San Antonio – St. Mary’s University softball player Sarah Cooper was named ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Six for her work in the classroom and the field, it was announced on Tuesday.

Cooper (Sr., Houston) finished her Rattlers career in style, earning second team Academic All-District Six honors for the first time. She hit .312 with seven doubles, two homeruns, 31 RBI and 19 runs scored this season. She hit .358 against Heartland foes in 2008. Cooper was named All-Heartland Conference for the second straight season in 2008 and earned Heartland Conference Hitter of the Week honors once as well.

Off the field Cooper had a 3.50 grade point average in exercise and sports science at St. Mary’s. She was a two-time National Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Scholar Athlete and was a three-year member of the Heartland Conference President’s Honor Roll.

Cooper is the third St. Mary’s softball player to earn Academic All-District honors over the last five years. Veronica Garcia was a second team honoree in 2003 and Elizabeth Beyer was named second team in 2005. Earlier this year Elizabeth Joyce was named NFCA Scholar Athlete. St. Mary’s has had 36 student-athletes earn NFCA Scholar Athlete honors since the program began in 1999. At least one Rattler has been honored each of the nine years, including a school record of seven during the Rattlers national championship year of 2002.

To earn Academic All-District recognition, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for his/her career. No athlete is eligible until he/she has reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution. In the cases of transfers, graduate students and junior college graduates, the athlete must have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution to be eligible.  District six is made up of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

The Rattlers ended the 2008 season with a record of 53-12 overall and 26-2 in Heartland Conference play. The Rattlers won the Heartland Conference regular season and tournament titles for the first time. They won the Heartland Conference Tournament for the eighth straight season and also advanced to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament for the eighth straight season. The 53 wins is the second most in school history.

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