Posted: May 18, 2020
(Story Courtesy of Texas Lutheran Sports Information Department)
SEGUIN, Texas -- A school record four Texas Lutheran Bulldogs will be on the 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America® national ballot for NCAA Division III Softball.
The four Bulldogs - senior catcher Alyssa Cantu, senior infielder Madisyn Cates, junior outfielder Kelly Jurden, and sophomore pitcher Chassety Raines - were named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District® Team for District 8.
On two previous occasions - in 2015 and in 2016 - the Bulldogs sent three softball student-athletes to the Academic All-America® national ballot. In 2015, the three Bulldogs advancing were Taylor Grissom, Ashley Jacobsen, and Jacquelyn Brown. In 2016, the three Bulldogs were Grissom, Amanda Lochte, and Nicole Snow.
This year's honorees - Cantu, Cates, Jurden, and Raines - were instrumental in the Bulldogs' 2019 NCAA Division III National Championship. All four were key players in the Bulldogs' 2020 season, which was off to a 19-1 start when the year stopped.
Jurden is on the national ballot for a second consecutive year. Jurden became TLU's 40th Academic All-American® in 2019 when she was named to the Academic All-America® Second Team.
Jurden holds a 3.96 grade point average while majoring in Mathematics. She is pursuing her master's degree in Data Analytics concurrently.
Jurden is a three-year starter for the Bulldogs. As the team's left-fielder and center-fielder, Jurden has a career batting average of .416 with 118 runs scored, 142 hits, 46 RBI, 48 walks, and 113 stolen bases.
Jurden is the all-time stolen base leader at TLU, and she led all of NCAA Division III in steals, with 61, in 2019. She was named the 2019 New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe award winner for leading DIII in stolen bases.
Cantu, a four-year starter at catcher, hit .240 in her career with 30 runs scored, 36 hits, three home runs, 31 RBI, 19 walks, and nine stolen bases.
Cantu has a 3.85 GPA as a kinesiology major. She is a May 2020 graduate of TLU. She will start physical therapy school in August at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
Cantu expertly handled one of D3's best pitching staffs. She was behind the plate as Raines tossed the complete-game in the national championship-clinching victory, and she applied the tag at home plate that saved the Bulldogs in a super-regional win over Linfield (Ore.).
Cates, another four-year starter, hit .387 in her Bulldog career. She tallied 83 runs scored, 28 doubles, five home runs, 93 RBI, 27 walks, 18 steals, and an on-base percentage of .452.
Cates has a 3.70 GPA as an education major.
Cates hit .450 in the abbreviated 2020 season. Her career batting average of .387 is sixth all-time. She sits eighth all-time in RBI in school history, with 93.
Cates ranks 10th all-time in slugging percentage (.500) and eighth all-time in on-base percentage (.452).
Raines, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 NCAA Division III Softball Championship, is 12-0 in her Bulldog pitching career. She has a career ERA of 0.98 with 31 strikeouts in 71-1/3 innings pitched.
Raines has a perfect 4.0 GPA as a social innovation / social entrepreneurship major.
Raines was the winning pitcher in the DIII championship final win over Emory (Ga.). She tossed a complete-game, three-hitter in the championship victory.
Raines also plays in the Bulldog outfield. When not pitching, she starts in center field. She is a .392 career hitter with 13 doubles, five triples, one home run, 30 RBI, 15 stolen bases, and an on-base percentage of .477.
Since the 2020 softball season was halted mid-season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CoSIDA All-America nominations were submitted using career numbers.
Each college and university's sports information director could nominate up to six student-athletes in each sport.
The 2020 Academic All-District® Softball Team, selected by CoSIDA (The College Sports Information Directors of America), recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom.
The CoSIDA Academic All-America® program separately recognizes soccer honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.
Honorees selected First Team Academic All-District® advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot. Academic All-America® honorees will be announced from June 8-11.
The CoSIDA Academic All-District® teams are divided into geographic districts across the United States and Canada.
The Division II and III CoSIDA Academic All-America® programs are partially financially supported by the NCAA Division II and III national governance structures to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2019-20 Divisions II and III Academic All-America® programs. The NAIA CoSIDA Academic All-America® program is partially financially supported through the NAIA national office.
To see the full CoSIDA release, click here.