Blinn softball player Calli Birch awarded Atkinson Cup

As a result of her success on the softball field and in the classroom, Blinn College softball player Calli Birch has been named the 2018 Dr. James H. Atkinson Cup winner.

The Atkinson Cup is awarded each year to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average. A sophomore from British Columbia, Birch maintained a 3.87 grade point average during her two years at Blinn.

"We always look for quality student-athletes, and Calli fits that description," said Rick Church, Blinn head coach. "She is a quality kid who was a great leader through her actions in the classroom and on the field."

As a freshman, she earned first-team all-conference honors after finishing the season with a .352 batting average, driving in 18 runs and managing 37 hits. In her sophomore season, Birch hit .442 while producing 42 hits and knocking in 14 runs.

It really is nice to have your hard work recognized because academics were my first priority here," Birch said.

Sponsored by the Buccaneer Alumni Lettermen Association, the Atkinson Cup was founded in 2000 to honor the sophomore student-athlete with the highest GPA in a minimum of 48 transferable hours. The award is named for former Blinn athletic director and president, the late Dr. James H. Atkinson.  

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 38 NJCAA national championships since 1987.