SCOOBA - Securing a second national academic honor this year, the East Mississippi Community College softball team has claimed top accolades among the nation's junior college programs in the 2013 National Fastpitch Coaches Association's Top 10 All-Academic Team Rankings, released this week by the NFCA office headquartered in Louisville, Ky.

Head coach Kyndall White's EMCC Lady Lions topped all eligible junior colleges nationally with a 3.568 team grade point average compiled during the 2012-13 academic year. Following East Mississippi within the junior college division were Wallace State CC-Hanceville (3.538), South Mountain CC (3.421), Eastern Arizona College (3.420), and Snead State CC (3.406).

This past June, EMCC earned the distinction of being the 2012-13 NJCAA Softball Academic Team of the Year for achieving a 3.59 cumulative GPA to rank first nationally among the 369 colleges that compete in softball at the junior college level. The NJCAA's composite GPA numbers include all classes taken by every player during their entire junior college career, while the NFCA's figures represent grades obtained by all players only during the 2012-13 academic year.

In addition, East Mississippi's Lady Lion softball program has collected NJCAA All-Academic Team recognition each of the past four years for annually having composite team GPAs of 3.00 or higher.

During the 2009-10 and 2010-11 academic years, the EMCC softball team posted back-to-back No. 5 national academic team rankings within the NFCA's junior college division.

In the other university/college divisions of this year's NFCA Top 10 All-Academic Team Rankings, the University of Alabama led the NCAA Division I ranks with a 3.690, while Ohio Dominican University (3.632) and Emerson College (3.700) paced the NCAA Division II and III programs, respectively. Taylor University (3.615) topped all NAIA schools nationally, with William Carey University finishing in sixth place with a 3.546 team GPA for 2012-13.

On the field, the EMCC Lady Lions will begin their fall softball slate by playing host to Marion Military Institute in a Wednesday (Sept. 25) doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. on the Scooba campus. EMCC will also take on Mississippi State University in a single contest set for Sunday, Oct. 6 in Ridgeland.