Six Panthers Named NFCA Scholar-Athletes

Six Panthers Named NFCA Scholar-Athletes

BRADFORD, Pa. – Six members of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford softball team have been named National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athletes.

Junior Natalie Harding, sophomore Maddy Hillery, and freshmen Madison East, Betty Fratercangelo, Sophia Fratercangelo and Lindsey Hull received the honor for earning a 3.5 GPA or higher for the 2016-17 academic year. 

"This award reflects the hard work they put in to excel academically with all the obligations they have as student-athletes," Head Coach Tina Phillips said. "I am extremely proud of these six Panthers and excited to see them get recognized. They exemplify what it means to be a student-athlete at Pitt-Bradford and a member of the softball program."

Since 2003-04, Phillips has seen 49 of her student-athletes receive this honor.

For Harding, this is her second time in as many years to appear on the NFCA Scholar-Athlete list. The athletic training major appeared in 20 games and had 19 at-bats in 2017. The Garfield Heights, Ohio, native catches and plays the outfield, posting a .979 fielding percentage this season.

An applied mathematics major, Hillery played in 28 games and worked 16 hits while scoring 10 runs. In the field, the West Seneca, N.Y., native played second base during her sophomore campaign. 

East served as a mainstay in the lineup for Phillips during her freshman season. The environmental science major earned a .374 batting average with a team-best 32 RBIs and all three of the Panthers' total home runs while appearing in all 39 games. A native of Milton, Pa., the center fielder was named to the AMCC All-Conference Second Team.

Majoring in education, Betty Fratercangelo also saw a considerable amount of time on the diamond for the Panthers in her first season as she worked a .309 batting average in 33 games with 10 RBIs. The Olean, N.Y., native was named to the AMCC All-Conference Third Team.

Sophia Fratercangelo joins her sister on the list and majors in health and physical education. In 2017, she earned 42 at-bats in 19 games and knocked in six runs while scoring four.

A native of Hamburg, N.Y., Hull appeared in 27 games and earned 74 at-bats. The nursing major dropped in 15 hits and drove in 10 runs.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association's college membership consists of head, associate head and assistant coaches, along with directors of operations, volunteer coaches and student assistants at schools across the country. Member schools are eligible for awards every season. The NFCA has representation at all levels, including high school, international, professional, travel and youth fastpitch softball.