LANCASTER, Pa. - When the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) released its list of 2008-2009 All-Academic teams late last week, Franklin & Marshall's softball team ranked 36th in the country in Grade Point Average (GPA). The Diplomats, coached by then second-year skipper, Dr. Mike Cooperstein, posted a collective 3.27 GPA.
"I am really proud of how hard the girls worked in the classroom and on the diamond," said Cooperstein. "They represent the very best of collegiate athletics. Now their challenge is to build on the strides they made in both facets of their college experience."
F&M is one of three Centennial Conference (CC) teams to appear in the NFCA's top 40. Gettysburg and Swarthmore were also included in the list. Emerson College (Boston) topped the list in NCAA Division III with a 3.51 GPA.
It is not the first academic honor for F&M in the wake of season that saw the program take several steps forward. The Diplomats catcher, Lauren Incorvaia '09 (Manaplan, N.J. / St. John Vianney), was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District II Softball Team at season's end. Incorvaia was also named an NFCA All-East Region Second Teamer and the Centennial Conference's First Team catcher.
The Diplomats finished their second season under Mike Cooperstein with a record of 16-20, marking a six-game improvement from the 2008 campaign and the most wins since the 2004 season. F&M has posted double-digits in the wins columns in both seasons under Cooperstein. The ten win mark had not been reached in any of the three seasons prior to his arrival.