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NAKKEN AND BLAIR BOTH RECIPIENTS OF NFCA SCHOLAR-ATHLETE ACCOLADES

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State softball's Alyssa Nakken and Lauren Blair both received the Scholar-Athlete Award from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) after recording a 3.5 gpa or better during the 2011-12 academic year. The NFCA announced each of the award winners yesterday.

Nakken, who was a senior in 2012 and graduated in the spring, earned the award all four years of her career. Blair will be a senior this season and has now earned the award three straight years.

The awards also marks the eighth straight season Sacramento State has received at least two NFCA Scholar-Athlete selections. In addition, the Hornets have been represented by at least one player on the NFCA Scholar-Athlete team 16 times in the last 17 years.

Nakken, who graduated with a degree in psychology, was a first team all-PCSC Coastal Division selection last year after batting .336 with 32 runs scored, six doubles, eight home runs, 27 RBIs, a .545 slugging percentage and a .389 on-base percentage. She was also named the PCSC's Scholar-Athlete of the Year for her academic and athletic accomplishments as well as community service involvement. A three-time all-PCSC performer, the Woodland, Calif., native ranks first in putouts (1,265), second in home runs (19), third in runs scored (115), fourth in total bases (264), fifth in slugging percentage (.470) and doubles (34), and sixth in RBIs (83) in Sacramento State's Div. I-era career record book.

Blair, who is a liberal studies major from Visalia, has appeared in a combined 58 games for the Hornets over the last three seasons. That includes starts at second base, shortstop and left field, and a team-high 29 appearances as a pinch runner over the last three years. Not only has Blair received NFCA Scholar-Athlete honors each of her three years with the program, she was also named to the Pacific Coast Softball Conference's Commissioner's Honor Roll each season as well.

Sacramento State begins the 2013 season at the Fresno State Kickoff Tournament on Feb. 8-10. Last year's team finished with a 27-19 record, the program's fifth best mark since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990. After spending the previous 10 years in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference, the Hornets will play in the newly-formed Big Sky Conference this season.

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