LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. revealed the nine inaugural recipients of 2023 NAIA Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, presented by the NFCA, on Wednesday afternoon.

Juniors Chelsea Kurtz (Avila University) and Carly Oliver (University of the Cumberlands) and senior Maggie Buckholz (Oregon Institute of Technology) lead the winners, fresh off being named NFCA NAIA All-Americans on Tuesday.

Kurtz, who was a second-team at-large All-American as an outfielder, was also announced Tuesday as the New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe award recipient, as NAIA’s most prolific base stealer this season.

Buckholz, a first-team All-America outfielder, and Oliver, the second-team All-America second baseman, were two of six unanimous Gold Glove selections. Additionally, Buckholz, the choice at right field, had her teammate, freshman Puakea Milbourne, earn honors at first base.

Gold Glove VideoGold Glove Video

Rounding out the Gold Glove infield are a pair of unanimous freshmen — Saint Xavier’s Kaitlyn Wright at third base and University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma’s Malea McMurtrey at shortstop.

The unanimous pick to join Buckholz and center fielder Kurtz in the outfield is College of Idaho freshman left fielder Madelyn Powell.

The battery consists of Southern Oregon senior pitcher Cayla Williams and Southeastern freshman Nicole Wasserstrom, the unanimous choice at catcher.

Recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, presented by the NFCA, were selected by the six regional representatives of the NFCA’s NAIA All-America Committee, following regional voting to identify the finalists at each position. The group utilized fielding statistics and school-submitted video to closely examine finalists and select the winners at every defensive position. Any student-athlete that competed in the current championship year and was nominated by their head coach who is a member in good standing with the NFCA was eligible for consideration for this prestigious accolade.

Cayla Williams
Cayla Williams
Southern Oregon
(1.000 fielding %, 146 chances, 0 errors)
Nicole Wasserstrom
Nicole Wasserstrom
(.995 fielding %, 211 chances, 1 error)
Puakea Milbourne
Puakea Milbourne
First Base
Oregon Institute of Technology
(1.000 fielding %, 426 chances, 0 errors)
Carly Oliver
Carly Oliver
Second Base
(1.000 fielding %, 202 chances, 0 errors)
Kaitlyn Wright
Kaitlyn Wright
Third Base
Saint Xavier
(.987 fielding %, 150 chances, 2 errors)
Malea McMurtrey
Malea McMurtrey
Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma
(.969 fielding %, 159 chances, 5 errors)
Madelyn Powell
Madelyn Powell
Left Field
College of Idaho
(.980 fielding %, 50 chances 1 error)
Chelsea Kurtz
Chelsea Kurtz
Center Field
(.987 fielding %, 77 chances, 1 error)
Maggie Buckholz
Maggie Buckholz
Right Field
Oregon Institute of Technology
(.991 fielding %, 108 chances, 1 error)

About Rawlings

Established in 1887, Rawlings is an innovative leading global brand and manufacturer of premium baseball and softball equipment, including gloves, balls, and protective headwear. Rawlings' unparalleled quality, innovative engineering and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more professional athletes, national governing bodies and sports leagues choose Rawlings. 

Rawlings is the Official Baseball, Helmet, Face Guard and Glove of Major League Baseball, the Official Baseball of Minor League Baseball and the Official Baseball and Softball of the NCAA and the NAIA.  The company is headquartered in St. Louis. For more information, please visit www.Rawlings.comwww.Rawlings.com.

About National Fastpitch Coaches Association

Celebrating 40 years in 2023, the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its vast library of digital education, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to an extensive Awards & Scholarships platform, to NFCA Webinars and a National Convention.

Learn more about the NFCA and consider joining our lineup of over 6,700 members today!

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