National organization names UHV softball players All-American Scholar-Athletes

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association recently recognized six members of the University of Houston-Victoria 2007-2008 softball team for their excellence in the classroom.

The Jaguars were named NFCA All-American Scholar-Athletes for achieving a 3.5 grade-point average or better for the school year.

Kristen Lindley Lindsey Ferguson Ashley Falco Brittany Faas Whitney Damborsky Samantha Campagna

The players recognized, their position, hometown and major were:

  • Kristen Lindley (team co-captain) – pitcher and designated player, Houston, accounting
  • Lindsey Ferguson (team co-captain) – first baseman, League City, business
  • Ashley Falco – outfielder, Houston, criminal justice
  • Brittany Faas – catcher, El Campo, psychology
  • Whitney Damborsky – former outfielder, Edna, criminal justice
  • Samantha Campagna – catcher, Houston, psychology

“Of all the accomplishments these young ladies have achieved, I’m most proud of their academic awards, especially these individual awards,” Jaguars softball coach Keri Lambeth said.

The softball team had a memorable first year, finishing the regular season with a 30-16 record and ending with an overall record of 32-18 after advancing to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Region VI Softball Tournament. The Jaguars were ranked 15th in the final NAIA national poll.

Softball players Lindley, Stephanie Lavey, Cirby Ryan and Lauren Garza were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association NAIA Southwest All-Region First Team, and Lambeth and her staff tied for the NFCA NAIA Southwest Regional Coaching Staff of the Year. Garza and Lindley also were selected for the All-Region VI First Team, while Ryan and Lavey were named to the Second Team.

The Jaguars were equally successful off the field. The NAIA named the Jaguars a 2007-2008 Scholar Team for maintaining an overall GPA above 3.0. The Jaguars’ overall GPA was 3.16 at UHV. The women also were recognized by state and national leaders for mentoring students in the Victoria Independent School District.

The softball team will have its first players graduate from UHV in May.

“We’re striving for a 100-percent graduation rate, and we’re well on our way,” Lambeth said.

Lindley, who is this year’s Student Senate president and also recently received UHV’s Student Leadership Award, said she was pleased that she and her teammates received the recognition.

“When we graduate, it’s these scores that are going to matter, not our game scores,” she said.

Ferguson said the recognition came after hard work.

“Our grades are something we take seriously and something we work on every day,” she said. “We’re not just here to play softball; we’re also here to get an education.”

UHV Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow said the recognition is a nice reward for the players’ hard work and is reflective of the high quality of education available at UHV.

“With the chances of becoming a professional athlete very small, this shows these Jaguars are serious about their chosen career paths and life after softball,” he said.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler