in Division I for both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. RMU finished third in the country last year and is actually the only Division I school in the country to even rank somewhere among the top five programs in each of the past four years. The Colonials have had a team GPA of at least 3.55 in each of the past four seasons.

Amazingly, at the conclusion of the spring 2012 semester, every one of the 18 Colonials on the squad had an individual cumulative GPA in excess of 3.0, and 10 of these 18 had a cumulative GPA of at least 3.60. RMU softball student-athletes represented 12 distinct undergraduate majors, including two double majors on the team--Geena Badolato (Mt. Lebanon, Pa. / Mt. Lebanon) and Allie Patton (Poland, Ohio / Poland)--and had one student-athlete pursuing a graduate degree.

The Colonials combined to produce 13 semester averages in the fall or spring that exceeded 3.8, including an astounding eight averages that were a perfect 4.0. The eight perfect semester averages were a product of five different Colonials:  Badolato, Alexa Bryson (Greensburg, Pa. / Latrobe Area), Jessica Calderone (Wilmington, Del. / St. Mark's), Britta Grafton (Jamestown, Pa. / Jamestown) and Maritza Jimenez (Vineland, N.J. / Vineland) with Bryson, Calderone and Jimenez each accomplishing the superb feat of a 4.0 average in both semesters.

Robert Morris is no stranger to individual academic honors either as each of the past three Northeast Conference Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors have been claimed by a Colonial student-athlete. RMU produced the first Academic All-American in program history after the 2011 season and has earned 10 Academic All-District selections in the past seven years. RMU also was responsible for six of the 21 softball selections to the NEC’s Commissioner’s Honor Roll after this past season, claiming more than 28% of the selections in an 11-team league.

The 2011-12 academic year marks the fifth time in program history in which RMU has ranked among the top three in GPA in Division I. While the Colonials were busy posting impressive numbers in the classroom, they still managed to stand out in a positive way on the diamond as well.

RMU registered a program-record 35 wins in 2012, including posting a 15-5 mark in NEC play to claim first place in the conference for the second-consecutive season. The Colonials also broke the school record for road wins (14) and led the league in ERA (1.84) and ranked second in runs scored (102) during NEC play. Coleman earned his fourth NEC Coach of the Year award as he guided a pair of freshmen, Samantha Santillo (Ellwood City, Pa. / Lincoln) and Nicole Sleith (Smithton, Pa. / Yough), to major NEC honors as the duo took home the league’s Golden Glove Award and Pitcher of the Year honors, respectively.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.