SALEM, Va. – Forty-six players from 36 different institutions were announced as 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II All-Americans by the Association on Wednesday night at the NCAA Banquet of Champions in the Community Ballroom of the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va.
Ten schools had two players named to one of the three teams this season, while 26 schools placed one each. Seven of the eight teams vying for this year’s national title combined to place a total of nine players, including five on the first team, on the list, making this year’s national championship tournament one of the most star-studded in recent memory.
Two of three pitchers named to this year’s first team will be on display this weekend in Salem, as Jessica Coan of North Georgia and Brittney Tanner of Midwestern State both received the honor. Coan is currently 27-4 on the year with a 0.95 ERA and 326 strikeouts, while Tanner is 30-8 with a 1.49 ERA and 336 strikeouts.
The other pitcher named to this year’s first team was Rollins’ Hope Bitzer who ended her season with the nation’s lowest ERA, at just 0.61, and a near-perfect 18-1 record. The Tars were the only team to nab two first-team selections this year as Bitzer’s battery-mate Christine Roser made the team as a catcher. Roser led Rollins in batting average at .415 while driving in 48 runs and committing only two errors in over 400 total chances.
Also earning a nod at catcher this season was Lacy Mauro of Bloomsburg, one of just three two-time All-Americans on the first team this season. After being names as a third-team selection in 2010, Mauro jumped up to the first team this year by leading the Huskies offensively with a .404 batting average and allowing just four passed balls all season.
Earning the at-large spot on this year’s first team was another pitcher that is looking to help guide her team to the title this weekend, Erin Holloway on Indiana (PA). Holloway won 27 of her 30 decisions this year while striking out 236 batters and limiting opponents .154 batting average.
Third baseman Nicole Hagenah of C.W. Post also played a key role in helping lead her team to Salem by hitting .468 with 14 homeruns, 61 RBIs and 26 walks. Rounding out the first team selections that will be playing for the national crown was Mary Kelly of Alabama-Huntsville, who made the team as a utility player/non-pitcher. Kelley, who split time in the outfield and behind the plate this season, is currently hitting .383 and has tallied a team-high 17 doubles to go along with five home runs.
Earning the first base spot on this year’s team was Molly Link of Winona State. Link started all 50 games for the Warriors this season and batted .428 while driving in 53 runs. Joining Link in the infield was Armstrong Atlantic second baseman April Jowers. Jowers turned in the third-highest batting average in the country this season at .497, while stealing 28 bases and committing just two errors in the field.
Rounding out the infield on this year’s first team was shortstop Bailey Vrazel of Texas Woman’s University. Vrazel was a terror on the base paths for the Pioneers this year, stealing 74 of 77 bases. In addition to leading the nation in stolen bases, Vrazel led her team with a whopping .423 batting average.
This year’s outfield featured two first-time honorees and a player earning her second consecutive first-team honor. West Texas A&M’s Kim LeComte helped guide the Lady Buffs to their first-ever super regional appearance, while earning her second first-team honor in as many years. LeComte hit .386 this year, while belting a team-high 14 homeruns and slugging an astronomical .707.
The final two outfield spots on the first team went to Grace Slone Collins of Barry and Katelyn Lovato of Adams State. Collins helped the Buccaneers to their first regional appearance since 2008 by batting .433, while scoring 42 runs and driving in an additional 20. Meanwhile, Lovato was a force to be reckoned with for the Grizzlies as she tallied an even 100 hits on the year and finished the season with a .520 on-base percentage.
The designated player spot on this year’s first team went to Grand Valley State’s Katie Martin. Martin led the nation’s hottest hitting offense this season with a .468 batting average, a .898 slugging percentage and a .543 on-base percentage.
The final spot on this year’s first team went to utility/pitcher Lindsey Slocum of Nebraska Omaha. Slocum, who was a 2010 first teamer at the same position, batted .299 and drove in 38 runs at the plate, while also winning 15 games and striking out 166 batters from inside the circle.
To view the complete list of 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II All-Americans, click here.