Valdosta Daily Times

May 9, 2013

Former Vikette Santana named A-Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year

The Valdosta Daily Times

MACON — Former Lowndes Vikette softball player and current Mercer Lady Bear Sarah Santana was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year, an honor that came less than a week after being named to the 2013 First Team Capital One Academic All-District IV.

“We are certainly proud to have Sarah selected to this team,” head coach James DeFeo said. “She is a model Mercer student-athlete and I cannot underplay how deserving she is of this honor.  Her hard work in the classroom directly relates to her success on the field and we could not be more proud to have her represent Mercer on this team.”

Santana, who graduates this weekend with a 3.91 grade-point average in accounting at Mercer, was also named to the A-Sun Academic All-Conference Team.

“I couldn't think of another student-athlete that is more deserving to receive the Scholar Athlete of the Year award than Sarah,” DeFeo said.

“She possesses the spirit, tenacity, and work ethic that it takes to excel at the highest levels in every endeavor that she is involved in.

Sarah truly embodies what it means to be a Mercer University softball player.”

The 2013 Capital One Academic All District Softball Teams are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, (CoSIDA) and recognize the nation's top student athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

 The senior from Valdosta is the second Mercer student-athlete to be named to prestigious Academic All-District Team and the first Bears' nominee to be selected since Holly Oglesbee back in 2010.

As one of 11 players named to the District IV First Team, Santana will now be listed on the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, with voting to take place later this month.

 She is one of just two Atlantic Sun players to be named to the list with North Florida's Kaylie Wallace also picking up First Team honors. District IV is comprised of universities from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and South Carolina.

Santana has been a four-year starter for the Bears, since graduation from Lowndes High School.

 This season Santana set career highs by batting .286 with 36 hits, including a team-best 12 doubles and 34 RBI.

She is also one of the toughest players to retire in the country as she currently ranks 25th in on base percentage (.528), and 12th in walks (.85 per game).