STARKVILLE, Miss. – Fifty-four student-athletes from 29 different institutions representing 11 conferences have earned the honor of being named to one of the three 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-American teams, the Association announced on Wednesday.
The three conferences that will be represented at this year’s Women’ College World Series, the Big 12, the Southeastern and the Pacific-10, were also well represented on this season’s All-American teams, accounting for over half of the total selections.
Seven of the eight schools that will compete for a national title at this week’s WCWS in Oklahoma City had at least two selections to one of the three teams this season. Florida led all institutions with six total honorees and tied Alabama and Arizona State for the most first-team choices with three.
The first of six Florida honorees was first baseman Megan Bush, who was selected to the first team. The SEC’s career home run leader will head into Oklahoma City with a .345 batting average and a team-high 78 RBIs.
Joining Bush on the first team were outfielder Kelsey Bruder and at-large choice Brittany Schutte. Bruder is currently batting .386 with 17 home runs, while utility player Schutte has a .322 batting average and a team-leading 45 walks.
The Gator’s lone second team selection this season was pitcher Hannah Rogers. Rogers had an outstanding freshman campaign for Florida and went 33-6 with a 1.59 ERA and 203 strikeouts.
Rounding out the selections for Florida this year were third-teamers Aja Paculba and Michelle Moultrie. Paculba, an outfielder, earned the third All-American honor of her career by hitting .343 on the year and scoring 60 runs. Moultrie was an at-large selection on the team and earned her spot by putting up impressive numbers at the plate and in the field. The junior currently leads the Gators with a .431 batting average and 28 stolen bases, while in the field this season she has been perfect and has not committed an error in 78 chances.
Leading off the four selections for Alabama was outfielder Kayla Braud. Braud currently leads Alabama with a .440 batting average and is third in the nation in stolen bases per game at 0.98.
The other two first-team honorees for Alabama this season were utility/pitcher Jackie Traina and an at-large selection at pitcher, Kelsi Dunne. Traina, a freshman, got it done on both sides of the plate for the Crimson Tide this season by batting .354 and registering a 1.28 ERA. Meanwhile, fellow pitcher Dunne, also took care of business in the circle by allowing just 1.15 earned runs per game and striking out 309 batters on the year.
The last honoree for Alabama was shortstop Whitney Larsen, who made the second team as an at-large choice. Larsen hit .352 this season with 62 RBIs and 13 home runs.
Top-seeded Arizona State was the final of three teams to place three players on the first team this season. Freshman pitcher Dallas Escobedo led the way for the Sun Devils by turning in the 20th-best ERA in the nation at 1.37 and striking out 286 batters.
Catcher Kaylyn Castillo also helped get Arizona State back to Oklahoma City in 2011 by hitting .358 and scoring 36 times.
The final All-American for Arizona State this year was an at-large selection at shortstop, Katelyn Boyd. Boyd turned in a complete performance for her team on the year by batting .437, walking 49 times, hitting 17 home runs and leading the nation in runs per game at 1.25.
The Tigers of Missouri also had three All-Americans this season, placing one on each of the three teams.
Pitcher Chelsea Thomas earned first-team honors this by going 31-6 on the year and recording the nation’s lowest ERA at 0.83.
Missouri’s second-team choice this year was outfielder Ashley Fleming. Fleming batted .358 this season for the Tigers, while also tallying 62 RBIs and slugging .721.
Outfielder Rhea Taylor became a three-time All-American this season for Missouri by leading her team with a .371 batting average and stealing 43 of 45 bases attempted.
California picked up two selections this season, with pitcher Jolene Henderson earning first team honors and outfielder Jamia Reid earning third team honors. Henderson currently has the nation’s second-lowest ERA at 0.87 and has struck out 313 batters, while Reid is hitting .409 and has a team-high 30 stolen bases.
Baylor also had two honorees this year with second-team pitcher Whitney Canion and third-team shortstop Dani Leal. Canion helped lead the Bears back to the WCWS in 2011 by going 29-10 with a 1.28 ERA and 305 strikeouts. Leal also played an integral run in Baylor’s success this season by batting .342 with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs.
The final two All-Americans that will be playing in Oklahoma City this year are pitcher Keilani Ricketts and catcher Jessica Shults of Oklahoma. Ricketts, an at-large selection on the first team, helped pitch the Sooners to the WCWS by tallying 29 wins and striking out 11.4 batters per game, the third highest total in the nation.
Shults was selected to this year’s second team, due in large part to her stellar offensive statistics. She is currently ranked in the top 20 in the nation in three separate categories. She had the 18th most RBIs per game at 1.09, the 10th most total home runs at 19 and the eighth most home runs per game at 0.36.
To view all of the 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Americans, click here.