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Four Softball Owls Named NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes

October 8, 2013

It might be the offseason for the Keene State College softball team, but four of its members were recently recognized for their accomplishments in the classroom last year.

Jessica Fiorenza, (Wakefield, Mass.) a senior on last year’s team, along with junior Samantha Nitso (Londonderry, N.H.) and sophomores Stephanie Long (Salem, N.H.) and Anna Glassman (East Granby, Conn.) have been named All-America Scholar Athletes by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The award is bestowed upon any player submitted by a member coach who achieved a 3.50 grade point average or higher during the 2012-13 academic year.

I’m really proud of the honor,” said Nitso, a computer science major. “I have to be very careful allocating my time during the softball season, but the professors in the computer science department are really helpful when I have to miss classes for a game.” Nitso, a versatile infielder for the Owls, says she wants to work in the computer forensic field when she graduates.

Long, an outfielder and the teams’ leadoff hitter, said the honor means a lot to her. “My parents have always stressed school comes before sports, so I always hold academics really high,” she said. “You get pretty busy during the season.”

Like a batter at the plate, Long, an elementary education major, says it’s all about staying focused. “I feel that softball makes me more disciplined,” said Long describing her in-season time-management skills.

Glassman, who hopes to be the next Diane Sawyer, is a broadcast journalism major at Keene State. “The honor means a lot to me because I’m going into a very competitive field,” she said. “I take my studies very seriously,”

Glassman, who saw the majority of her playing time in right field last season, got a glimpse of her intended career field this past summer working at a local cable access station in Windsor (Conn.). “I didn’t think I was going to be doing anything more than get coffee for the people I worked for,” said Glassman. “Since it was a community access station, I was able to take on a lot more responsibility.”

Glassman jumped right into the batters’ box with her own show called ‘Cat Connection’, which she not only produced and wrote the script for, but also served as her own camera crew. “I learned a tremendous amount,” said Glassman about doing a show that helped a local shelter get its animals adopted.

A Safety and Occupational Health and Applied Sciences major at Keene State, Fiorenza recently got a job at Boston’s Children Hospital. “It was a great sense of accomplishment,” said Fiorenza, the Owls starting centerfielder last spring. “I enjoyed all my time at Keene State, playing softball and doing well academically,” she said. “It made my college experience better than I could ever imagine.”