East Carolina junior outfielder Jill Jelnick and sophomore pitcher Sarah Christian were selected to the 2013 Conference USA Softball All-Academic Team, according to an announcement by the league office on Tuesday afternoon. East Carolina's two selections were tied for the most in the conference along with Marshall, Southern Miss, Tulsa and UTEP. The multiple selections for ECU were the most for the program since three Pirates were chosen for the conference's all-academic team during the 2010 season.
Jelnick was one of only two players that was a repeat selection to this year's team along with Tulsa's Jill Barrett. Seven seniors, four juniors and two sophomores from around the conference were chosen for the academic squad in 2013.
Last week, Jelnick was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 3 First Team for the second time and is now eligible for the Capital One Academic All?America Team, which will be chosen later this month. The All-Academic team honor is the second of her career as she was also named to the team as a sophomore when she also had a 4.00 cumulative grade-point average.
For her work in the classroom, Jelnick has received the Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Medal (3.75+ GPA) and a place on the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll (3.0+ GPA) three times. In every semester at East Carolina, she has earned the school's Chancellor's List (4.0 GPA) designation. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, Jelnick was tabbed as a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athlete.
On the field for the Pirates, the Aliso Viejo, Calif., product is tied for the team lead in hits with 47. She is second on the team in runs scored (26) and stolen bases (7). Jelnick is one of only four players on the squad to have played in all 51 games and is hitting .283 with five doubles, two triples, 13 walks, 15 RBI and 59 total bases. Jelnick is third on the team with 12 multiple-hit games and is tied for third on the squad with four multiple-RBI games. During the Conference USA campaign, she is tied for the team lead with her 20 hits, while also scoring 11 runs and driving in seven.
Christian, a former DH Conley High School star, has worked as the team's primary pitcher this season and leads the team in wins (15), ERA (2.94), appearances (35), games started (25), complete games (16), saves (1), innings pitched (169) and strikeouts (104). Her appearances and win total placed her tied for fourth in the conference, while her games started is fifth-best in the league.
She has also stood out in the classroom with a cumulative GPA of 3.73 and a place on the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll in her first two years on campus.
East Carolina (21-30, 11-12 C-USA) returns to action on Thursday in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament. The Pirates enter as fifth seed and play fourth-seeded Marshall (32-20, 13-10 C-USA) at 8 p.m. (ET) at the Collins Family Softball Complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
2013 Conference USA Softball All-Academic Team
Name – School – Year – GPA – Major
*Jill Jelnick – East Carolina – Junior – 4.00 – English Education
Sarah Christian – East Carolina – Sophomore – 3.73 – Business Management
Haley Outen – Houston – Junior – 3.72 - Health
Alysia Hively – Marshall – Senior – 3.89 – Exercise Physiology and Psychology
Andi Williamson – Marshall – Senior – 3.53 – PE and Health Education
Laura Curtis – Memphis – Senior – 3.61 – Exercise and Sport Science
Mackenzie Sher – Southern Miss – Junior – 3.35 - Biology
Kimberly Wagner – Southern Miss – Senior – 4.00 - Sociology
*Jill Barrett – Tulsa – Junior – 3.61 – Exercise and Sport Science
Julie Kernen – Tulsa - Sophomore – 3.91 - Arts and Sciences
Mackenzie Audas - UCF – Sophomore – 3.83 – Event Planning
Ashley Collazo – UTEP – Senior – 4.00 – Public Health
Kayleigh Walts – UTEP – Senior – 3.82 - Kinesiology