Springfield, Ohio – Just two days after crossing the stage in picturesque Commencement Hollow to receive her diploma, Wittenberg University softball pitcher Rachel Ross (Westerville, Ohio/South) has capped her collegiate career with third-team Capital One Academic All-America College Division All-America honors.
The honor is a first for Ross in her collegiate career after she claimed first-team Academic All-District 7 honors in 2012 and 2014. Ross was selected as a result of online voting conducted recently by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Ross’ Academic All-America honor brings Wittenberg’s all-time total to 46 since Gene Miller in 1963. She is the second Academic All-American of the 2013-14 school year, joining volleyball right-side hitter Kara Seidenstricker, who earned third-team honors in December 2013. Ross is the third Tiger softball student-athlete named Academic All-America, following in the footsteps of LeAnn Coberly in 1985 and Sarah Fetters, who was recognized in 2007 and 2008.
A mathematics major and business minor, Ross carries a 3.92 grade point average while participating in a wide variety of extracurricular activities at Wittenberg. She has worked as an orientation assistant in the Office of Student Development, as a tour guide in the Office of Admission, and as a student assistant in the Office of Human Resources. In addition, Ross is active in the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Athletes for Christ, Peer Mentors, Peer Helpers, the Math Club and the Panhellenic Council.
On the field, Ross has done it all, earning three All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) honors in her four collegiate seasons while splitting her time between the pitcher’s circle and several positions in the field. She broke school records for career pitching victories and innings pitched during the 2014 season as she posted an 18-8 record with a 2.09 earned run average. She also was outstanding at the plate, contributing a .368 batting average with 22 runs scored and 29 RBIs, in addition to a team-best 12 doubles and three home runs.
Ross was named the team’s Most Outstanding Player an unprecedented three times in her Wittenberg career. She is credited with the first perfect game in program history in 2011 and a no-hitter in 2013.
In recognition of Ross’ performance on the field, her leadership on the team and in the campus community, her sportsmanship and selfless attitude, and her tremendous academic achievements, she was one of 36 semifinalists for the 10th annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup in January 2014. Presented by Athletes for a Better World, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is named for the famed UCLA men’s basketball coach who championed character, conduct and selfless gifts as integral parts of the sporting experience.
Wittenberg finished the 2014 season with records of 24-11 overall and 11-5 in the NCAC, good for second place in the regular season standings. The Tigers were runners-up in the NCAC Tournament as they came up one run short in the championship game for a second straight year, this time losing 5-4 to host DePauw.
Written By: Ryan Maurer