Danbury, CT –Sage's junior utility player Kristen Beikirch (Brockport, NY/Brockport) has been selected as the 2013-2014 Eastern College Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She will be honored in conjunction with the ECAC Honors Dinner on Sunday, September 28, at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Beikirch becomes the third Sage student-athlete honored with this award. She follows in the footsteps of men's volleyball player Ryan Kramer (2012-2013) and women's volleyball player, Caitlin "CJ" Ostrowski-Grebert (2006-2007).
The ECAC Scholar-Athlete Awards honors the outstanding academic and athletic achievements of student-athletes representing ECAC schools in Division I, II and III. One male and one female athlete from each division are selected based on extraordinary achievements in academics, athletics and community service. The candidate must have earned a cumulative minimum overall GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale and must have reached sophomore athletics and academic status (true freshmen, redshirt freshmen and ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible). The candidate must be a starter or significant reserve in a particular sport and must compete in a least 50 percent of the contests in that sport and other factors such as community service, exemplary citizenship or other extracurricular activities are taken into consideration.
Beirkirch's latest award comes on the heels of her selection to the 2014 CoSIDA Academic All-America Softball Second Team, an honor she also achieved as a sophomore earning a spot on the 2013 national third team.
Sage head softball coach, Jamie Brown said of Beikirch's selection, "Kristen is an example of an exemplary student-athlete." Brown added, "She has always done the right things on and off the field. Her tremendous work ethic and determination is why she is receiving this award. Her Gator family is extremely proud of her."
Beikirch batted .374 this spring with a team-best 43 runs scored and was a perfect 20-20 in stolen bases. She leads the team with 13 doubles in 37 starts and has played at first and third base, while also working behind the plate as a catcher. As a junior, she connected for a team-best 16-game hitting streak, while boasting 14 multiple-hit games with five multiple RBI games as well in 2014.
With the release of the final NCAA Division III softball statistics, she finished the 2014 season ranked nationally in two categories. She capped her junior season ranked No. 29 in Division III with her 1.16 runs per game average, while standing No. 49 in stolen bases with a 0.54 per game average.
The 2014 softball team went 23-14 on the year having finished as the Skyline Conference Tournament Runners-up. The Gators won the 2014 Skyline Conference regular-season title and earned the No. 1 seed after producing a 10-4 record in league play. The Gators also made the program's third consecutive appearance in the ECAC Metro Tournament to cap the 2014 campaign.
She was also extremely active outside of the classroom and off the playing field volunteering with numerous committee service projects this past year. She participated in Sage's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) Holiday Adopt a Family Toy and Clothing Drive, as well as with Sage's Shoe Box Project collecting back to school supplies for Albany Elementary School (Fall 2013). She also was active with the Sage Softball Team's activities with an area youth battling cancer (Spring 2014), Sage's Softball Team activities with the "Support the Troops" project collecting 800 books to be sent to soldiers abroad as well at $100 for postage, also this past spring.
Over the course of her career she has earned numerous awards and acclaim. She was the 2013 Skyline Conference Player of the Year as well as the 2012 ECAC Metro NY-NJ- and Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year. Among her other honors in 2014, she was placed on the 2014 Skyline Conference All-Star Second Team as a utility player.
On her career, Beikirch owns several career marks as well. Among them, she is the program's career stolen base leader with 53, while also leading the Gators with her 128 runs scored. She stands No. 9 in career games played (124), No. 2 in at-bats (418), No. 2 in hits (175), No. 4 in doubles (29), No. 8 in triples (7), No. 3 in home runs (14), and No. 5 in RBI's (71). She owns a .419 career batting average as well in her time as a Gator.
As a sophomore, she was named the Sage Female Athlete of the Year after earning numerous individual honors as a member of the 2013 Gators. Among them was a selection as the 2013 Skyline Conference Softball Player of the Year and to the 2013 CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America Third Team. She finished her sophomore year with another record-setting pace and ranked nationally in six different categories. She ranked No. 43 in runs scored per game (1.12), while ranking 72nd in batting average (0.444). She also ranked in slugging percentage (0.688, No. 116) as well as home runs (6, No. 166), triples (3, No. 158) and on-base percentage (0.464, No. 250).
She not only led the 2013 Sage team in batting average, but the entire conference in batting with her blistering .444 and broke her own record from the 2012 season as she connected for 64 hits this season, two more than last year's 62 hits. She also added a team-leading 11 doubles, three triples, and six home runs. She had a .688 slugging percentage that matched her impressive .464 on-base percentage. Beikirch had 17 multiple-hit games on the season, while starting all 41 games for the Gators.
Academically, she has excelled in the classroom as a biology and pre-med major with a 3.936 grade-point-average. At Sage she is a Kellas Scholar as well as a SIMETS scholar. A National Honor Society student at Brockport High School, she earned four letters in softball and was a two-time first team all-county pick as a junior and senior. She also earned All-Greater Rochester Honorable Mention honors.
At Sage, she has been named to the Skyline Conference Scholar-Athlete Team three times and has also earned six selections to the Dean's List. This spring she was named to the 2014 Sage Spring Scholar-Athlete Team as well as the 2014 Skyline Conference Scholar-Athlete Team. She is the daughter of David and Michele Beikirch.