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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Twenty-five outstanding softball players have been chosen for the next step toward the inaugural NFCA/Schutt Sports Division III National Player of the Year award, which started at 50 and will continue to be paired down until just one player remains at the conclusion of the 2016 season.

No. 2-ranked Salisbury University leads the way on the new list, with three players — seniors Kim Dorsey, Paige Knussman and Molly Simpson — selected, while top-ranked Texas-Tyler, No. 3 Virginia Wesleyan and No. 14 Rowan all have two players in the running. Sixteen other teams have one player each.

Seniors Kelsie Batten and Raven Rodriguez represent Texas-Tyler, while fellow seniors Beth Ann Hyland and Shilah Snead play for Rowan. Yet another senior, Courtney Bogan, has been joined on the list by Virginia Wesleyan teammate, Cassetty Howerin, a sophomore.

There are 14 seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen in the current group. The finalists have combined for a .464 average, 306 extra-base hits and 560 RBI so far this season. The pitchers, meanwhile, have teamed to compile an 176-29 record (.859 win percentage), 49 shutouts, 112 complete games and 1,553 strikeouts in 1,211.1 innings.

The list is a collaborative effort between the NFCA’s Division III Head Coaches and All-America committees. The original list of 50 players contained 26 returning NFCA All-Americans, including four first-team honorees, nine second-team selections and 13 from last year’s third team. The remaining 24 members of the first group all earned first team NFCA All-Region recognition last season.

Thirteen players from the initial list made the cut to 25, while the remaining 12 players are newcomers.

The next list in two weeks will narrow the field to 10, and, after that, three finalists will be chosen. The winner will be announced following the completion of the NCAA Division III Tournament in May.

Schutt Sports and the NFCA are also presenting a Division III National Freshman of the Year award for the first time this season.

FIRST LAST SCHOOL POS YR
KELSIE BATTEN UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-TYLER UTIL SENIOR
COURTNEY BOGAN VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE OF SENIOR
SAMMY BOST LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE OF JUNIOR
AJ CARRASCO UNIVERSITY OF REDLANDS OF SENIOR
KIM DORSEY SALISBURY UNIVERSITY INF SENIOR
BRITTANY FILE EMORY UNIVERSITY P JUNIOR
CARRIE FIX MESSIAH COLLEGE UTIL SOPHOMORE
KASSIE HOWARD BERRY COLLEGE P SOPHOMORE
CASSETTY HOWERIN VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE 1B SOPHOMORE
BETH ANN HYLAND ROWAN UNIVERSITY P SENIOR
PAIGE KNUSSMAN SALISBURY UNIVERSITY C SENIOR
MELISSA LIVERMORE TEXAS-DALLAS OF FRESHMAN
JESSICA LONG AVERETT UNIVERSITY INF/OF JUNIOR
ALEXANDRA MARSHALL MASSACHUSETTS INST. OF TECH P SENIOR
MELANIE OORD LINFIELD UTIL SOPHOMORE
ANNIE PITKIN WASHINGTON (MO.) UNIVERSITY P SENIOR
CAROLINE RICE BOWDOIN OF/1B FRESHMAN
RACHEL ROBERTS PACIFIC (ORE.) UNIVERSITY INF SENIOR
TARA ROBINSON CLAREMONT-MUDD-SCRIPPS INF/OF SENIOR
RAVEN RODRIGUEZ UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-TYLER INF SENIOR
SCOOP SIMON CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY OF SENIOR
MOLLY SIMPSON SALIBURY UNIVERSITY INF SENIOR
SHILAH SNEAD ROWAN UNIVERSITY INF SENIOR
MORGAN STRATTON ALMA COLLEGE P JUNIOR
LINDSEY THAYER ST. JOHN FISHER P SOPHOMORE

CLICK HERE FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION PDF IMAGE WITH FULL LIST OF PLAYERS (LARGE FILE, LOADS SLOWLY)

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