NEWTON, Mass. – Senior softball pitcher Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) has been selected to the 2017 College Sports Information Director's Association (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Team, making her the first Mount Ida student-athlete to receive this honor.
Handzel, who was picked as one of two pitchers on the Division 3 team for District 1, which comprises all of New England and upstate New York, was the only player from a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) institution.
While maintaining a 3.88 grade point average in the Interior Architecture Design major, Handzel, who was recently selected as the Mount Ida Scholar Athlete of the Year, finished her senior season as one of the most dominant pitchers in program history. She struck out 132 batters in 147 innings pitched, and earned 11 victories while posting a 2.81 earned run average. Handzel has over 500 strikeouts for her Mount Ida career, by far the most of any Mustang hurler.
Off of the field, Handzel is an impressive student who last year was a finalist for the Design Showdown at the Design New England Competition. She is the president of the Interior Design Society, a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society and the US Green Building Council, and one of the softball team's representatives on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Handzel sits in good company on this year's team, along with multiple players from WPI and MIT, both strong softball programs from schools with outstanding academic pedigrees. Also represented on this year's team are student-athletes from Tufts University, Springfield College, Wellesley College, University of Southern Maine and Castleton University.
The CoSIDA Academic All-District teams are voted by CoSIDA members within their own district. In order to be eligible, a player must have reached sophomore standing, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher, and be a starter or a key reserve on their program's varsity athletic team. The nominations take into account academic performance, athletic achievements, leadership and community service, and campus involvement.
Handzel will now move on to the national committee, who will select the 2017 Academic All-America teams later this month.