Class of 2010 valedictorian, All-GNAC softball player now candidate for national honor
BOSTON, MA – Courtney Wallace, a four-time First Team All-Great Northeast Athletic Conference catcher and the valedictorian of the Pine Manor College Class of 2010, has been named 2010 GNAC Woman of the Year, the league announced Monday afternoon.
“Through community service activities, I have learned the importance of social responsibility and that helping others only strengthens the community,” Wallace said. “Through athletics I have learned some of the most important values: teamwork, accountability, hard work, mental toughness and confidence. Without these lessons I would not be the person that I am today.”
One of the most prolific hitters in Pine Manor and GNAC history, Wallace was equally adept at the plate as she was in the classroom and community from the moment she arrived on Chestnut Hill. As a freshman in 2006-07, Wallace ranked eighth in the nation in runs per game (1.31) and eleventh in slugging percentage (.879), beginning a string of eight consecutive semesters as a dean’s list student and member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
A two-sport student-athlete who joined the cross country team starting her sophomore year, Wallace led Pine Manor softball to a first-place finish and 31-11 record in her second season. She ranked in the Top 25 nationally in slugging (19th, .826) and on-base percentage (21st, .546) in taking the Gators to the conference finals. Meanwhile, she also began her work as a teaching assistant in biology as a sophomore, volunteering in speaking to the board of trustees, coaching an Under-14 softball team and making the first of three consecutive GNAC All-Academic Teams.
Wallace earned her third consecutive All-GNAC First Team selection as a junior, volunteering for “Coats for Kids” clothing drive, “Walk for Hunger” fundraiser, "Pink Zone" cancer awareness effort (right) and showing leadership on-campus as a residence assistant for a second straight year. She earned the Pine Manor Scholar-Athlete award and was named to the GNAC Cross Country All-Sportsmanship Team in 2008-09, both honors she would renew a year later.
As a senior, Wallace undoubtedly etched her name in Pine Manor athletic and academic lore. On April 17, Wallace became the school’s all-time hits leader in a win over Emmanuel, surpassing the 200-hit milestone later that evening. She finished fifth nationally in slugging at a robust .910 slugging percentage and finished 41st in the nation in doubles, at 0.39 per game, earning Pine Manor’s Henry K. White Award for career achievement in athletics.
She also served as vice president of the science club and volunteered as a peer writing tutor for international students. Academically, the senior biology major and English minor was named valedictorian of the Pine Manor Class of 2010, graduating last month with a 3.98 grade point average.
This marks the second time in under a year that a Pine Manor student-athlete has received a league wide honor. Wallace’s softball teammate Kayla Nielsen was named 2009 GNAC Sportswoman of the Year last August.
Wallace is now a candidate for NCAA Woman of the Year. According to NCAA.org, the award “honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.”
Ten finalists from Division III will be named by the NCAA in August. The national winner will be announced at the Woman of the Year Awards Dinner on October 17.
Tue, June 8, 2010
by Ryan McCarthy, Sports Information Director