Case Western Reserve University senior Katie Wede (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) was presented with the NCAA Elite 90 Award for the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball Championship at the championship banquet on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.
Wede graduated from Case Western Reserve University last Sunday with a perfect 4.00 grade point average and 123 credit hours, with a major in Accounting. She was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team earlier this spring, and is a three-time UAA Spring All-Academic honoree.
Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed. For more information on the Elite 90 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite-90.
Wede becomes the fourth CWRU student-athlete overall and the first woman in school history to claim the honor, which was has been presented annually at each NCAA Championship site since the 2009-10 academic year. She joins Drew Hamilton, who won the award for men's swimming and diving earlier this year, along with Sam Merriman (men's cross country, 2016) and Derek Reinbold (men's tennis, 2014) as the only other Spartans to ever win the award. Wede is also the first ever University Athletic Association softball player to win the award, and is one of just 19 athletes to claim the honor in the conference's history.
In addition to her work in the classroom, Wede has been one of the team's leaders on the field, earning All-UAA First Team honors this season for the second time over her career. She has started all 47 of the team's games during the season and will enter the NCAA Championships with a .321 batting average with four doubles, 15 runs batted in and 40 runs scored, while stealing a school-record 26 bases on 28 tries. She is also the program's career record holder with76 stolen bases. Wede was named the Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Super Regional and earned UAA Player of the Week honors after batting .400 (four-for-10) with two runs scored and two stolen bases during the three games at Hope College.
The Spartans, who have gone a program-best 37-10 in 2018, will open play at the double-elimination NCAA Championships against the second-ranked University of Texas – Tyler (43-3) on Thursday, May 24th at 5:00 p.m. ET.