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July 09, 2008

USI's Wood awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship,
Becomes second USI student-athlete to be awarded scholarship

Kathy Wood

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Former University of Southern Indiana softball outfielder Kathy Wood (Lynnville, Indiana) was named the recipient of a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Wood becomes the second USI student-athlete to be recognized by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee.

She joins USI and GLVC Hall of Fame women's basketball player LeAnn Freeland, who was awarded the scholarship in 1997 after helping the Screaming Eagles to the NCAA Division II championship game.

Wood was among 58 Postgraduate Scholarship award winners—29 male student-athletes and 29 female student-athletes—who participated in spring sports that included men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, men's and women's outdoor track and field, women's lacrosse, women's rowing, baseball, and softball.

"This scholarship is a really big honor because it recognizes you as an athlete as well as a student and it is all divisions," Wood said. "To be one of the top 29 girls in the entire country is a huge honor.

"It also represents another way for the community to see that I put just as much effort into academics as athletics," Wood concluded.

In addition to the spring sport honorees, the NCAA also awards 116 postgraduate scholarships to student-athletes participating in fall and winter sports in which the NCAA conducts championships or participates in as an emerging sport, for a total of 174 postgraduate scholarships annually.

To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.200 (on a 4.000 scale) or its equivalent, and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete must have behaved, both on and off the field, in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution and intercollegiate athletics. The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student.

Wood, who earned GLVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors for softball, was a three-time All-GLVC and two-time All-Region performer for the Eagles. She demonstrated excellence on the field in a way few have, especially after a torn ACL threatened to end her 2007 season.

Instead of having the season-ending surgery, Wood postponed the operation and returned to the field to help her teammates qualify for the league tournament and nearly earn a berth in the NCAA II Tournament.

She was instrumental in the Eagles' 2006 run to the NCAA II Tournament when she hit a career-high .392.

As a senior in 2008, Wood hit .373 with a career-high six doubles, seven triples, and 14 RBIs. She also had 16 sacrifice bunts to help USI to its fourth straight 30-win season and 10th in the last 12 years.

"Kathy has worked so hard in preparing for her future and is extremely deserving of this scholarship," USI Head Coach Sue Kunkle said. "In her four years at USI, Kathy balanced a demanding academic schedule while accumulating an amazing amount of athletic accolades.

"She has been a very talented student-athlete at USI and will do great things in her future," Kunkle continued. "We will continue to read about her for years to come."

Wood graduated from USI this spring with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. She will attend Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis next year to pursue a master's degree in physical therapy. She also plans to pursue a doctorate degree in the same field.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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