Softball - Wed, May 30, 2007
Delaware, Ohio - Saint Xavier University senior right fielder Nicole Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) was named a first team honoree in the College Division of the 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Softball Team when the national committee released the national honors Wednesday. This is the second straight year that Barker has earned a spot on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Softball Team after garnering third team honors as a junior following the 2006 season.

"Nicole definitely epitomizes the term ‘student-athlete'," said SXU softball coach Myra Minuskin. "She possesses the work ethic to excel in both academics and athletics and realizes the advantages of performing well in both areas. I have no doubts that she will be successful in whatever she puts her mind to and it was truly a privilege to coach her during her collegiate career."

Barker led SXU with a batting average of .426 (69-for-162) and 40 runs scored over all 45 games. In addition, she also tied for the team-lead with 16 stolen bases and four triples. Barker majored in business and graduated from Saint Xavier University earlier this month with a 3.89 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) on a 4.00 scale.

To be nominated for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Softball Team, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA for her career. Student-athletes are not eligible until they have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their current institution. Student-athletes must also have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution to be eligible.

Saint Xavier finished its 2007 season with a 30-15 overall record and the 2007 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament crown. The Cougars also qualified for the NAIA Region VII Softball Tournament with the No. 2 seed.