LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The NFCA revealed 32 student-athletes from 21 different institutions have been selected 2019 NFCA NAIA All-American teams, announced the Association on Wednesday morning.
Oklahoma City University, the 2019 national runner-up, led the way with four representatives. Marian University Indianapolis and University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma earned three nods, while Georgia Gwinnett College, Olivet Nazarene, Oregon Tech and Southern Oregon University each had two student-athletes recognized.
For the third consecutive season, OCU’s All-American Jaci Smith was selected Diamond Catcher of the Year, while her teammate Kennedy Jackson was tabbed the New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe Award.
Garnering first-team accolades for the Stars is Smith, Jackson and Baileigh Loux. A three-time first-team NFCA All-American, Smith posted NAIA single-season records with 129 RBI and 114 runs scored to along with 29 doubles, 28 homers, a 1.047 slugging percentage and .580 on-base percentage. Jackson, who swiped 57 bases, finished with 107 runs, second all-time in a NAIA single season. The sophomore also recorded 112 base hits, third most in a NAIA single season, with a .477 batting average, 10 doubles, 35 RBI, .541 on-base percentage and .907 slugging percentage. Loux, a sophomore outfielder, was fourth on the Stars with a .425 batting average. She recorded 76 hits, 20 doubles, 10 homers, 61 RBI and 74 runs scored.
Southern Oregon’s Gabby Sandoval and Baker University’s Olivia Brees make up the first-team pitchers. Sandoval was pivotal in the Raiders’ first NAIA national title, recording a 36-4 record, the most victories in a NAIA single season since 2013. The junior hurler posted a 1.19 ERA with 15 shutouts and 207 strikeouts in 252 innings of work. She held her opposition to a .189 batting average and earned three saves. Brees posted an 35-3 overall mark and led the nation with 449 strikeouts, which topped all three NCAA and NJCAA divisions. She finished her career with 1,302 strikeouts. The Heart of America Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year recorded an ERA of 0.73, third lowest in NAIA, and six saves.
At first base is Oregon Tech’s Andrea Sotelo. She hit .392 with 71 hits, 11 doubles, 15 long balls and 64 RBI. Helping her squad reach the NAIA World Series, Sotelo scored 37 times, drew 44 walks and recorded a .517 on-base percentage.
Grabbing first-team honors at second base is Siena Heights University’s Ashley Helmink. The senior led the Saints in almost every offensive category with a .462 batting average, 80 hits, 25 doubles, nine triples, 10 home runs, 60 RBI, 63 runs and an .884 slugging percentage. The Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Player of the Year broke single-season records for runs, doubles, triples and RBI.
Junior Kristen Prieto is the NFCA First-Team All-American at third base. She finished 2019 with a .463 batting average 74 hits, 15 doubles, 12 home runs, 66 RBI and 42 runs scored. Prieto also slugged .781, posted a .552 on-base percentage.
Joining OCU’s Loux as first-team All-America outfielders is MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Kaleigh Bayless and Kentucky Christian University’s Summer Collins. Bayless, the Heart of America Athletic Conference Player of the Year, topped the Pioneers with a .525 batting average, 73 hits, 18 doubles, 14 long balls, 37 RBI, 55 runs and 25 stolen bases. She also led the team, slugging .971 and reaching base at a .595 clip. Her slugging percentage (5th), batting average (7th) and home runs ranked in the NAIA top-10.
Collins, the program’s first NFCA All-American, hit .520 with 103 hits, eight triples, 53 runs scored and 45 stolen bases. She finished her senior season ranked first amongst NAIA players at 1.67 hits per game, second in hits, fifth in stolen bases, sixth in triples, ninth in runs and 10thin batting average.
Picking up her third first-team accolade is Bellevue University’s utility player Erin Sharpe. The North Star Athletic Association Player of the Year led the Bruins and was second nationally with 25 home runs. She also topped Bellevue with an .867 slugging percentage, 389 batting average and 60 RBI. Additionally, Sharpe doubled 18 times, scored 48 runs and recorded a .492 on-base percentage.
Oregon Tech senior designated player Ali Graham captured a first-team honor after she led the Owls with a .418 batting average, 89 hits and 20 doubles. The Cascade Conference Player of the Year ranked second on the squad with 12 home runs and 56 RBI.
Capturing first-team at-large selections are Southern Oregon’s Lauren Quirke, Grand View’s Alyx Witt, USAO’s Emily Cerny and Marian’s Shelbie Stotts. Quirk, a junior utility player, led the Raiders with a .444 average, 91 hits, 10 triples, 63 RBI, .702 slugging percentage and .496 on-base percentage. The 2019 World Series MVP also roped 18 doubles, five home runs and scored 49 runs. Witt hit .387, with 65 hits, 13 doubles, 19 homers, 63 RBI and an .804 slugging percentage. In the circle, she went 7-1 with a 2.51 ERA.
Cerny captured her second straight first-team honor as an at-large pitcher. The sophomore hurler posted a 33-4 record, 1.15 ERA and 12 shutouts. Cerny fanned 298 batters and held her opponents to a .164 batting average. Stotts, a freshman utility player, was named Crossroads League Player and Newcomer of the Year. She hit .460 and knocked in a team-best 57 runs. Stotts also led the Knights with 19 doubles, seven triples, 54 runs scored and a .635 slugging percentage.