June 30, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -
Recently graduated UAB softball player Natalie Mitchell has been selected for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. The one-time grants of $7,500 each are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports. Each sports season (fall, winter and spring), there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships available for women.
Mitchell, who just two weeks ago received the Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship from Conference USA, is one of only three softball players and the only C-USA student-athlete to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship this spring.
Mitchell, a native of Kingston, Pa., graduated in May with a 4.0 GPA and a bachelor's degree in molecular biology with a minor in chemistry. She was accepted into the Fifth Year Master's Program in the UAB Department of Biology and is working to earn her master's degree before enrolling this December in medical school.
"This is a great honor for Natalie and it speaks so highly of her successful undergraduate career," UAB head coach Marla Townsend said. "With this award the NCAA recognizes her outstanding achievements and potential for future greatness."
A member of the Science and Technology Honors Program, Mitchell received the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal all four years at UAB. She and women's tennis player Jenny Cape shared the highest GPA among all graduating Blazer student-athletes this spring.
An infielder on the softball diamond, Mitchell helped UAB to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011, the first two postseason trips in program history. She started 95 games over her final three years with the program and finished her senior campaign with a .366 on-base percentage and committed just three errors in the field.
To be eligible for a postgraduate scholarship, student-athletes must be in their final year of athletic eligibility, maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2, have performed with distinction in their sport, be an outstanding citizen and intend to continue their academic work beyond the baccalaureate level.
Mitchell is the second NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient for UAB in the past three years, following former baseball player James Oliver in 2009.