LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Thirty-two student-athletes from 15 different institutions have been selected as members of two 2016 NFCA NJCAA Division II All-American teams, the Association announced on Friday afternoon.
Kirkwood Community College led all schools with five total All-Americans, while Des Moines Area Community College brought home four nods. The Eagles were tied with Phoenix College and national champion Louisiana State University-Eunice in first team selections with four apiece, while Des Moines Area CC had two first-teamers.
For a complete list of NJCAA DII All-American click HERE.
The top four finishers at the 2016 NJCAA DII tournament- LSU-Eunice, Jones County Junior College, Kankakee Community College and Phoenix College, all had a minimum of two representatives among this year’s NFCA All-American squad.
Kirkwood outfielder Taylor Nearad was named the NJCAA Division II Softball Player of the Year. The freshman led the nation in almost every offensive category, topping the charts with 145 hits, 129 RBI, 30 homeruns, and 114 runs scored. Her batting average (.602), triples (11) and slugging percentage (1.195) ranked third, while her doubles (31) and on-base percentage (.622) were second and fourth respectively. She was joined on the first team by two teammates, catcher Maddie Hansen and infielder Gabi Carter. Carter complimented Nearad’s top runs scored with the fourth highest total in the country with 85. She also added the fifth highest RBI total of 84. Hansen brought 93 RBI (third in the country) and 100 hits (eighth) to the table. These three assisted Kirkwood in receiving the two seed in the national tournament.
LSU-Eunice, put infielder Rebecca Skains, outfielder Madison Edmonston, and designated player Darby Bishop on the first team. The trio played an integral role in the Tigers’ national title. Skains ranked third in the nation with 25 home runs, sixth with 83 RBI and 103 hits, and seventh with 82 runs scored. She also led her team in slugging percentage at .944. Bishop was seventh in the nation with 80 RBIs and led the Bengals in batting average at .480. Bishop also added 95 hits, a .498 on base percentage, and 12 homeruns. Edmonston ranked sixth in the nation in stolen bases (44), seventh in runs scored (82), and ninth in hits (98). She also led her team with a .535 on-base percentage.
Phoenix College, who finished fourth at the NJCAA DII tournament, was the third team to bring home three first-team nods with infielders Brittany Hopper and Danae King and catcher Cheyann Tucker. King led the Bears with 28 homeruns (second in the nation), 109 hits (fourth in the nation) and a 1.010 slugging percentage (seventh in the nation). She also led the team in batting average (.519) and on-base percentage (.574). Hopper added 81 runs (ninth) and 26 doubles (fifth). Hopper hit at a .468 clip with 64 RBI and .841 slugging percentage. Cheyann Tucker scored 56 runs, had 58 hits, slugged 15 homeruns, and knocked in 52 runs for the Bears this season.
Des Moines Area’s two first teamers were outfielder Brittany Roby and Pitcher Kenzie Ihle. Roby led the Bears at the plate, while Ihle dominated in the circle. Brittany Roby led the nation with 32 doubles, took second with 119 hits, and placed third with 96 runs scored. She also recorded a .551 batting average, 10 homeruns, and a .579 on-base percentage. Ihle led the nation in strikeouts (345) and strikeouts per game (12.64). Her 31 wins placed her second, while her 1.26 ERA put her 11th.
Rounding out the pitching staff is Rachel Hayes of Jones County and Alex Brake of Labette Community College. Through her 193.1 innings pitched, Hayes accumulated a 29-2 record and the third most wins. She tossed 26 complete games with a 1.63 ERA, while striking out 245 batters. Brake fanned the second most batters in the nation at 278 and twirled 28 complete games.
Kankakee’s infielder Brittany Hay, North Iowa Area Community College outfielder Kendall Cornick, and Itawamba Community College at-large selection Alex Brown round out the first team.
Hay placed second in runs scored (110) and fourth in homeruns (23) and RBIs (90). She also hit .514 and slugged .875. Cornick led the Trojans with the third-best on-base percentage (.627) and the seventh-best batting average (.561). She also scored 55 runs, while amassing 88 hits and three triples. Brown led Itawamba with 45 runs and 56 hits. She also batted .438 with a .545 on base percentage and a .734 slugging percentage.