SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State softball's Lauren Blair and Jennifer Hartman both received the Scholar-Athlete Award from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) after recording a 3.5 gpa or better during the 2012-13 academic year.
Blair, who was a senior in 2013 and graduated in the spring, earned the award all four years of her career. Hartman, who started nine games at pitcher for the Hornets, was a freshman last season.
The awards mark the ninth straight year Sacramento State has received at least two NFCA Scholar-Athlete selections. In addition, the Hornets have been represented by at least one player on the NFCA Scholar-Athlete team 17 times in the last 18 years.
Blair, who graduated with a degree in liberal studies, played in 21 games last season, including 12 starts (seven starts at second base, five at designated player). The Visalia, Calif., native was a team captain and finished with nine hits in 48 at-bats, including a double, two home runs and nine RBIs. She averaged one RBI every 5.3 at-bats, and the home runs were the first two of her career. Blair appeared in 79 games over the course of her career while starting games at four different positions (second base, shortstop, left field and desigated player).
Hartman, who is a communication studies major from Bonita, Calif., made 10 appearances in the circle, including nine starts, three complete games and one shutout as a true freshman. She finished the season 4-4 with a 2.93 ERA, and limited the opposition to a .232 batting average. In 40.2 innings, she allowed just 36 hits (only seven extra base hits) and struck out 35 batters. Hartman tossed an eight-inning shutout against Kansas, which entered the game as the nation's top hitting team. In that game, she allowed seven hits while walking none and striking out a season-high eight batters.
Sacramento State, which finished last year with a 22-22 overall record, opens the 2014 season on Feb. 8 at Pacific. The Hornets will be under the guidance of newly annointed Lori Perez, who recently took over the head coaching duties from Kathy Strahan, who retired after 21 seasons with the team.