PROVIDENCE, RI. – When she wasn't hitting home runs and helping the Johnson & Wales University softball team to its fourth-straight GNAC Championship, senior Katie Rufo was hitting home runs in the classroom. She was honored for her excellence on and off the field with a First-Team Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-America award.
A native of Natick, Mass., Rufo is the third JWU student-athlete to collect Academic All-America honors this year and the second for the softball program in as many years. Recently, she graduated with a 4.0 grade point average in sports, entertainment and event management.
The CoSIDA award is one of many Rufo has collected this spring. She was a First-Team-All-GNAC selection for the second year in a row and picked up her second NFCA All-Region award.
Rufo was one of the top hitters in the GNAC this season, ranking second with 42 RBIs while her seven home runs were fourth to go along with a .381 batting average. She ranked in the conference top 10 for seventh offensive categories.
Even though she only played at JWU for two years after transferring from Elon, Rufo cracked the all-time top 10 in four categories, including seventh with 12 home runs. Her 12 doubles and seven home runs this year rates sixth on the single-season charts.
As if classes and softball weren't enough, Rufo served as the secretary for the JWU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and spearhead the softball team's community service efforts. At the end of the year banquet, she received the Thomas Carmody Award for Character, Spirit, and Community Service which is presented to the outstanding male or female senior athlete who exemplifies outstanding academic success; significant athletic contribution; commitment to community service; and loyalty, effort, and enthusiasm.
Rufo was joined by Suffolk pitcher Taylor Holmes – a third-team selection - as the only two GNAC representatives.