Austin, Texas (June 5) - For the first time in program history, two members of the No. 8 MIT softball team have been named to the Google Cloud Division III Academic All-America teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), in the same year for their hard work both on the field and in the classroom. MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-Americas (279) and ranks second across all NCAA Divisions only behind the University of Nebraska.
Senior outfielder Katherine Shade (Glencoe, Ill.) earned a spot on the First Team, while sophomore designated player Sarah Von Ahn (West Linn, Ore.) was placed on the Second Team as both Shade and Von Ahn earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors for the first time in their respective careers this season. The duo from MIT made up two of the four selections from the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and two of eight honorees from the New England region.
Shade and Von Ahn are the ninth and tenths student-athletes in program history to earn Academic All-America honors and first since Tori Jensen back in 2016. Shade is the first softball student-athlete to earn First Team accolades since Julie Chen did so in 1986, while Von Ahn joins Jensen and Cecilia Warpinski as other Second Team selections for the MIT softball program.
Shade, an electrical engineering and computer science major with a 4.00 GPA, is a three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar-Athlete and a three-time New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Academic All-Conference honoree. This spring, Shade played in 49 games and drove in a career-high 17 runs, notched a career-high 39 hits, scored 18 runs and stole eight bases to go along with a batting average of .281. Off the field, Shade is a Gordon Engineers Leader, is the Tournament Director of the MIT Science Olympiad, is the Dining Chair and Parliamentarian of the Masseh Hall Executive Committee and has accepted a full-time position as a Rotational Product Manager with Facebook starting in July.
Von Ahn, a mathematics with computer science major with a 4.00 GPA, tied the single-season program records in doubles (5) and at-bats (168) and broke the single-season RBI record with 40 this spring. The sophomore also led the Engineers offensively in doubles (16) and RBI (40). The sophomore also tallied one home run, scored 25 runs, notched five triples and stole eight bases. Off the field, the sophomore is an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and has previously served as a Software Development Intern at CDK Global and as an Undergraduate Research Intern in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Shade and Von Ahn led MIT to a seventh-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball National Championship in Oklahoma City and guided the Engineers to their first NEWMAC Championship as well as to their best record in program history at 38-11-1 this spring. As a team, the Engineers set eight new program records and had seven student-athletes break individual single-season records.
CoSIDA, which began its recognition of NCAA scholar-athletes in the 1950's, has honored thousands of deserving recipients across all divisions in numerous sports. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her institution and be nominated by his/her Sports Information Director.