LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Diamond Sports announced on Tuesday the 10 student-athletes that have earned the honor of being named as a 2012 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year.
The Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year award is presented annually to the top catcher from an NFCA member institution in each of the following divisions: NCAA (Divisions I, II and III), NAIA, NJCAA (Divisions I, II and III), Cal JC, NWAACC and high school.
A committee comprised of head coaches in each of the 10 divisions determined the winner of their respective award. The winners of the 2012 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year award are as follows:
NCAA Division I
JESSICA SHULTS, UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
Shults helped the Sooners reach the best-of-three championship round at the 2012 Women’s College World Series and to a 54-10 overall record while combining with USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Keilani Ricketts to form one of the top pitching/catching batteries in the nation. The junior hit .378 overall while registering 20 HR’s, to rate 10th in all of NCAA Division I, slugging at a .755 clip and knocking in 1.02 runs-per-contest for an explosive OU offense that scored nearly 6.4 runs-per-game.
NCAA Division II
NATHALIE TIMMERMANS, UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
Timmermans helped the Bronchos to the program’s best season ever in 2012, finishing 46-9 overall and winning the South Central regional championship en route to a third-place national finish. The senior led NCAA Division II in total home runs (23) and runs scored per game (1.36), while rating second in homers per game (0.42), fourth in slugging percentage (.909), seventh in RBIs per game (1.24), ninth in on-base percentage (.538) and 12th in batting average (.463). She set single-season school records for HRs, runs (75), hits (81) and walks (30) while throwing out nine of 24 base stealers.
NCAA Division III
EMILIE LEPP, LINFIELD COLLEGE
A repeat Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year winner, Lepp helped guide the Wildcats back to the national championship game while totaling 46 victories, a ninth consecutive Northwest Conference title and a third-straight regional crown. The senior hit an impressive .384 at the dish with 12 doubles, a NCAA-best 17 HR’s and 63 RBIs, while heading the squad in steals with 29 thefts in 30 attempts. By crossing the dish 67 times, Lepp finished her career at Linfield as the NCAA Division III leader in career runs scored (247). She committed just three miscues in 352 chances behind the plate for an impressive .991 fielding percentage.
KYLEE ROUNSAVILLE, OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY
A sophomore catcher at OCU, Rounsaville played a key role in the Stars’ 47-20 campaign as her squad made the program’s 13th national championship game appearance and captured the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament title. The NFCA All-American hit .384 overall with 78 hits, 11 doubles, 12 HR’s and 50 RBIs. Rounsaville also threw out seven base stealers and boasted a .990 fielding percentage.
NJCAA Division I
GINA MENGWASSER, SEMINOLE STATE COLLEGE (OK)
A sophomore catcher at Seminole State College (Okla.), Mengwasser helped lead the Trojans to to a second place finish in the NJCAA Region II Tournament and a 44-13 overall record, posting a .477 batting average with 22 HR’s and 65 RBIs.
NJCAA Division II
DESIREA GIL, PHOENIX COLLEGE
Gil was a standout for the Bears in 2012 as the program secured its ninth all-time NJCAA National Championship. The sophomore hit .395 overall with 64 runs scored, 12 doubles and rated third in the nation with a staggering 27 HR’s to go along with 70 RBIs. She also turned in a .966 fielding percentage, committing just six errors behind the plate.
NJCAA Division III
AMANDA REID, JOLIET JUNIOR COLLEGE
A NJCAA Division III All-American in 2012, Reid helped her Joliet Junior College squad to a 20-29-1 overall record and an 8-9 mark in the Illinois N4C Conference. The sophomore from Lockport, Ill., hit a staggering .474 overall with 17 two-baggers, 13 HR’s, 42 runs scored and 59 total RBIs, while making just a pair of miscues for an impressive .993 fielding mark.
ANNETTE MERJANO, SIERRA COLLEGE
Merjano was an integral part in Sierra College’s softball program winning a Big 8 Conference title and both regional and super regional crowns on the way to a berth in the CCCAA State Softball Championship. A catcher/infielder for the Wolverines, she led the team in hits (72) and doubles (20), while rating second on the squad in HR’s (15) and RBIs (59).
JARICA MARTARANO, TREASURE VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Martarano hit .456 with 15 doubles, nine HR’s and 38 RBIs for Treasure Valley Community College, leading the Chukars to a top eight finish in the 2012 Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Softball Championship Tournament.
TAYLORE FULLER, CHIEFLAND (FL) HIGH SCHOOL
Fuller, the Florida Class 1A State Player of the Year, posted some eye-opening numbers at the plate. A Florida recruit, she batted .778 with 14 home runs, nine doubles, six triples and 33 RBIs while scoring 52 runs and swiping a perfect 24 bases in 24 attempts.