Three-time All-American softball pitcher Kayla Jackson capped her spectacular playing career at the University of Arkansas at Monticello Wednesday night by being named Female Athlete of the Year by the Great American Conference.
Jackson was presented the award at the first-ever GAC Night of Champions at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Little Rock. Arkansas Tech basketball player Johnie Davis was named the Male Athlete of the Year. Both awards were voted on by the league’s sports information directors or designees, who were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
Jackson led the Cotton Blossoms to a 40-14 record, a 21-5 mark in league play, and the inaugural Great American Conference regular season and tournament championships in 2012. The Hallsville, Texas native accumulated a lengthy list of postseason honors, including selection to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America second team, making her the first softball player in UAM history to earn All-America honors three times.
Jackson was the GAC Pitcher of the Year, earned first team All-GAC honors as a pitcher and was second team All-GAC as a first baseman. She allowed just three runs during the 2012 GAC Softball Tournament, earning tournament MVP honors.
Jackson was an All-South Central Region selection by both Daktronics and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. During the season, Jackson led UAM on a 16-game winning streak and was the primary reason the Cotton Blossoms did not lose a series throughout the year.
Jackson’s season statistics included a 31-6 record, a 1.07 earned run average, 26 complete games, 10 shut-outs, and two no-hitters. was an instrumental part of UAM’s success. Jackson led the league in wins, earned run average, opposing batting average (.168) and strikeouts (185).
In addition to her pitching numbers, she was also among the league’s best offensive players. Jackson tied for the league’s home run title with 11, led the league with 42 runs batted in, ranked third in slugging percentage (.632), third in on-base percentage (.453), third in hits (61) and second in total bases (103).
Jackson graduated in May.