Ten catchers have been announced as Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year winners. 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 2004 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year awards were determined by divisional committees made up of NFCA member coaches. Each player was named first-team All-America in her respective division. The winners, by division:
NCAA Division I - Kristen Rivera, University of Washington
A back-to-back winner of the Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year Award, Rivera led Washington to a 40-19 record and an appearance in the Women's College World Series. Rivera hit a team-leading .385, 17 home runs and 47 RBIs. She also was among the nation's leaders with a .825 slugging percentage. Behind the plate, Rivera committed just three errors in 396 chances, a .992 clip.
NCAA Division II - Crystal Krebs, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Krebs led the Mountain Lions and the nation with a .511 batting average. She also was among the national leaders with 19 home runs and 59 RBIs, slugging at a .964 clip. Defensively, Krebs was phenomenal, committing four errors in 274 chances, a .985 fielding percentage.The junior from Loveland, Colo., was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week during a week that she posted a .900 batting average in four games.
NCAA Division III - Angela Gonzales, East Texas Baptist University
Gonzales, a senior from Magnolia, Texas, finished her Tiger career as the school's all-time leader in RBIs (162), hits (197) and games played (178). Gonzales is a three-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American, and was named the American Southwest Conference East Division Player of the Year twice. In 2004, Gonzales hit .453 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs. Defensively, Gonzales fielded at a .990 clip, committing just two errors in 206 chances.
NAIA- Meredith Tanner, University of Mobile
Tanner started all 57 games for Mobile, helping to lead the Rams to a 46-11 record and a successful run to the NAIA national tournament. Tanner hit .389 this season, including 20 doubles. Tanner also belted 48 RBIs for Mobile. Behind the plate, Tanner committed just two errors in 288 chances, a fielding average of .993.
NJCAA Division I - Tiffany Hartsell, Navarro College
Hartsell, a two-time first team all conference selection, ;ed the conference with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs this season. She struck out only five times in 119 at-bats, hitting at a .439 clip. Behind the plate, she made just one error in 143 chances for a .993 fielding average. She threw out 11-of-18 potential base stealers and issued seven pickoffs.
NJCAA Division II - Leigh Farina, Kankakee Community College
Farina hit .466, including 22 doubles and 10 home runs. She fielded .977 behind the plate to help lead Kankakee to an appearance in the national tournament.
NJCAA Division III - Kate Peterson, Rochester Community College
Peterson, a sophomore, played in 27 games for Rochester, hitting .576 and slugged .835. She delivered 13 doubles and 25 RBIs. Behind the plate, she made just one error in 135 chances.
California Junior Colleges - Heather Martin, Cerritos College
Martin, who was named to the All-state team, helped lead Cerritos to the South Coast title and an appearance in the state tournament. Martin led her team with a .466 batting average and had 19 extra-base hits. She had 14 stolen bases, and made just two errors during the entire season, fielding at a .983 clip.
Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges - Melissa Norton, Lower Columbia College
Norton helped lead the Red Devils to a sixth consecutive NWAACC title. LCC finished with a 41-6 record as Norton was named to the NWAACC All-Tournament team. Norton hit for a .461 average, belting 14 doubles, four triples, 13 home runs and delivering a team-leading 72 RBIs.
High School - Kristen Pocock, Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Pocock, a first team Louisville Slugger High School All-American, hit .447 and slugged .685 to lead her team to a league title. Pocock also threw out 9-of-11 potential base stealers and fielded .993 behind the plate.