School-first three Sea Gulls named softball Academic All-Americans; Lake named to first team

School-first three Sea Gulls named softball Academic All-Americans; Lake named to first team

SALISBURY, Md. – For the first time in school history, three players from the same team earned Academic All-American honors as the College Sports Information Directors of America announced its three teams for softball and Salisbury University saw three players on the list, including junior Caitlin Lake who is the first softball player to be named to the first team in school history.

Lake was joined by seniors Paige Knussman and Annah Brittingham, who were each named to the third team, as Salisbury matched the University of Texas-Tyler and Texas Lutheran University for the most softball Academic All-Americans in 2016.

Lake had a breakout junior year. An excellent defensive player throughout her career, she was splitting time in the batting order at the start of the year, but took control of the spot by batting .409 on the year with 15 extra-base hits, including five triples which currently rank in the top 40 in the nation. Lake was a perfect 7-for-7 on steal attempts and scored 25 runs this year, garnering just 88 at-bats over her 43 games. Lake carries a 3.95 cumulative grade-point average as an early childhood elementary education major.

Knussman makes her second appearance as an Academic All-American, earning third-team honors in 2014, as well. This season, she batted .434 with a team-best 16 doubles and 11 home runs while driving in 51 runs. Knussman, a leader over the past four years, did whatever was needed in 2016, beginning the season at first base, before moving behind the plate in the catcher position due to injury. In her four years, she accumulated 192 RBI, which rank second in program history. Knussman, an exercise science major, holds a 3.44 GPA.

Brittingham collected her first Academic All-American nod following a season in which she ranked fourth in the nation allowing just 3.88 hits per seven innings in the pitcher's circle. Brittingham went 19-3 this season, with 11 complete games and a 1.44 ERA. She ranks 23rd in the nation in victories, but her value was not just in the circle, as she was dangerous with a bat in her hand, as well, hitting .396 with 17 extra-base hits and scoring 39 runs. Brittingham holds a 3.86 GPA as an exercise science major.

The softball program has now had 11 Academic All-Americans, including six in the past four years.

This year, the softball program posted a 37-6 record and captured the 19th Capital Athletic Conference title in program history and advanced to the championship game of an NCAA regional. It marked the program's 21st NCAA tournament appearance and the eighth straight.

To see the Division III softball Academic All-Americans, click here.

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