LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Junior Zoe Willis of Georgia Southwestern State University and junior Tatum Goff of University of Texas at Tyler were named the 2023 TUCCI/NFCA DII Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.
Willis, a first-team NFCA All-American at second base, had one of the best offensive seasons in Peach Belt Conference (PBC) history. The two-time PBC Player of the Year finished the season batting .447 with 25 home runs and 67 RBI. Willis led all of NCAA Division II in home runs and home runs per game (.45), setting both a program and conference single-season record.
Along with home runs, Willis topped Division II with a .993 slugging percentage and finished in the top six in total bases (151), on-base percentage (.563) and RBI. She also helped out in the circle. Willis finished 14-3 with a 2.54 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 104.2 innings of work.
Goff, a unanimous first-team All-America selection, finished a remarkable 2023 campaign with a perfect 42-0 record, setting a new NCAA Division II record for consecutive wins. The long-standing record, previously held by Bloomsburg’s Kim Maguire, was achieved over three seasons (1991-93). Making 48 appearances and 46 starts, Goff sported a 1.36 ERA with a program-record 248 strikeouts in 267 innings of work. She registered 14 shutouts and held her opposition to a .184 batting average.
The Rusk, Texas native keyed the Patriots to their second consecutive national semifinal appearance in as many years of Division II eligibility. During UT Tyler’s run to the semifinals, Goff was 8-0 with a 1.70 ERA in 10 appearances and 57.2 innings. On the final day, the Lone Star Conference Pitcher of the Year allowed a run on six hits in a complete-game victory over North Georgia to force a winner-take-all contest She then tossed another four innings of scoreless (one hit) relief in the game-two defeat. The Patriots, who were the No. 1 overall seed, set a single-season program record with a 62-6 mark and also posted the longest win streak in NCAA Division II at 37.
The Player of the Year 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.
The awards are voted on by the elected members of the NFCA Division II All-American Committee with one head coach representing each of the eight NCAA regions. To be eligible, a student-athlete’s head coach must be a member.
TUCCI/NFCA DII Player & Pitcher of the Year Winners
2023 – Zoe Willis, Georgia Southwestern State (Player) / Tatum Goff, UT Tyler (Pitcher)
2022 – Kayson Boatner, Anderson (Player) / Andrea Morales, Rogers State (Pitcher)
2021 – Shanna McBroom, West Texas A&M (Player) / Morgan Perry, Saint Anselm (Pitcher)
2019 – Julia Seader, LIU Post (Player) / Allison Lipovsky, Grand Valley State (Pitcher)
2018 – Kylee Smith, North Georgia
2017 – Coley Ries, Minnesota State
2016 – Lindsay Butler, Wayne State University
2015 – Courtney Poole, North Georgia
The NFCA began awarding a Player and Pitcher of the Year in 2019.
Award not presented in 2020.
Celebrating 40 years in 2023, the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its extensive Awards & Scholarships platform, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts its vast library of digital education a National Convention.
NFCA Division II Player and Pitcher of the Year
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