LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fifteen players from nine schools have garnered 2023 NFCA National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III All-America recognition, the Association revealed on Friday afternoon.
Corning Community College, the national runner-up, led all programs with three honorees. National champion North Dakota State College of Science, Brookdale Community College, Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute, and Patrick Henry Community College each had two All-Americans.
Niagara County Community College, Rowan College South Jersey Gloucester Campus, St. Cloud Technical College and Suffolk County Community College had one honoree apiece.
Corning’s Lexi Wood (third base) is a three-time All-American with teammate Grace Vondracek (shortstop), Niagara County’s Maggiemay Murrins (catcher) and North Dakota SCS’s Katelyn Strauss (pitcher) collect their second straight plaudits.
Corning’s third straight runner-up finish was keyed by the trio of Wood (.486, 17 2B, 12 HR, 94 RBI, 59 R), Vondracek (.609, 95 H, 20 2B, 11 HR, 64 RBI, 91 R, 43 SB) and pitcher Jayden Hill (21-5. 2.84 ERA, 177 K). Wood, who was the tournament’s Most Valuable Defensive Player of the second straight year, led NJCAA DIII in RBI for the second consecutive season, finished fifth in hits (84) and home runs. Vondracek led NJCAA DIII runs, hits, total bases (152), walks (38) and ranked third in batting average, on-base percentage and stolen bases. Hill posted the third lowest ERA and registered the seventh-highest strikeout total.
Strauss (25-6, 2.29 ERA, 306 K) and outfielder Amanda Hiner (.350, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 51 R) helped North Dakota SCS win its first NJCAA DIII title. Strauss, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Pitcher, led the Division III in wins, strikeouts and strikeouts per seven innings (10.78). She held her opponents to a .181 batting average (5th) and was seventh in ERA.
Brookdale duo of pitcher Gianna Praet (17-4, 1.55 ERA, 155 K) and outfielder Alyssa Sigler (.391, 11 2B, 58 R) keyed the Jersey Blues to an appearance at the NJCAA DIII World Series. Praet ranked third with seven shutouts and fifth in victories.
Hurler Isabelle Curry (17-6, 3.28 ERA, 204 K) and Designated Player or Utility/Non-Pitcher Zoey Boston (.377, 7 HR, 41 RBI) represent Caldwell Tech, while Danielle King (.468, 17 2B, 40 RBI, 53 R) at first base and Morgan Strickland (.469, 10 2B, 5 3B, 9 HR, 53 RBI / 15-8, 2.97 ERA, 87 K) at Utility/Pitcher are the student-athletes from Patrick Henry.
With a tie this year, Strickland and St. Cloud Tech’s Kamille Dougherty (.451, 10 HR, 44 RBI / 15-4, 87 K) are the inaugural Joan Joyce Utility/Pitcher award winners for NJCAA DIII. The renaming of the first-team Utility/Pitcher award honors the late Joan Joyce, an NFCA Hall of Famer, unparalleled two-way player, and pioneer of women’s sports.
Back-to-back All-American Murrins (.603, 34 2B, 91 RBI, 91 H) of Niagara County earns the nod at catcher. She topped Division III in doubles, while finishing second in RBI, second in total bases (146), third in hits and fourth in batting average, sixth in slugging (.967) and seventh in on-base percentage (.625).
Rounding out the All-American are second baseman Anna Cirucci (.486, 70 H, 53 R) from Rowan and Jaden Thompson (.523, 12 2B, 11 3B, 51 RBI) from Suffolk County. Thompson ranked second in triples and fourth with a 1.000 slugging percentage.
NFCA NJCAA DIII All-America athletes are nominated and voted by NFCA-member head coaches to receive this prestigious accolade.
Celebrating 40 years in 2023, the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded All-Region and All-America awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and a National Convention.
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