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TAMUC – Sports

Lion Softball ranked No. 9 in NFCA Postseason Poll.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After a fantastic postseason run in the South Central Regional Tournament, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Wednesday ranked the Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team No. 9 the final 2021 national coaches poll. 

It is the fourth season in the program’s seven-year history that the Lions were ranked in the Top 25 to end the season. The No. 9 ranking ties with the 2018 team for the highest postseason ranking in program history, and it also marks the 48th consecutive poll in which A&M-Commerce has been in the nation’s top 25. 

The Lions are the highest-ranked team in the country who did not advance to Denver’s NCAA Championships final site. Lone Star Conference rival and Division II National Champions West Texas A&M is the No. 1 team in the poll. 

Including WT, the Lions played six teams in the 2021 season who finished in the final top 25 – No. 3 Augustana, No. 14 Oklahoma Christian, No. 17 UT Tyler, No. 18 Southern Arkansas, and No. 23 Colorado Mesa. 

The Lions finished the season with a 33-18 overall record, advancing to the final game of the South Central Regional Tournament. Statistically, the Lions ranked in the top 25 nationally in fielding percentage, pitching shutouts, stolen bases per game, total stolen bases, and walks drawn.

2021 NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll – Postseason

Rank School Points 2021 Record Last Poll
1 West Texas A&M (16) 400 43-12 12
2 Biola 384 26-16 24
3 Augustana 366 49-8 1
4 North Georgia 354 43-8 2
5 Grand Valley State 328 45-10 13
6 Valdosta State 310 38-11 9
7 Saint Anselm 305 33-7 18
8 West Chester 267 34-16
9 A&M-COMMERCE 263 33-18 10
10 Lincoln Memorial 259 38-8 5
11 Indianapolis 248 46-8 7
12 Concordia Irvine 206 34-13 11
13 Minnesota State 197 40-10 17
14 Oklahoma Christian 191 38-9 4
15 West Florida 175 33-16 RV
16 Young Harris 148 34-12 8
17 UT Tyler 142 33-7 6
18 Southern Arkansas 122 29-10 19
19 Georgian Court 117 38-6 22
20 Rollins 111 21-4 21
21 Auburn Montgomery 80 40-7 3
22 Central Oklahoma 63 36-14 14
23 Colorado Mesa  56 39-5 15
24 East Stroudsburg 46 29-16

New to Poll: No. 8 West Chester, No. 15 West Florida, No. 24 East Stroudsburg.
Dropped Out: No. 20 Angelo State, No. 23 Winona State, No. 25 Kutztown.
Receiving Votes: Angelo State (10), Central Missouri (9), Western Washington (9), Northwest Nazarene (3), Texas A&M University-Kingsville (2), Rogers State (1), West Liberty (1).

Lion Athletics excels in the classroom in Spring 2021

COMMERCE –Texas A&M University-Commerce student-athletes continued to excel in the Spring 2021 semester, posting fantastic grades throughout all sports programs in a term where most teams returned to competition as well. 

As a whole, the athletics department posted a grade point average of 3.09 for the spring semester. 

“As the Chief Academic Officer of A&M-Commerce, I am excited every semester to see the academic achievements of our student-athletes. We make sure that the ‘student’ in student-athlete comes first at our university, as shown by the continued good work being done in the Thrower Center for Student-Athlete Success,” said Provost Dr. John Humphreys. “We are blessed to have phenomenal student-athletes, dedicated faculty and staff, committed student success professionals, an extraordinary collaboration with every division on campus.”

With support from faculty, student success teams, academic advisors, and the staff in the Thrower Center for Student-Athlete Success, the Lions were able to succeed at sustained levels. Eight sports programs recorded grade point averages of 3.00 or higher in the spring semester, including all six women’s programs.

Sport Team GPA
Women’s Golf 3.81
Soccer 3.63
Volleyball 3.57
Softball 3.53
Men’s Golf 3.35
Men’s Basketball 3.19
Women’s Basketball 3.15
Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country 3.12

“In the midst of a pandemic, our student-athlete population chose to control what they can control,” said director of athletics Tim McMurray. “While numerous competitive and championship opportunities were reduced or eliminated, the opportunity to make progress towards diplomas, rings, and championships remained unwavering. Hearty congratulations to these talented young people.” 

In terms of individual academic accolades, they named 40 Lion student-athletes to the Texas A&M University-Commerce President’s List and 58 student-athletes to the Dean’s List. 

“Our student-athletes Best in Classwork in their academic pursuits as we returned to competition – and still under various learning situations – is something every Lion can be proud of,” said Victoria Kisluk, associate director of athletics for student-athlete success. “The support from our Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, faculty, academic success teams, department heads, and deans was exceptional this semester and is a true testament to the Best In Class Experience we provide for our student-athletes.”

They named a total of 56 student-athletes to the Best In Class Honor Roll, which represents a perfect 4.0 term grade point average. Additionally, 69 Lions went on the Athletics Director’s List for a term grade point average between 3.50 and 3.99, and 67 student-athletes to the Lion Honor Roll for a term grade point average between 3.00 and 3.49. In May, Lion Athletics celebrated a record 72 graduates who graduated in the spring. 

Blasingame and Sanchez named LSC Scholar-Athletes.

RICHARDSON – Texas A&M University-Commerce spring graduates Kara Blasingame and Steven Sanchez have earned Lone Star Conference Scholar-Athlete awards, as announced by the conference office on Tuesday. The duo is among 35 student-athletes from across the conference to be named LSC Scholar-Athletes.

“I’m very proud of the recognition Kara and Steven have earned for their work in competition and the classroom,” said the associate director of athletics for student-athlete success, Victoria Kisluk. “They are great examples of what it means to be both an exemplary student and a hard-working athlete. Both are truly Best In Class and deserving of this recognition.” 

Blasingame – a soccer student-athlete from Oswego, Ill. – graduated Summa Cum Laude in May with her bachelor of business administration in finance. Blasingame has served on the Lion Student-Athlete Advisory Council in multiple positions, including the president, and was also in Responsible Lions. She was named to the President’s List six times, the Dean’s List once, the LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll seven times. She’s played in 51 matches for the Lions with five goals and eight assists in her career. 

Sanchez – a track & field student-athlete from New Braunfels – completed his second degree at A&M-Commerce in May, graduating with his master of science in health, kinesiology, and sports studies. Sanchez was named Academic All-LSC three times in his career, as he was an indoor honoree in 2019 and 2021 and an outdoor honoree in 2021. Sanchez placed sixth at the conference meet in the discus throw at 49.71 m (163′ 1″). He was USTFCCCA All-Academic in 2020 and ranked in the top 10 in the LSC in all four throws – hammer, javelin, shot put, and discus. He is a D2ADA Academic Achievement Award winner, and they’ve named him to the LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll six times.

Each academic year, the LSC presents a Scholar-Athlete Award to one male and one female student-athlete at each member institution. They select the student-athletes as representatives of the outstanding accomplishments in athletics, scholarship, and leadership displayed on each LSC campus during the year. For a student to be eligible for consideration, student-athletes must have participated for at least two years in their sport and be a member of the graduating class.  

2020-21 LSC Scholar-Athletesaris Police arrested James William Arnold, 32, of Clarksville, at the Paris District Parole Office on a felony warrant charging him with failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements at 5:56 Tuesday evening. Officers booked Arnold and later transferred him to the Lamar County Jail. 

Paris Police responded to 80 calls for service and arrested four people on Tuesday (Jun 8).

Scholar-Athlete  Member Institution Year Sport(s) Hometown
Jordan Williams Angelo State R-So. Baseball Round Rock, Texas
Marissa Brezgiel Angelo State Sr. Women’s Soccer Frisco, Texas
Eduardo Gutierrez Cameron Sr. Men’s XC/Track and Field Hondo, Texas
Melany Opolz Cameron Sr. Women’s Tennis Ituzaingo, Argentina
Chandler Jacobs DBU Sr. Men’s Basketball Missouri City, Texas
Hanna Harrison DBU Sr. Women’s Golf Plano, Texas
Liam Sabiston Eastern New Mexico Sr. Baseball Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Caroline Bachman Eastern New Mexico Sr. Women’s XC/Track and Field Grants, N.M.
Jonathan Woods Lubbock Christian Sr. Men’s Soccer Chesterfield, England
Ashton Duncan Lubbock Christian Sr. Women’s Basketball Lubbock, Texas
Julian Barajas Midwestern State Sr. Men’s Soccer Fort Worth, Texas
Kityana Diaz Midwestern State Sr. Women’s Basketball Amarillo, Texas
Andres Brictson Oklahoma Christian Jr. Men’s Golf Merida, Mexico
Brianna Robinson Oklahoma Christian Jr. Softball Henderson, Texas
Ryan Garza St. Edward’s Sr. Men’s Basketball Edinburg, Texas
Kaitlyn Stark St. Edward’s Sr. Women’s XC/Track and Field Rockwall, Texas
Alain Peralt St. Mary’s Sr. Men’s Soccer Mountain Home, Texas
Alex McLennan St. Mary’s Sr. Softball Austin, Texas
Philip Sanchez Texas A&M International Sr. Baseball Houston, Texas
Nicole Heyn Texas A&M International Sr. Women’s Basketball Spanish Fork, Utah
Steven Sanchez A&M-COMMERCE Gr. Men’s Track and Field New Braunfels, Texas
Kara Blasingame A&M-COMMERCE Sr. Women’s Soccer Oswego, Ill.
Caleb Nash Texas A&M-Kingsville R-So. Baseball San Antonio, Texas
Madison Lake Texas A&M-Kingsville Sr. Women’s Golf Victoria, Texas
Lexi D’Abrosca Texas Woman’s Sr. Women’s Soccer Carrollton, Texas
Chris Rollins UAFS Sr. Men’s Basketball Akron, Ala.
Alejandra Rodriguez UAFS Sr. Women’s Golf Brownsville, Texas
Pemron Burrows UT Permian Basin Sr. Baseball Coconut Creek, Fla.
Megan Ashton UT Permian Basin Sr. Volleyball Midland, Texas
Zachary Tucker UT Tyler Sr. Men’s XC/Track and Field Perrin, Texas
Tristin Anders UT Tyler Sr. Softball Mont Belvieu, Texas
Alexander Vencel West Texas A&M Sr. Men’s Soccer Mittlehausbergen, France
Lexy Hightower West Texas A&M Sr. Women’s Basketball Amarillo, Texas
Michael Anzures Western New Mexico Sr. Men’s Cross Country Seboyeta, N.M.
Grisdey Parades-Alvarez Western New Mexico Sr. Softball Tucson, Ariz.