2022 schutt sports/nfca dii freshman of the year, NFCA  dii freshman of the year, caleigh rister, nfca

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – California University of Pennsylvania’s utility-pitcher Caleigh Rister was voted the 2022 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year, the Association announced on Thursday afternoon.

Rister, who earned second-team NFCA All-America honors, made an immediate impact as a two-way standout for the Vulcans this spring. The Bucyrus, Ohio native registered a 1.58 ERA and 1.389 OPS, both of which ranked amongst the top 10 in the Atlantic Region. From the leadoff spot, Rister paced the Cal U offense with a team-best .415 batting average, five home runs and 36 runs scored and was second on the squad with 23 RBI.

Making 20 appearances and 17 starts, Rister finished with a 13-4 record. She registered 11 complete games and twirled five shutouts and held her opponents to a .242 batting average.

Created in 2015, the award honors the outstanding athletic achievement among freshman softball student-athletes throughout NCAA Division II. To be eligible, student-athletes must come from a NFCA member institution and the winner is voted on by the NFCA Division II All-America Committee.

The other seven finalists for the award were - Harding’s Leigha Harris (Central), Caldwell’s Jessica Klein (East), Southern Indiana’s Josie Newman (Midwest), Nova Southeastern’s Ashley Connor (South), Cameron’s Kaiden Boren (South Central), Emory & Henry’s Lydia Taylor (Southeast) and Cal State San Marcos’ Paige Donnelly (West). 

Past winners include Janessa Bassett (Dixie State – 2015), Autumn Humes (Harding – 2017), Bailey McKittrick (Central Oklahoma – 2019), Callie Nunes (Concordia Irvine – 2018), Charlotte Romero (Colorado Christian – 2016) and Kenzee Smith (UIndy – 2021). 

The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshman of the Year Awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and National Convention

Learn more about the NFCA and consider joining nearly 6,000 coaches today!

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