LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Thirty-two student-athletes from 14 different institutions garnered 2017 NFCA NJCAA Division II All-America honors, the Association announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Additionally, Kirkwood's Maddie Hansen was named the Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year and Iowa Central Community College's Alexis Egan was selected the New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe recipient.
Des Moines Area Community College, Jones County Junior College and Kirkwood Community College led all schools with four total All-Americans. Phoenix College, Itawamba Community College and Mercyhurst North East earned three All-America nods. All four of the Eagles’ honorees were first-team selections, while the Bobcats and Bears took home three first-team nods.
Representing Kirkwood CC on the first team are pitcher Lexi Kinnaird, catcher Maddie Hansen, outfielder Taylor Nearad and outfielder Morgan Frost. Hansen and Nearad are two-time first-team selections, while Frost is also a two-time All-American, earning a second-team nod in 2016. Hansen finished second in NJCAA II with 92 RBI, fourth with a .534 batting average and tied for fourth with 19 home runs. Nearad led the nation with 112 hits, 35 doubles and 106 runs. Additionally, she was tied for fourth in long balls (19) and batted .516. Kinnaird was one of the top pitchers in NJCAA DII, leading the country with 285 strikeouts and 30 victories. She finished 2017 with a 30-4 record, 1.47 ERA and just 23 free passes in 195.1 innings of work. Frost hit .495 with 97 hits, 25 doubles, eight home runs, 64 RBI and 87 runs scored. She ranked in the top-10 in runs (3rd), hits (5th) and doubles (6th).
Des Moines Area was represented on the first team by pitcher Molly Jacobson, infielder Claire Dudek and utility player Kenzie Sutton. Jacobsen compiled a 25-4 record and a 1.08 ERA during the 2017 season. She finished third nationally in wins, second in ERA and second in strikeouts with 273. Jacobsen, who averaged 11.22 strikeouts a game, held batters to a .171 batting average in 170.1 innings of work. The Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) Player of the Year also hit .398 with nine doubles and five home runs. Dudek hit .440 with on on-base percentage of .504 and a slugging percentage of .591. She registered 85 hits, including 11 doubles, six triples and two home runs. She drove in 41 runs and led the Bears in runs scored with 70. Dudek ended the season ranked sixth nationally in stolen bases with 49. Sutton batted .410 with a .467 on-base percentage and a .681 slugging percentage this past season. Sutton ended the season with 77 hits, including 16 doubles and a team-leading 11 home runs. She also led the Bears \with 73 RBI and 46 runs.
First team honorees from national runners-up Jones County JC are pitcher Karli Perque, catcher Autumn Frost and infielder Kelly Byrd. Perque posted a 23-0 record, which led the MACJC and ranked fifth nationally. She recorded a 1.34 ERA and six shutouts. In 125.w, she allowed 78 hits, walked 29 and struck out 128. The MACJC Pitcher of the Year was named to the national All-Tournament Team. Frost, a sophomore, hit .406 with 22 home runs and 88 RBI. She led the state and was second nationally in home runs and was tied for third in RBIs. Byrd, a sophomore, hit .494 with 18 doubles, 18 home runs and 88 RBI. She recorded a .920 slugging percentage, 160 total bases, 83 runs and 86 hits. She was second in the MACJC in batting average, tied for second in the state and sixth nationally in home runs and tied for first in the state and third nationally in RBI. Byrd tied for sixth in the nation in slugging percentage. She led the state and was sixth in the nation in runs scored and was second in the state in hits.
For Phoenix College, infielder Alyssa Fernandez and outfielder Amanda Preach garnered first-team accolades. Fernandez, the top slugger in NJCAA DII, led the country with 24 home runs and a 1.062 slugging percentage. She ranked in the top-10 in NJCAA DII with a .525 batting average (8th), 86 runs, 32 walks (5th) and .612 on-base percentage (2nd). Preach was third in the nation with eight triples. She batted .474 with 91 hits, 19 doubles, five long balls, 39 RBI and 71 runs scored.
Rounding out the infield All-America selections are Itawamba’s Mamie Hollenhead and Kankakee Community College’s Kalyn Learnard. Hollenhead, a sophomore third baseman, hit .469 on the year with 90 hits, 25 doubles, six triples, 52 runs scored and 71 RBI. Defensively, she posted a strong .971 fielding percentage at the hot corner, committing just five errors in 174 chances. Learnard, a sophomore, led the nation with 12 triples, while hitting .483 with 89 hits, 13 doubles, five round trippers, 64 RBI and 74 runs scored. She only struck out just nine times in 206 plate appearances and made just five miscues at second for a .970 fielding percentage.
The fourth first-team outfielder is Iowa Central Community College freshman Alexis Egan. The speedy centerfielder led NJCAA DI with 73 stolen bases and was third with 102 hits. She hit. 490 on the season with six doubles, 59 runs and a .520 on-base percentage.
The final first-team All-American is Ashlyn Slusher, a freshman designated player from Mercyhurst North East. She hit an even .500 with 72 hits, 18 doubles, seven home runs 55 RBI and 40 runs scored. She slugged .785 and recorded a .517 on-base percentage.