Ten catchers have been named winners of the 2005 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year award. The award is sponsored by Diamond Sports, the NFCA’s Official Protective Equipment, and is presented to NFCA member schools in each of the following 10 divisions: NCAA (Divisions I, II and III), NAIA, NJCAA (Divisions I, II and III), Cal JC, NWAACC (Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges) and high school.
The 2005 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year awards were determined by divisional committees made up of NFCA member coaches. The winners, by division, are as follows
NCAA Division I — Kristen Rivera, University of Washington
Rivera won Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year honors for the third straight season as she finished her collegiate career with a .362 average with 54 RBIs and 50 runs scored. Her .913 slugging percentage paced all NCAA Division I players. The Huskies’ first four-time All-American in softball hit a team-leading 21 home runs, giving her a UW career-record 79 that ranks fourth all-time in the Pac-10. Rivera was a finalist for the Honda Award after helping guide the Huskies to a 35-22 record and a berth in the NCAA Super Regional. Behind the plate, she fielded at a .995 clip, committing just two errors in 441 chances.
NCAA Division II — Liz Beyer, St. Mary’s University (Texas)
Liz Beyer played a key role in the Rattlers’ run to the NCAA Division II national championship tournament in Salem, Va., as she led the team with an NCAA third-best 24 home runs and 67 RBIs while compiling a .384 average. Defensively Beyer posted 335 putouts in 377 chances, a .979 percentage.
NCAA Division III — Brianne Haas, Maryville University in St. Louis
Haas guided Maryville University to a 30-14 record in 2005, leading the team with a .410 average, .799 slugging percentage, .471 on-base percentage and nine home runs. She also hit a team-leading 15 doubles and six triples. Her 35 RBIs were good for second on the squad, and she was successful on 13-of-14 stolen base attempts. She successfully threw out 11 of the 15 stolen base attempts against her, and she committed just three errors on 273 chances for a .989 fielding percentage.
NAIA — Cat Calvert, Oklahoma City University
Calvert led Oklahoma City University to a 47-16 record and a spot in the NAIA national tournament as she paced the team in average (.423), doubles (20), home runs (14) and RBIs (66). Her 90 total hits topped NAIA. Defensively she threw out 66 percent of the runners who attempted to steal, and she fielded at a .970 clip with 270 putouts in 334 opportunities.
NJCAA Division I — Erin Slettvet, Pima (Ariz.) Community College
Slettvet hit a team second-best .480 as her squad finished the season in the regional championship. An All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference selection, Slettvet finished second in the conference with 22 home runs while tying for the top spot with 101 RBIs.
NJCAA Division II — Ashley Dunkelberger, Cowley (Kan.) Community College
Dunkelberger hit .372 with six home runs and a team-best 64 RBIs as she helped guide Cowley to a 53-11 mark and a berth in the NJCAA Division II national tournament. Defensively she tallied a team-high 404 putouts on 422 chances with just one error for a .998 fielding percentage.
NJCAA Division III — Danielle Martinez, Anne Arundel Community College
Martinez hit .613 with four home runs, 20 doubles, four triples and 56 RBIs as she helped lead Anne Arundel to a fifth-place finish at the NJCAA Division III national tournament. Martinez stole eight bases and she had a .982 slugging percentage and a .625 on-base percentage. Behind the plate she fielded at a .975 clip, committing just four errors while registering 130 putouts and 27 assists.
NWAACC — Melissa Norton, Lower Columbia College
Norton led Lower Columbia to the NWAACC South Division title with a team- and NWAACC-best .554 average and 23 home runs. Norton, who earned her second straight Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year award, also paced the Lady Red Devils with nine doubles and 64 RBIs. In 40 games behind the plate she caught 25 of 30 runners on stolen base attempts.
Cal JC — Pikake Nutter-Gaudet, Taft College
Nutter-Gaudet and her Taft teammates finished a game shy of the elite eight portion of the state tournament. She hit at a .329 clip, finishing the season with 23 RBIs and six home runs.
High School — Stacie Chambers, Cactus High School
Chambers paced Cactus High School with a .540 average that included 15 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs and 41 RBIs. She collected 54 hits in 100 at-bats for a 1.140 slugging percentage. Defensively she had 410 putouts and nine assists while throwing out six of eight on stolen base attempts.