Haller, five teammates win academic honors

First baseman Whitney Haller was named the 2009 ACC Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year on August 6. The honor comes at the end of Haller’s distinguished four-year career with the Jackets, during which the Marietta, Ga. native held up a 3.94 GPA as an Industrial Engineering major while setting several team records on the field.

As a senior, Haller helped the No. 13 Jackets to their first-ever Super Regional appearance earlier this year, as well as victories in both the ACC regular season and tournament title. She holds the all-time Tech and ACC records for both home runs and RBI and was tabbed earlier this year a first-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American. She also ranks in the top five for both Tech and the ACC in several other career categories including batting average, slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, doubles and fielding percentage.

Last season Haller had a .381 batting average this year, 69 hits, 35 runs scored, 10 doubles, 12 home runs, 117 total bases, a .646 slugging percentage and a .449 on-base percentage. Her 55 RBI were the highest both on the Jackets and in the ACC.

The strong senior campaign concludes a career in which Haller had 61 home runs and 280 hits and finished with a career OPS of 1.089 and a fielding percentage of .990 at first base.

In addition to Haller, five other Jackets were selected to the All-ACC Academic Softball team. Tech and Florida State are tied for having the most athletes selected to the team, which requires that student-athletes maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the most recent semester and for their careers.

Seniors Jen Yee and Blair Shimandle, junior Christy Jones, and sophmores Shannon Bear and Kelsi Weseman all join Haller on the All-ACC Academic team. Both Haller and Shimandle have been four-time selections.

Other awards and honorable mentions that Haller obtained this year include being named a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award this year, named a first-team All-Senior All-American by Lowe’s, a third-team Easton All-American and a first-team NFCA All-Southeast Region.

The Jackets have had six members on the All-ACC Academic Team for two years in a row. All eight ACC softball teams were represented on the 30-member team. Tech and Florida State both had six selections, Virginia contributed five players, North Carolina gave four, Boston College placed three, and Maryland, NC State and Virginia Tech each had two apiece.

Haller and ten other members of the All-ACC Academic Softball team were also placed in the All-ACC in 2009. Four of those individuals have made multiple All-ACC teams, 13 have earned All-ACC Academic accolades for the second consecutive season, and six for the third consecutive season, but Haller and Shimandle are the only ones in the conference to earn the honors four years in a row.