June 9, 2022 Article from GOBLUERAIDERS.COM


Mead named 2022 C-USA Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship recipient

Photo of Gretchen Mead

Dallas – Middle Tennessee Softball's Gretchen Mead was selected as one of 14 recipients for the 2022 Conference USA Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship as announced by the league office on Thursday.

"Gretchen Mead is one of our biggest success stories," expressed head coach Jeff Breeden. "She came to us from Texas and only did one thing:  work her rear-end off to become the best she could be. She had a very good senior season and is a great teammate to her peers! Her best quality is that she is a caring and heartfelt young lady! She represents our university in a manner that should make everyone proud to be a Blue Raider! She is very deserving of this accolade and is going to be a dynamite teacher."

Mead is the first Blue Raider Softball player to receive the scholarship since Middle Tennessee joined C-USA in 2013. She will graduate this upcoming fall with a degree in special education and with a minor in health and human performance and will enroll in MTSU's Master of Education program to pursue a career as a special education teacher.

A native of Kingwood, Texas, Mead has been a four-year member of the Blue Raider pitching staff. During her breakout senior campaign, she led the Blue Raiders with a career-best 28 appearances and finished third on the team with 13 starts. Mead led the Blue Raiders in innings pitched, throwing a career-best 94 and two thirds, and striking out a team and career-best 73 batters and produced four complete games and one save during the 2022 season. She had a career-defining performance this year against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on March 18, producing the second complete-game shutout of her career, while also recording a career-high 10 strikeouts, becoming the first Blue Raider since the 2018 season to record 10-or-more strikeouts in a game.

This year marks the 14th year that the scholarship has been awarded and is named in honor of Dr. Jim Castañeda, who served Rice for 46 years as an educator, coach and Faculty Athletics Representative before he passed away in 2008. Every season, C-USA grants the $4,000 scholarship to distinguished graduates selected by the league's Faculty Athletic Representatives and approved by the Board of Directors.

2022 Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients

Rocio Safont, Charlotte, Women's Tennis
Lily Richman, Florida Atlantic, Beach Volleyball
Madison Lewis, FIU, Softball
Torren Kalaskey, Marshall, Women's Golf
Gretchen Mead, Middle Tennessee, Softball
Lyric Choice, North Texas, Women's Track and Field
Steele Netterville, Louisiana Tech, Baseball
John Morton, Old Dominion, Football
Nicole Lennon, Rice, Volleyball
Ta'Quoris Newsome, Southern Miss, Football
Brady Greene, UAB, Baseball
Reynaldo Flores, UTEP, Football
Adrian Rodriguez, UTSA, Men's Basketball
Kenlie Barrett, WKU, Women's Golf

Middle Tennessee Recipients by Year

2014 – Laken Leonard, Women's Basketball
2015 – Leighton Gasque, Football
2016 – Nayara Moraes, Women's Tennis
2017 – Max Linder, Football
2018 – Jenna Burris, Women's Golf
2019 – Scheldon Paulk, Baseball
2020 – Tanner Owens, Men's Golf
2021 – Peyton DePriest, Soccer
2022 – Gretchen Mead, Softball