Scholar-Athlete Spotlight: Western Illinois

Western Illinois' Kelsey Marlow, Mallory Boyle & Andrew Blackburn
Western Illinois' Kelsey Marlow, Mallory Boyle & Andrew Blackburn

Each month, The Summit League will feature outstanding student-athlete performances from a selected institution as recognized by its Faculty Athletic Representative. The May installment of The Summit League Scholar-Athlete Spotlight features three student-athletes from Western Illinois.

Information written and compiled by Western Illinois.

Kelsey Marlow, Softball
Terre Haute, Ind.
Major: Psychology
Year: So.
GPA: 3.78 

A two-year starting infielder, sophomore Kelsey Marlow has stepped into a leadership role at the plate this season. She leads the team with 10 doubles, three triples, 22 RBIs and has compiled 39 hits. Earlier this season, the sophomore strung together an 11-game hitting streak. Defensively, she has garnered a fielding percentage of .947 and has compiled 54 assists and 71 putouts while splitting time at shortstop and second base. In her freshman campaign, she hit two doubles in a game on separate occasions. In her debut against Butler, she went three-for-four with four RBIs and two runs scored. She ended the year with 20 RBIs and eight doubles. In the classroom she was a Summit League Spring Academic Honor Roll Distinguished Scholar. This season, she has put together nine multiple-hit games including three hits against South Dakota State. She has also had five games with multiple RBIs, including three RBIs against Green Bay and Omaha. In a contest against South Dakota State, she was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.

Mallory Boyle, Women’s Basketball
New Sharon, Iowa
Major: Biology
Year: Jr.
GPA: 3.77

Boyle has excelled both in the classroom and on the basketball court during her junior season. After coming off the bench in each of her first two seasons, Boyle started all but one contest as a junior and ranked third on the team in rebounding. The native of New Sharon, Iowa hit a pair of buzzer-beaters for the Leathernecks this past season. Boyle scored the game-winner as time expired in the 88-87 win over Fort Wayne. She scored the overtime game-winner as time expired in the 99-97 win over Southern Illinois in the WBI opening round, ending her 5-for-5 effort from the field. This past year Boyle set single-game highs in points (15), rebounds (14), blocks and steals (4 each). She’s a two-time Summit League Academic Honor Roll member and last year was a Distinguished Scholar.

Andrew Blackburn, Men’s Golf
Sterling, Ill.
Major: Economics
Year: Jr.
GPA: 3.53

Blackburn has continued his success on both the golf course and in the classroom during the 2015-16 academic year. The junior captain was recently awarded his first Summit League Golfer of the Week honor after finishing third in Western Illinois’ 44th annual Beu/Mussatto Invitational with a 217 (70-72-75). This past fall Blackburn was named The Summit League’s October Golfer of the Month. Blackburn has also recorded five Top 10 finishes this season, and tied his career-low round score of 69 five times this season. His lowest three-round total this season, which was also a career-best score, came in the APSU Intercollegiate when he recorded three-round score of 217 after firing a 69 in each of the three rounds. In each of his three seasons at Western, Blackburn has ranked in the Top 2 of WIU’s stroke average. This season he ranks second on the team and ninth in The Summit League with a career-best average of 74.79. Over the past two years, Blackburn has been named to the Summit League Spring Academic Honor Roll.