LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ten finalists have been selected for the 2016 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year award, announced the Association on Thursday afternoon.
The group is headlined by inaugural winner, Courtney Poole of North Georgia, who along with teammate, junior Stephanie Hartness give the defending national champion Nighthawks two honorees for the second straight season.
Joining Poole as repeat top-10 selections are Indianapolis senior pitcher Morgan Foley and UMSL senior pitcher Hannah Perryman, who was a top-3 finalist in 2015.
Making their first appearances and representing their programs for the first time are University of Alabama in Huntsville junior third baseman Kaitlyn Bannister, Wayne State (Mich.) junior pitcher/right fielder Lyndsay Butler, Southern Indiana junior catcher Haley Hodges, Fairmont State senior outfielder Courtney Iacobacci, Colorado Mesa senior shortstop Makayla Kovac and New York Institute of Technology senior first baseman Kat Zabielski.
Eight finalists earned either their league’s Player of Pitcher of the Year honor and seven are representing their programs in the 2016 NCAA Division II Softball Regionals today.
The Great Lakes Valley Conference led the way with three selections (Foley, Perryman, Hodges), while the Peach Belt (Hartness, Poole) had two nods. The Gulf South Conference (Bannister), GLIAC (Butler), Mountain East Conference (Iacobacci), Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (Kovac) and the East Coast Conference (Zabielski) each garnered one finalist.
The Top 3 on May 12 with the 2016 Schutt Sports NFCA Division II National Player of the Year revealed on Tuesday, May 17.
Behind the collaboration between the NFCA and the 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.
2016 SCHUTT SPORTS/NFCA DII PLAYER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Kaitlyn Bannister – UAH – Third Base
(.420, 17 2B, 17 HR, 80 RBI, 65 R)
Lyndsay Butler – Wayne State (Mich.) – Pitcher/Rightfield
(.500, 17 2B, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 56 R, .534 OBP/ 27-4, 0.68 ERA, 215 K, 194.1 IP, .154 opp BA)
Morgan Foley – Indianapolis – Pitcher
(38-2, 0.74 ERA, 460 SO, 245 IP, .128 opp BA)
Stephanie Hartness – North Georgia – Outfield
(.481, 19 2B, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 60 R, .539 OBP)
Haley Hodges – Southern Indiana – Catcher
(.460, 18 2B, 22 HR, 71 RBI, 56 R, 1.020 SLG, .584 OBP)
Courtney Iacobacci – Fairmont State – Outfield
(.456, 19 HR, 40 RBI, 53 R, .867 SLG)
Makayla Kovac – Colorado Mesa – Shortstop
(.458, 20 2B, 18 HR, 62 RBI, 65 R, .948 SLG)
Hannah Perryman – UMSL – Pitcher
(44-4, 1.13 ERA, 23 SHO, 554 SO, 341.2 IP, .144 opp BA)
Courtney Poole – North Georgia – Pitcher
(49-2, 0.64 ERA, 21 SHO, 406 SO, 336.2 IP, .156 opp BA)
Kat Zabielski – NYIT – First Base
(.405, 10 2B, 20 HR, 73 RBI, 56 R, .919 SLG)