The staff at Golfweek magazine Friday named Austin Ernst’s NCAA women’s golf championship victory the third-best story of 2011 in women’s college golf.

Ernst used a hole-in-one and a long birdie on the second and third holes of her final round to kick start a six-under round of 66 that propelled her to a three-shot victory to become the first LSU women’s golfer to capture the individual national crown in the sport.

The No. 1 story was UCLA’s win of the national championship in 2011 and No. 2 was also about the Bruins’ and the story of star Stephanie Kono having to reluctantly having to turn pro if she earned her LPGA card earlier this month, which she did.

Women’s basketball

TICKET MINI-PLANS NOW ON SALE: Two new exciting mini plans for the remainder of the 2011-12 LSU women’s basketball season are now on sale at www.LSUtix.net and the LSU Athletic Ticket Office.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling 1-800-960-TKTS or 225-578-2184 or in person at the LSU Athletic Ticket Office on the first floor of the LSU Athletic Administration Building.

The All-SEC mini plan costs $24 allowing fans to choose any four Southeastern Conference games during the season. The 3-point Play mini plan allows a fan to pick any three games for a combined price of $15 general admission.

Academic honors

SIX RECOGNIZED FOR ACADEMICS: The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes honored six LSU student-athletes as part of their academic achievements and community service for December.

Each month, five student-athletes are recognized for their academic improvement, dedication and proven ability.

In addition, one student-athlete is chosen through LSU’s Student-Athlete Affairs program for their volunteerism and commitment to the community.

December’s student-athletes of the month are Chase Clement (football), Benjamin Domingue (football), Austin Ernst (women’s golf), Marissa Maas (volleyball) and Ebie Wilson (women’s tennis). Craig Loston (football) was selected as the Shaquille O’Neal CHAMPS/Student-Athlete Affairs Athlete of the Month.

For putting forth extra effort in the classroom and community in addition to their rigorous academic and competition schedules, these six student-athletes will have their pictures displayed on the wall in the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes.