Three members of the Francis Marion University softball team – sophomore outfielders Taylor DeLeon and Madison Hatfield and senior catcher Chelsea Welty – have been named to the 2019 Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Softball Team.
Welty has been named to the All-Academic Team for the third consecutive year.
DeLeon has a 3.375 cumulative grade point average as an elementary education major. A native of Summerville, S.C., she's batting .289 with nine runs batted in and 18 runs scored in 48 games this season. As a freshman, she was selected to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll, and has been named to the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll on each possible occasion. DeLeon is also a part of the Baptist Collegiate Ministries.
Hatfield owns a 3.406 GPA as a pre-nursing major and is part of the FMU Honors Program. The Iron Station, N.C., native has scored 10 runs and swiped three bases in 29 games for the Patriots this season. She was selected to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll as a freshman, and to the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll on every occasion. She also serves on Francis Marion's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Welty is a biology and psychology double major with a 3.782 GPA and is also part of the FMU Honors Program. A native of St. Helena, S.C., she has hit .250 through 48 games with four home runs and 30 RBIs. She is also tied for 10th in the conference with 11 doubles, and has thrown out a conference-leading 14 runners attempting to steal.
She is a three-time NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete and was selected to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District® Softball Team for District 3, as selected by CoSIDA. A member of Chi Alpha Sigma national college athlete honor society, Welty has been named to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll and the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll on every possible occasion, and also picked up a D2 ADA Academic Achievement Award in 2017. She has served on the SAAC for three years, and is currently the chapter president.
Francis Marion (31-18) will be the sixth seed for the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, which begins Friday (May 3) in Dahlonega, Ga. The Patriots take on third-seeded Young Harris College in Friday's second quarterfinal at 1:30 p.m. The tournament's semifinals and championship game will be held on Saturday.
DeLeon is a product of Ashley Ridge High School, while Hatfield graduated from East Lincoln High School and Welty from Beaufort High School.
The All-Academic Team is part of a season-long program recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of PBC student-athletes in the classroom as well as on the field. To be eligible for the All-Academic team, a student-athlete must participate in at least half of her
team's games (either a starter or significant contributor), achieve a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), and have completed at least one full academic year at her current institution.
Founded in 1991, the Peach Belt consists of 12 member institutions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. In its short history, the conference boasts 35 NCAA Division II national championships.