LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is proud to announce the 45 players chosen for the 2016 NFCA's NCAA Division III All-America softball teams. Those selected are being honored tonight during the NCAA Division III Championship banquet at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va.
The teams in the NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll are well represented, as the top six ranked squads and 17 of the listed 25 have honorees. No. 1-ranked Virginia Wesleyan and second-ranked Salisbury have three selections apiece, while No. 3 Texas-Tyler, No. 8 East Texas Baptist, No. 15 Rowan and No. 23 Washington (Mo.) had two players each selected. Thirty-one other schools had one player chosen.
In all, 37 Division III schools are represented on the three All-America squads. Five of the eight teams that advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship in Salem have All-Americans on their roster.
There are 31 first-time All-Americans, nine two-time All-Americans and four three-time All-Americans. Texas-Tyler pitcher Kelsie Batten is the lone four-time All-American (all second team selections) on this year’s list.
First team pitcher Lindsey Thayer has been one of the most feared pitchers in Division III this season for St. John Fisher College and a big reason why the Cardinals were one of eight teams that advanced to the NCAA Championship. Sophomore right-hander Thayer is 28-5 with a 0.93 earned-run average, 426 strikeouts and just 37 walks in 218.2 innings so far this season.
Fellow first team pitcher Brittany File did similar things to help Emory University reach Salem. The junior right-hander has compiled a 35-4 record, 1.23 ERA and 330 strikeouts in 222.1 innings this season.
First team catcher Elaine Walker has shined as a freshman for Aurora University, batting .470 in her first season with 70 hits, 32 runs scored and 39 runs batted in.
Virginia Wesleyan College sophomore Cassetty Howerin had a monster season to earn first team first base honors. She batted .504 with 65 hits, 13 doubles, 10 homers and 63 RBI, while also swiping 12 bases in 13 attempts.
Senior Rachel Roberts earned first team status at second base on the strength of 69 hits and 36 stolen bases for Pacific (Ore.) University. She also batted .445 and scored 42 runs this season.
Mary Hardin-Baylor junior Leah Brown hit .437 with 36 runs, 10 doubles and 11 homers to garner first team third base honors, while Salisbury University senior Kim Dorsey is the first team pick at shortstop after hitting .473 with 38 runs, 11 doubles, two triples, 10 homers and 59 RBI.
Howerin’s Virginia Wesleyan teammate, Courtney Bogan, is one of the three first team outfielders, after setting an NCAA Division III single-season record with 70 steals in 73 attempts this year. The senior batted .417 with 57 runs and 58 hits.
Lebanon Valley College junior Sammy Bost and Christopher Newport senior Scoop Simon round out the first team outfield, in part due to their extra-base prowess. Bost had four doubles and five triples while hitting .551 and going a perfect 29-for-29 on steal attempts, and Simon collected 15 doubles, three triples and nine homers, driving home 51 runs and batting .450.
Salisbury senior Paige Knussman gets the nod at first team utility after splitting her time between catcher and first base for the Sea Gulls this season. She helped provide the power in their powerful lineup, hitting .434 with 11 homers and 51 RBI.
First team designated player honors go to Rowan University junior Ashley DeYoung, whose eight doubles, 12 homers, 48 RBI and .355 batting average helped the Profs get to Salem.
Salisbury senior Molly Simpson, Rowan senior Shilah Snead and Virginia Wesleyan freshman Kandis Kresinske were the three first team at large choices. Simpson batted .444 with 64 hits, including 12 doubles, 14 homers, 59 runs scored and 55 RBI. Snead is the Profs’ leading hitter at .479 and has 80 hits, 66 runs and 31 RBI heading into Thursday’s resumption of NCAA tournament play.
Kresinske stepped right into a starring role for the top-ranked Marlins, going 18-2 in the circle in her first collegiate season with seven shutouts, 117 strikeouts, just 31 walks and an 1.13 ERA which also scored her the inaugural Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III Freshman of the Year trophy.
Emory, Messiah, Rowan, St. John Fisher and Texas-Tyler are all competing in the double-elimination NCAA Championship, starting Thursday at Salem’s James I. Moyer Sports Complex. Illinois Wesleyan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and St. Thomas (Minn.) are the other three teams that reached the Elite Eight.
The NFCA Division III All-America softball teams are selected from the pool of players who earned first team All-Region recognition by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions.
2016 NFCA DIVISION III ALL-AMERICANS
Pitcher Lindsey Thayer* St. John Fisher College
Pitcher Brittany File Emory University
Catcher Elaine Walker Aurora University
First Base Cassetty Howerin Virginia Wesleyan College
Second Base Rachel Roberts# Pacific (Ore.) University
Third Base Leah Brown University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Shortstop Kim Dorsey*# Salisbury University
Outfield Courtney Bogan* Virginia Wesleyan College
Outfield Sammy Bost*# Lebanon Valley College
Outfield Scoop Simon Christopher Newport University
Utility Paige Knussman Salisbury University
Designated Player Ashley DeYoung Rowan University
At-Large Molly Simpson Salisbury University
At-Large Shilah Snead* Rowan University
At-Large Kandis Kresinske Virginia Wesleyan College
Pitcher Courtney Allen Messiah College
Pitcher Kelsie Batten*#% University of Texas at Tyler
Catcher Mikaela Mitsch Heidelberg University
First Base Cassie Ruscz* Tufts University
Second Base Dani DeGregory Skidmore College
Third Base Kendra Marshall Trine University
Shortstop Raven Rodriguez University of Texas at Tyler
Outfield AJ Carrasco# University of Redlands
Outfield Melanie Oord Linfield College
Outfield Hannah Mehrle Washington (Mo.) University
Utility Stephanie Caudle Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Designated Player Lauren Godden DePauw University
At-Large Morgan Stratton Alma College
At-Large Katie Thornton* Wheaton (Ill.) College
At-Large Nina Murphy-Cook* Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Pitcher Anna Gurr Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College
Pitcher Kassie Howard Berry College
Catcher Madison Gilman Randolph-Macon College
First Base Erica Burney Westminster (Mo.) College
Second Base Miranda McCay Luther College
Third Base Morgan Dunn The Sage Colleges
Shortstop Jessica Long# Averett University
Outfield Melissa Livermore University of Texas at Dallas
Outfield Erica Li Williams College
Outfield Dana Knapp Kean University
Utility Hannah Tavik Frostburg State University
Designated Player Jayme Perez*# East Texas Baptist University
At-Large Lacey Lindsey*# East Texas Baptist University
At-Large Annie Pitkin Washington (Mo.) University
At-Large Taylor Yancey Texas Lutheran University
* denotes 2015 All-American
# denotes 2014 All-American
% denotes 2013 All-American