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Southtownstar Athletes on Campus: St. Rita grad Payton named to All-Big 12 Conference First Team

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Updated: July 17, 2013 7:00AM



For the third consecutive season, University of Texas outfielder Mark Payton has received a postseason plaudit from the Big 12 Conference.

The St. Rita graduate was the lone Longhorn named to the 2013 All-Big 12 Conference First Team. A junior, Payton was a unanimous selection this season after being chosen to the All-Big 12 Second Team last season and the All-Big 12 Freshman Team in 2011.

Payton, who was drafted by Cleveland in the 16th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, led Texas in seven offensive categories this season, including batting average (.393), hits (70), doubles (11), triples (8), total bases (97), slugging percentage (.545) and on-base percentage (.483).

Payton tied for the team lead in RBI (29) and was second in runs (27). Payton also recorded nine outfield assists this season, while pacing the Longhorns in multi-hit games (20) and finishing the season with a streak of reaching base safely in 39 straight games.

Best and brightest

Lincoln-Way East graduate Jill Reid was one of 10 members of Baylor’s women’s softball team to be named to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Team. The Bears led the league with nine members on the first team and 10 student-athletes overall.

The Mokena resident, who is majoring in business, was honored for the first time.

Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services, the Academic All-Big 12 Softball Team consists of 41 members. First-team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second-team members are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher (either cumulative or the two previous semesters) and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

On the diamond, the sophomore second baseman appeared in 38 games this season for Baylor, making 18 starts. Reid batted .353 with six hits in 17 at-bats for the Bears. Reid also scored 10 runs.

All That ‘Kaz’

Webster (Mo.) University senior outfielder Alex Kazmierski was named the Diamond Sports Baseball Hitter of the Week in the Saint Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for the time period ending April 28.

Kazmierski, a graduate of Sandburg, posted a .474 batting average with nine hits and seven RBI. He had six hits and all seven of his RBI in a doubleheader sweep on the road at Spalding University. He went 3-for-5 with one double and five RBI in a 9-4 win in Game 1, followed by three hits, two RBI and one run scored in an 8-5 victory in Game 2. Kazmierski, who also was the Hitter of the Week for the period ending March 17, also added two hits as the Gorloks defeated Washington University 10-7.

On the season, the Orland Park resident batted .307 with six home runs, six doubles and one triple. He also added 35 RBI and 22 runs.



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