LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Phoenix College’s Brianna Hardy and Des Moines Area Community College’s Sophie Maras were voted Schutt Sports/NFCA National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively, leading a list of 36 talented players on the 2021 NFCA NJCAA Division II All-America teams, the Association announced Friday.

Additionally, Jackson College’s Addison Hudson scored the New Balance/NFCA NJCAA Division II Golden Shoe award and LSU-Eunice’s Olivia Hennen earned Diamond Sports/NFCA NJCAA Division II Catcher of the Year recognition.

2021 NFCA NJCAA Division II All-America Teams

This is the second straight Schutt Sports/NFCA national honor for Hardy, a third-year sophomore, who was the NJCAA Division II Player of the Year in 2019. This is the first year that separate Pitcher and Player of the Year honors were presented for NJCAA.

NJCAA DI All-American Videos (First Team First Team Second TeamSecond Team)

Unanimous first-team All-America pitcher and national honoree Hardy helped Phoenix (44-1) win its ninth national championship — and first since 2012, under the direction of 2021 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee Heinz Mueller — by going 32-0 appearing in 37 of the Bears’ 45 games this season.

Buena High graduate Hardy was a force in the circle all season, and was the NJCAA Division II leader in wins, earned-run average (1.08), strikeouts (325), strikeouts per game (12.1), complete games (27) and shutouts (14) . She also ranked third nationally in innings pitched (188) and games started (29), and fourth in appearances. She allowed just 48 walks and 29 earned runs, and also helped herself at the plate, hitting .421 with 22 runs, three doubles, 14 homers and 44 RBI.

Maras propelled the Bears to a 52-14 mark and the fourth round of the NJCAA championship this season. The first-team All-America shortstop led the country in eight categories — plate appearances (269), at-bats (255), runs (105), hits (117), homers (29), RBI (95) and walks (44) — and ranked second nationally in stolen bases (57). The second-year freshman from Johnston, Iowa, also hit .515 with 18 doubles, six triples, a .591 slugging percentage and 234 total bases.

In all, this year’s All-America squads are composed of student-athletes from 21 different programs representing the NJCAA’s three regions. Phoenix tied for the lead with three others — Des Moines Area, national runner-up Jones and Parkland — with four honorees apiece. Kirkwood was next with three, four others had two, and 12 others had one player selected.

Jones’ Nia Luckett and Itawamba’s Emily Robinson joined Hardy as first-team pitchers.

Luckett went 17-6 with a 1.60 ERA, 13 complete games, 43 walks and 174 strikeouts in 148.1 innings, while also helping herself at the plate with a .352 average, five doubles, four triples, four homers and 20 RBI. Robinson was clutch out of the bullpen, collecting seven saves and going 9-3 with 87 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 88 innings of action.

Hennen was the unanimous choice as first-team catcher, while Loghen Schnetzer (Iowa Central) and Megan Mann (Lansing) also received every vote toward their selection at first and second base, respectively.

Hennen batted .426 with 60 runs and 60 hits, plus 11 doubles, four triples, 11 homers, 49 RBI and 38 steals in 40 attempts. Schnetzer hit 27 homers and had 83 RBI, while hitting .410 with 61 runs, 16 doubles and one triple. Mann collected 21 doubles and hit 19 homers, while batting .489 with 56 runs and 55 RBI.

Parkland’s Reagan Cheely was voted the first-team third baseman. Cheely registered 70 RBI to go with 20 homers, 23 doubles, two triples, 78 runs and a .421 batting average.

In the outfield, Parkland’s Summer Johnson was joined by unanimous selections Ali Ashner (Phoenix) and Randyn Carter (Kirkwood). Johnson hit 25 homers and collected 83 RBI, while hitting .456 with 82 runs, 18 doubles and 14 steals. Ashner was perfect in 24 chances in the field, to go with a .556 average, 79 runs, 84 hits, 24 doubles, 19 homers and 64 RBI. Carter collected three outfield assists, while batting .378 with 45 runs, 51 hits, 10 doubles, 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Saige Koczka of Northwest Mississippi was everyone’s choice for utility/pitcher and Spoon River’s Giulia Cianfriglia earned DP or utility/non-pitcher honors, while three of the five first-team at-large honorees were unanimous.

Koczka batted .489 with 65 hits, 20 doubles, two triples, 14 homers, 59 RBI and 48 runs. Cianfriglia hit .400 with 54 runs, 66 hits, 18 doubles, 15 homers and 64 RBI.

Kori Wedeking (Kirkwood) and unanimous choice Chayse Ramey (Parkland) were the at-large pitchers, while second baseman Kaylie Reynolds (Des Moines Area) and first baseman Lauren Lindsey (Jones) were also unanimous picks. Shortstop Jocellyn LaFlesch (Phoenix) rounded out the first team at-large selections.

Wedeking went 29-5 with nine shutouts, one save, 226 strikeouts, just 34 walks and a 1.73 ERA for 202.1 innings. Ramey was 26-5 with a 1.89 ERA, four saves, 105 walks and 264 strikeouts in 189 innings.

Reynolds hit .408 with 68 runs, 78 hits, 24 doubles, 24 homers and 88 RBI. Lindsey batted .447 with 51 runs, 80 hits, 19 doubles, 20 homers and 73 RBI. LaFlesch hit .538 with 71 hits, 52 runs, 18 doubles, 11 homers and 63 RBI.

The NJCAA Division II All-America team is voted on by NFCA member coaches in the country’s three regions. They select 13 players for the team, unless there is a tie for one of the positions, in which case the tied players are both awarded honors. Due to COVID-19, no awards were presented in 2020.

NFCA All-Region and All-American athletes must be nominated by their NFCA-member head coach, are voted for by the coaches in their region or division, and ultimately selected by elected All-American committee members to receive this prestigious accolade.  These honorees are in the top 1% of student-athletes competing during the 2021 season.  All special awards are also selected by the All-American committee members or by the entire division. 

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