LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fifteen student-athletes have been selected as finalists for the 2021 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Year awards. The winners will be announced following the conclusion of the 2021 season.
The award was created in 2015 to honor the outstanding athletic achievements among softball student-athletes throughout NCAA Division II. In 2019, the Association expanded the award to include a Player and Pitcher of the Year. To be eligible, student-athletes must be nominated by their member head coach. With the cancellation of last year’s season due to COVID-19 and a higher percentage of eligible candidates, an additional five players have been added to the traditional top 10.
The list of student-athletes is represented by 15 different programs and 11 conferences. The group consists of seven graduate students or seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen.
The Peach Belt Conference led the way with three selections, while the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference captured two plaudits each. Earning one nod apiece was the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, Great Midwest Athletic Conference, Great Lakes Valley Conference, Gulf South Conference, Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Northeast-10 Conference, Lone Star Conference and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
The 2021 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Year, voted on by the NFCA Division II All-America Committee will be revealed on June 3.
Past winners of the award are LIU Post’s Julia Seader* (Player / 2019), Grand Valley State’s Allison Lipovsky* (Pitcher / 2019), North Georgia’s Kylee Smith (2018), Minnesota State’s Coley Ries (2017), Wayne State University’s Lindsay Butler (2016) and North Georgia’s Courtney Poole (2015). The award was not presented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
*The NFCA began awarding a Player and Pitcher of the Year in 2019.
2021 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division II Player & Pitcher of the Year Top 15
Tatum Brummitt, Senior, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Bailey Byers, Senior, Malone University
Hannah Rose Corbin, Sophomore, Columbus State University
Kendall Cornick, Senior, Augustana University
Sydni Hawkins, Junior, Missouri Western State University
Alyssa Herrera, Freshman, Georgian Court University
Hannah Marsteller, Sophomore, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Shanna McBroom, Graduate, West Texas A&M University
Nicole Pennington, Junior, Valdosta State University
Morgan Perry, Senior, Saint Anselm College
Ellie Smith, Sophomore, Colorado Mesa University
Kenzee Smith, Freshman, University of Indianapolis
Kylee Smith, Senior, University of North Georgia
Mackenzie Ward, Junior, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Faith Willenbrock, Senior, Millersville University of Pennsylvania