Softball Earns Academic Awards
May 7, 2009
IRVING, TEXAS - Cristen Aona, Jessica Johnson and Kaui Tom were selected to the Conference USA Softball All-Academic Team, according to an announcement by the league office on Thursday afternoon. East Carolina's three selections were the most in C-USA.
Johnson, who was named First Team All-Conference USA Wednesday, was named to the All-Academic Team for the second time in her career. She is a four-time C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll selection and a four-time ECU Academic Excellence Award winner. Johnson was a C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal selection in 2006 and an NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete for 2005-06 year.
The senior first-baseman leads this year's team with a .356 batting average, 53 hits, 11 doubles, eight home runs, 37 runs batted in and a .604 slugging percentage. She is also among the Conference USA leaders in walks (29/3rd), home runs (t-5th), on base percentage (.473/t-5th), RBI (5th), total bases (90/6th), slugging percentage (6th) doubles (t-8th) and batting average (10th). The March 30 C-USA Hitter-of-the-Week owns a 3.74 GPA as a merchandising major.
In addition to the C-USA All-Academic selection, Johnson was named to the 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team, according to an announcement by CoSIDA. It is the first Academic All-District award of Johnson's career and the first for an East Carolina player since Kate Manuse was a first-team selection and Mandi Nichols a second-team honoree in 2005. Johnson is one of only four Conference USA student-athletes to make an Academic All-District team this season.
Aona makes her second consecutive appearance on the All-Academic squad as a health education and promotion major. She is a three-time Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Medal and C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll selection. The junior third baseman is also a two-time ECU Academic Excellence Award winner and has been named to the Dean's List or Chancellor's List every semester at East Carolina.
The April 20 C-USA Hitter-of-the-Week owns a 3.83 GPA and recorded 31 RBI during regular season play. She hit a walk-off game-winning home run in the bottom of the seventh against N.C. State and smacked two-run home runs in games one and three at UTEP.
The All-Academic honor is the first of Tom's career. She is a health education and promotion major with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The junior is a three-time C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal and C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll selection while also leading a Pirate defense that has a .977 fielding percentage, the best in Conference USA and sixth in the nation. She drove in the game-winning run against Memphis on April 18 and against Wisconsin on Feb. 23.
The second-seeded Pirates open play in the Conference USA Tournament on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET against host and seven seed UTEP.