LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ten finalists have been selected for the 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year award, announced the Association on Thursday afternoon.
The group is headlined by 2016 winner, Lyndsay Butler of Wayne State University, who was named Great Lakes Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Player of the Year.
Joining Butler as two-time top-10 selections is University of Alabama in Huntsville senior third baseman and Gulf South Conference (GSC) Player of the Year Kaitlyn Bannister (2016) and Augustana senior shortstop and Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC) Player of the Year Sarah Kennedy (2015).
Making their first appearances and representing their programs for the first time are Adelphi junior third baseman Brenna Martini, Cal State Monterey Bay junior infielder Julia Garcia, Caldwell University junior catcher Marisa Monasseri, Minnesota State senior pitcher Coley Ries, Truman State sophomore outfielder Christa Reisinger and West Chester junior pitcher Amanda Houck. West Texas A&M senior infielder Shea Ibrahim is the third Lady Buff to receive top-10 recognition.
Eight finalists earned either their league’s Player or Pitcher of the Year honor. Joining Butler, Bannister and Kennedy as league players of the year are Monasseri (Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference), Martini (Northeast 10), Garcia (California Collegiate Athletic Association) and Reisinger (Great Lakes Valley Conference). Ries was named the NSIC’s Pitcher of the Year.
The NSIC was the lone conference with multiple selections (Kennedy & Ries).
The Top 3 will be announced on May 18 with the 2017 Schutt Sports NFCA Division II National Player of the Year revealed on Wednesday, May 24 at the NCAA Division II National Championship Banquet in Salem, Va.
The award was created in 2015 to honor the outstanding athletic achievement among softball student-athletes throughout Division II. North Georgia’s Courtney Poole was the inaugural winner, followed by Butler last year.