Three local high school graduates were among the seven Missouri State University softball players named by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as All-American Scholar-Athletes in the organization's annual recognition of its top individual and team academic performers.
Blue Springs South High School graduate Erin Griesbauer, William Chrisman graduate Kyana Mason and Blue Springs graduate Payton Minnis were among the seven Bears honored for achieving a 3.5 grade-point average or higher for the previous academic year.
Coach Holly Hesse's club finished the 2018-19 academic term with a 3.350 grade-point average, which tied Missouri State as the 91st-highest academic program among all NCAA Division I schools. The Bears have finished in the top 26 each of the previous five years, including the nation's second-best GPA in 2017 and 10th-best in 2016.
Mason and Minnis had the two best batting averages for 30-21 Missouri State last spring. Mason, a senior third baseman, hit .368 with four home runs, 16 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and 34 runs, while Minnis, a freshman second baseman and outfielder, hit .344 with 12 RBIs, 22 runs and six stolen bases. Griesbauer, a junior pitcher, went 7-8 with a 3.60 earned run average.
The other MSU players honored were Hannah Heinrichs, Darby Joerling, Abi LaValley and Carolyn Stock.