Rams softball reaches new academic heights with team average GPA of 3.36

While working hard on the softball field, the Lady Rams are ablaze in the classroom with an average team GPA of 3.36 for the fall 2023 semester. In her 12 years as head coach, Karlyn Stephens said this is the highest average GPA she has seen. Nine of the 13 players have a 3.0 or higher GPA.  

“I’m super excited because I’m looking around at the other colleges and universities, and we’re amongst them,” Stephens said. “I’m elated with this team because of their academic progress. Since the Covid years, I’m seeing the higher retention rates and progress.” 

Stephens said the softball team holds a study hall every Monday for two hours during the fall semester. During this time, students bring their computers and sit together so they can collaborate and solve problems they may have with their assignments.  

“That was a big accolade for us this past fall semester because we challenged each other to excel in academics,” Stephens said. “If you excel in your academics, you’re going to excel on the softball field. They go hand in hand because, ultimately, if you don’t do well in the classroom, you’re not going to be able to play.” 

Stephens said she challenged the players to reach for a 3.0 GPA or higher and to not miss class outside of sickness.  

“I don’t take unexcused absences lightly,” Stephens said. “I think that’s really worked this past fall, when we’ve really buckled down.” 

During the spring semester, while traveling to away games, the team holds two-hour study halls at their hotel. This offers the team the same opportunity during the fall to collaborate and help each other with assignments if questions arise. Stephens said that with practices lasting from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day, the athletes have time to visit the library or fitness center to work on assignments.  

Stephens explained that to be a student athlete, a first-year player must have a 1.75 GPA with 12 credit hours passed. She recommends the students to have a 2.0 GPA or higher. A second-year player must have a 2.0 GPA with 36 credit hours passed.