LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In all 46 players from 41 different institutions have been chosen to one of three 2016 NFCA Division II All-American teams, the Association announced on Friday.
For a complete list of All-American click HERE.
Fifth-ranked Humboldt State led all schools with three total All-Americans, while No. 4 North Georgia, No. 1 West Texas A & M, and No. 10 Wayne State (Michigan) brought home two nods. The fourth-ranked Nighthawks were the only institution to boast two first-team selections. Of the eight teams that advanced to the NCAA Division II Championship to be held over May 17-21 in Denver, as part of the Division II National Championships Festival, five of those, West Texas A&M, North Alabama, Adelphi, Southern Arkansas, and Humboldt State, had representation among this year’s NFCA All-American squads.
Three of this year’s first-team selections will be in action this upcoming week in Denver as Adelphi’s Brenna Martini, North Alabama’s Brooklynn Clark, and West Texas A&M’s Lacey Taylor lead their teams into action looking for a 2016 national championship.
Taylor made her second straight appearance as a first-team All-American catcher. She continued her dominance from last year with a .371 batting average and a .673 slugging percentage. Taylor’s 22 doubles and 53 walks led the Lone Star Conference and assisted the Lady Buff’s to a first place conference finish. She also registered eight home runs and a .539 on base percentage. Her second straight First-Team All-Lone Star Conference season came with just two errors and a fielding percentage of .993 behind the dish. Taylor’s teammate, pitcher Kilee Halbert, joined her as a third-team selection.
The duo of Stephanie Hartness and Courtney Poole, provided the spark at the plate and in the circle, propelling North Georgia to finish atop the Peach Belt Conference and were one win away from advancing to the National Championship Hartness, a junior outfielder, led the Nighthawks in every offensive category to earn Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year. The junior hit .469 with 92 hits, 19 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 52 RBI, 60 runs scored. She walked 29 times and struck out just twice in 196 at bats, recording a .538 on-base and .735 slugging percentage.
Poole, the 2015 Schutt Sports/NFCA National Player of the Year, led the NCAA – in all divisions – in victories (53) for the second straight year, is second in Division II in ERA (0.76) and shutouts (24), and is fourth in strikeouts (445). The Peach Belt Pitcher of the Year’s 53 victories are a NCAA Division II record. This was her second straight first-team honor.
Morgan Foley, University of Indianapolis’s star pitcher, took home her third straight first-team honor and fourth All-American award in her career. Foley continued her dominance in the circle this year ranking second in the NCAA in strikeouts (497) and strikeouts per seven innings (12.8). Logging 272 innings, Foley was the Greyhounds star in the circle posting six shutouts and holding opponents to a .133 batting average. She rewrote the Greyhounds record books again with 40 wins this season, along with her 497 strikeouts. She finished her career second all-time in career strikeouts in Division II with 1,659. Foley also became the third pitcher in NCAA history, first in Division II, to strikeout all 21 batters in a seven-inning game. The Greyhounds star has since signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League.
Hannah Perryman of No. 6 Missouri St. Louis received her second straight first-team nod and fourth All-American honor for her career. The southpaw leads the NCAA with with a Division-II record 567 strikeouts and in shutouts with 24. She ranks third in Division II with 11 strikeouts per seven innings. Perryman set the NCAA record for perfect games in a career at nine. She also holds the record for career strikeouts (1,725) and the Division II record for strikeouts per seven innings (12.1). Perryman was the first NCAA Division II player selected in the National Pro Fastpitch League draft.
The counterpart at catcher is Southern Indiana’s Haley Hodges. The Screaming Eagles’ breakout star led Division II in slugging percentage (1.000) and was third in homeruns (22). She led the GLVC in batting average (.458), on base percentage (.578), runs scored (58), RBIs (72), and walks (45), in route to her first Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year Award.
Rounding out the infield is North Alabama’s first baseman Brooklynn Clark, Southeastern Oklahoma State’s second baseman Jessica Simmons, Alabama Huntsville’s third baseman Kaitlyn Bannister, Adelphi’s third baseman Brenna Martini, and Colorado Mesa’s shortstop Makayla Kovac.
Clark was tabbed the Gulf South Conference (GSC) Player of the Year and leads Division II in batting average (.500) and is the only player with 100 hits. She also leads the GSC in slugging percentage (.882) and on base percentage (.539). Simmons, the Great American Conference’s Player of the Year, leads the league in batting average (.460) and stolen bases (47). Bannister, a first team GSC selection, leads the nation in runs batted in (81) and is second in the GSC in slugging percentage (.770), runs scored (65), and home runs (17).
Brenna Martini’s Northeast-10 (NE-10) Conference leading 61 RBIs and 14 long balls propelled her to the NE-10 Player of the Year award. She also posted a .863 slugging percentage, 45 walks, and 13 doubles. Kovac, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Year, led the league with a .933 slugging percentage and 62 RBIs. The 2014 second teamer’s 22 doubles, 18 homeruns, and 64 runs scored were also league bests.
Moving to the outfield where three newcomers reside. Hartness is joined by Courtney Iacobacci of Fairmont State, the Mountain East Conference Player of the Year, and sophomore Kelsey Vining of Montevallo. Iacobacci leads the MEC in batting average (.467), slugging percentage (.880), on-base percentage (.543), and homeruns (18). Iacobacci also stole 10 bases this year, which made her the all-time leader in Fairmont State history. Kelsey Vining’s .483 batting average, .712 slugging percentage, and .575 on base percentage led the Flacons this season. Her batting average and stolen bases (41) also are tops in the Peach Belt Conference this season.
Henderson State’s designated player, Ashlyn White, brought home her first All-American honor this year. Her 0.553 on base percentage and NCAA-best 63 walks top the Great American Conference. White is also second in the GAC in slugging percentage (.700) and RBIs (52).
Wayne State’s (Mich.) Lyndsay Butler and West Florida’s Rhiannon Sassman won the utility-pitcher and utility-non-pitcher All-American Honors respectively. Butler, who received second team All-American honors last year, took home the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year award and helped the Warriors reach the Super Regionals. She leads the conference in ERA (0.77), wins (29), and strikeouts (227). At the dish, she hit .483 with 97 hits, 19 doubles, seven triples, 12 home runs, 42 RBI and 60 runs scored, all team bests. Her ERA and batting average ranked fifth and second, entering the week. Sassman assisted the Argonauts to a successful season by posting a 0.342 batting average, 50 RBIs, and a .542 slugging percentage.
Kat Zabielski, New York Institute of Technology’s first baseman rounds out the first-team as the At-Large selection. Zabielski led the East Coast Conference in RBIs (73), slugging percentage (.919) and homeruns (20), ranking fourth, sixth and fourth in the NCAA. She also posted a .405 batting average and a team-leading 23 walks.
All three of Humboldt State’s honorees were voted to the second team. They were the only institution to have two pitchers honored as All-Americans with Katie Obbema and Madison Williams, who were joined by outfielder Hanna Holland. The Lumberjacks’ two-headed monster in the circle led them to a first place California Collegiate Athletic Association finish and a trip to the National Championships. Holland chipped in in by leading the conference in hits (77) and is second in the NCAA in stolen bases (66). She was also second in the CCAA in batting average (.418) and on base percentage (.518).