LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fifty student-athletes from across the country have been selected to the watch list for the NFCA/Schutt Sports Division II National Player of the Year award, announced the Association on Wednesday afternoon.
Headlining the list are 23 returning NFCA All-Americans, six from the first team, including 2016 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II Player of the Year, Lyndsay Butler of Wayne State (Mich.). Additionally, the last two Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshmen of the Year, Colorado Christian’s Charlotte Romero (3rd Team) and Dixie State’s Janessa Bassett (2nd Team) made the list.
In all, the group consists of one graduate student, 22 seniors, 19 juniors and eight sophomores, representing 42 programs from 19 different conferences. Seven programs garnered multiple candidates led by NCAA Division II national runner-up Humboldt State’s three selections. National champions North Alabama, along with Saint Leo, Minnesota State, Colorado Christian, Bloomsburg and West Virginia Wesleyan boasted two honorees apiece.
The Great Lakes Valley, Peach Belt and PacWest Conferences each boasted four programs, while the Lone Star Conference, Great American Conference, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference sported three representatives.
The Gulf South Conference, Northeast-10 Conference, Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association had two programs apiece, while the Sunshine State Conference, California Collegiate Athletic Association, East Coast Conference, South Athletic Conference, Mount East Conference and Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference grasped one spot.
The Top 25 finalists for the 2017 NFCA/ Schutt Sports Division II National Player of the Year award will be announced on April 27. A student-athlete does not have to be on watch list to be considered for the Top 25.
The Top 10 will be announced on May 11 and the three finalists on May 18 with the 2017 Player of the Year revealed on May 24 at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship Banquet in Salem, Va.
Behind the collaboration between the NFCA and the NCAA Division II Head Coaches Committee, and the generosity of Schutt Sports, the award was created in 2015 to honor the outstanding athletic achievement among softball student-athletes throughout Division II.
The list was compiled by the NFCA Division II All-American/Coaching Staff of the Year Committee, consisting of one member from each of the NFCA’s eight regions.
About the NFCA
Established in 1983, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is the professional growth organization for fastpitch softball coaches from all competitive levels of play. The national office, located in the Crescent Hill community of Louisville, Ky., moved to the Bluegrass State in 2012.
Although collegiate coaches comprised the majority of the organization's membership in the early days, today they are joined by high school, travel ball, professional and international coaches, along with umpires, clubs, businesses and fans of fastpitch softball. Growing from 40 members in the 1983 to over 4,000 today, the NFCA boasts members from all 50 states and nine international countries- Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and Sweden.
There are many services offered to the membership. Highlighted by the All-American teams, the awards program is about recognizing student-athletes for their athletic and academic prowess and coaches for their contributions both on and off the field.
The NFCA conducts an annual National Convention in November or December. In addition, it works with USA Today in producing polls for NCAA Division I and high school softball as well as compiling NCAA Division II and Division III national polls. The NFCA also conducts collegiate tournaments, hosts skills and academic camps throughout the nation and provides educational clinics and classes to its members
2017 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division II Player of the Year Watch List
|Stephanie Adkins***||Pitcher||Senior||Saint Leo University|
|Kaitlyn Bannister*||Third Base||Senior||University of Alabama in Huntsville|
|Janessa Bassett**||Outfield||Junior||Dixie State University|
|Brooke Bernard||Second Base||Junior||William Jewell University|
|Lyndsay Butler*||Pitcher||Graduate||Wayne State University|
|Kailyn Campbell||First Base||Senior||Central Washington University|
|Hillary Carpenter||Pitcher||Senior||University of North Alabama|
|Madison Carter||Shortstop||Junior||Lenoir-Rhyne University|
|Courtney Case||Shortstop||Senior||Le Moyne College|
|Rachel DiBartolomeo||Outfield||Senior||Mercyhurst University|
|Hannah Farmer||Outfield||Sophomore||Colorado Christian University|
|Bailey Gaspar**||Designated Player||Junior||University of Hawaii at Hilo|
|Brooke Goad**||Outfield||R-Junior||Southern Arkansas University|
|Jalissa Gum***||Utility||Senior||Arkansas Tech University|
|Kilee Halbert***||Pitcher||Junior||West Texas A&M University|
|Stephanie Hartness*||Outfield||Senior||University of North Georgia|
|Morgan Heard**||Shortstop||Junior||University of Central Oklahoma|
|Rachael Heath||Utility||Senior||Saint Leo University|
|Haley Hodges*||Catcher||Senior||University of Southern Indiana|
|Brooke Hodgson||Outfield||Junior||Colorado Mesa University|
|Hanna Holland**||Outfield||Junior||Humboldt State University|
|Tiffany Hollingsworth||Second Base||Senior||Humboldt State University|
|Sarah Kennedy||Shortstop||Junior||Augustana University (S.D.)|
|Taylor Kline***||Shortstop||Junior||Ohio Dominican University|
|Natalie Lalich||Utility||Senior||University of Indianapolis|
|Meghan Luebbert||Outfield||Senior||Concordia University-Portland|
|Brenna Martini*||Third Base||Junior||Adelphi University|
|Breezy McComas||Outfield||Senior||Cameron University|
|London Miller**||Catcher/Outfield||Senior||California Baptist University|
|Marissa Monasseri**||Catcher||Junior||Caldwell University|
|McKenzie Paap||Outfield||Sophomore||Minnesota State University|
|Taylor Parker||Pitcher/Shortstop||Senior||Bloomsburg University|
|Emily Price||Shortstop||Junior||California University (Pa.)|
|Christa Reisinger||Outfield||Sophomore||Truman State University|
|Hannah Reppert||First Base||Senior||Armstrong State University|
|Coley Ries***||Pitcher||Senior||Minnesota State University|
|Emmie Robertson||Pitcher||Junior||Pittsburg State|
|Charlotte Romero***||Second Base||Sophomore||Colorado Christian University|
|Rhiannon Sassman*||Infield/Catcher||Sophomore||University of West Florida|
|Julia Seader||Catcher||Sophomore||LIU Post|
|Nicki Sprague**||Second Base||Senior||Azusa Pacific University|
|Hayley Tierce||Third Base||Sophomore||Georgia Southwestern State University|
|Reagan Tittle||Outfield||Junior||University of North Alabama|
|Kenedy Urbany||Pitcher||Senior||Angelo State|
|Hannah Vet||Pitcher||Junior||West Virginia Wesleyan|
|Kelsey Vining*||Outfield||Junior||University of Montevallo|
|Brooklyn Waddell||Second Base||Senior||West Virginia Wesleyan|
|Ashlyn White*||Pitcher/First Base||Senior||Henderson State University|
|Madison Williams**||Pitcher||Junior||Humboldt State University|
|Taylor Winkelman||Infield/Outfield||Sophomore||Bloomsburg University|
*Denotes First-Team NFCA All-American
**Denotes Second-Team NFCA All-American
***Denotes Third-Team NFCA All-American