OKLAHOMA CITY — The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is proud to announce that Virginia Wesleyan College’s Hanna Hull has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Freshman of the Year award.

Hull, a left-handed pitcher from Chesterfield, Va., heads into the NCAA Division III Championship in Oklahoma City with a 29-2 record as part of a lethal 1-2 punch in the circle with fellow freshman Courtney Wright (15-0, 1.36 ERA) for the top-ranked (48-2) Marlins this season. She has 13 shutouts, 326 strikeouts and has allowed just 48 walks and 12 earned runs in 189.1 innings this season.

Her 29 victories lead Division III and her hits allowed per seven innings (2.77), strikeouts, strikeouts per seven innings (12.1) and earned-run average (0.44) all rank second nationally behind fellow NCAA Division III Championship competitor Lindsey Thayer of St. John Fisher.

Hull and Thayer are this year’s two first team NFCA All-America pitchers, and among the 45 players chosen for the three 15-player All-America teams this season. Hull was joined on the All-America team by two Marlin teammates — juniors Cassetty Howerin (the first team first baseman) and Kiersten Richardson (the third team shortstop). She is one of just two freshmen on the All-America team, with Julie Graf of St. Olaf — a second-team pitcher — the other.

The honorees were recognized on Wednesday during the NCAA Division III Championship banquet at the Sheraton Hotel Downtown in Oklahoma City. Last year’s inaugural recipient of the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Freshman of the Year award was Virginia Wesleyan pitcher Kandis Kresinske.

The Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III Freshman of the Year and the NFCA Division III All-America softball teams were selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing each of the eight NCAA regions. Those earning first team All-Region recognition were eligible to move forward to be considered to be chosen by the committee as All-Americans. NFCA member coaches nominate and vote for the Association’s All-Region teams.

Schutt Sports sponsors Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year awards in the NFCA’s member divisions. The Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III Player of the Year honoree will be chosen following the completion of the NCAA Championship next week.

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