By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Six members of the 2020-21 Willamette University softball team have been chosen as Eaton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes for the season played this past spring. Willamette's selections are Cassie Cosler (Jr., 1B, Albany, OR/West Albany HS), Jewel Fleckenstein (Jr., UT, Wasilla, AK/Mat-Su Middle College School), Bailey Hillmick (Sr., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEwen HS), Sophia Lucio (Fy., OF, Martinez, CA/College Park HS), Mia Lund (Fy., CF, Omaha, NE/Westside HS), and Kelsey Wong (Jr., UT, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School). Fleckenstein received the award for the second time after previously being honored in 2018-19.
A total of 7,321 softball players at the NCAA, NAIA, and junior college levels were named All-America Scholar-Athletes. NCAA Division III, which includes Willamette, led the way with 2,375 student-athletes on the list. Athletes qualified for the award by achieving a 3.5 or higher grade point average during the 2020-21 academic year.
"It makes me so proud to see our team excel in the classroom," Willamette Head Softball Coach Paige Hall said. "Sports are only a short period of our lives, and what these students achieve with their academics is what will take them further in life than sports ever will. These six students exceeded my expectations during a COVID year which made things even more difficult."
Note: Year listed is for the 2020-21 season
Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes
Cassie Cosler (Jr., 1B) played in 29 games with 26 starts in 2021. She belted three doubles and recorded six RBIs. On defense, she led the Bearcats with 127 putouts to go along with six assists and just one error for a .993 fielding percentage. In her career, Cosler has played in 69 games while making 65 starts. She has connected for nine career doubles to go along with 19 RBIs and 16 walks. She has recorded 397 career putouts plus 14 career assists. She owns a .979 career fielding percentage.
Jewel Fleckenstein (Jr., UT) was selected as an All-America Scholar-Athlete for the second time (2019, 2021). This past season, she competed in 15 games and had eight starts. She hit .276, scored four runs, and drove in five runs. As a first-year player in 2019, she played in 13 games with one start. She scored eight runs and went 2 for 2 on stolen bases as a pinch-runner. Fleckenstein has achieved a .250 career batting average in 30 games played (9 starts).
Bailey Hillmick (Sr., DP/UT) concluded her Willamette career by playing in 19 games -- all starts -- during the 2021 season. She scored six runs, hit three doubles and one home run, and registered eight RBIs. She also pitched in 11 games, including 10 starts. She tossed 49 1/3 innings and earned 10 strikeouts. During her career, she played in 98 games with 95 starts. She earned a .274 career batting average with 30 runs scored, 11 doubles, eight homers, and 41 RBIs. She walked 52 times and was hit by a pitch 29 times. She went 12 of 14 on stolen bases. Hillmick pitched in a total of 46 games with 30 starts for a total of 144 2/3 innings with 52 strikeouts.
Sophia Lucio (Fy., OF) was a solid player on offense and defense for the Bearcats in 2021. She played in 27 games, including 24 starts. Lucio batted .276 with nine runs and five RBIs. She was 11 for 11 on stolen bases. She earned four hits against George Fox University in a game played on April 17. In the outfield, she recorded a total of 45 putouts and one assist with a .958 fielding percentage.
Mia Lund (Fy., OF) had an outstanding first year for Willamette in the spring of 2021. She led the Bearcats with a .342 batting average while starting all 34 games. She recorded 38 hits, scored 21 runs, and earned 11 RBIs. She pounded seven doubles and one home run. Lund also walked 11 times and had a .403 on-base percentage. She was 20 of 21 on stolen bases. In a doubleheader at Pacific on March 6, she went 8 for 9 at the plate. On defense, she recorded 84 putouts and five assists during the season.
Kelsey Wong (Jr., UT) saw action in all 34 games and made 33 starts this past season. She achieved a .276 batting average with 24 hits. She scored eight runs, belted five doubles, and registered 12 RBIs. She provided 58 putouts and 44 assists on defense, mostly at second base. In three seasons at WU, she has attained a .273 career batting average to go along with 10 doubles, two triples, and 27 RBIs. She is 9 of 13 on stolen bases.