MARTIN, Tenn. – For the second year in a row, The University of Tennessee at Martin softball outfielder Leah Taylor has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I softball team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Taylor joins players from Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ohio, Northwestern, Seton Hall, Alabama, Hawaii, New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech on the second team. To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative Grade Point Average (on a 4.0 scale) at her current institution. She was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 3 softball team earlier this month.
“Leah optimizes the true definition of a student-athlete,” said UT Martin head coach Donley Canary. “During her career she has shattered records and left her mark on the program that will be seen for years to come but what she has done off the field is just as impressive. The life of a student-athlete is difficult but she has maintained superior academics while leading her team on the field.”
“We’ve built our program to develop young women that can maintain high character and skill on the field while showing integrity and drive in the classroom as we strive to produce well-rounded student-athletes. We’ve placed 17 players on the Dean’s list and set a program record with our 3.45 GPA for the spring term. Having players like Leah Taylor set a terrific example for her teammates, university and community.”
A marketing major with an impressive 3.97 GPA, Taylor is a two-time Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient. She was named to the CoSIDA All-District and All-America teams last season while also claiming an OVC Medal of Honor and being tabbed an NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete. She is a member of the UT Martin Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). She has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Hoops for Heroes as well as participating with numerous elementary school events.
On the field, Taylor has been nothing short of remarkable. This season, she became the UT Martin all-time career leader in runs scored (162), steals (110) and triples (18). The Brownsville, Tenn. native led the OVC in steals (39) and is tied for sixth in the nation in that category. Taylor will go down as the first player in OVC history to record over 25 career home runs and 100 stolen bases.
The 2012 OVC Player of the Year, Taylor finished this season hitting .298 batting average while posting a career-high 10 home runs and driving in 30 runs on the season. She continued to leave her mark in the UTM single-game record books as well, hitting two home runs against Jacksonville State, tallying four hits against Middle Tennessee State and swiping four bases against Southern Illinois.
Taylor will continue her work within the athletic department at UT Martin as she pursues a Master’s in Business Administration. She will use what she has learned in the classroom as a graduate assistant with Skyhawk Marketing and Development.