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NFCA Proud To Announce Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III All-Americans
2010 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III All-Americans
EAU CLAIRE, Wisconsin - As was the case with all-region selections, parity was the name of the game in Division III softball this season. This was undoubtedly in evidence as the NFCA named its 2010 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III All-American teams Thursday night at the national championship banquet in Eau Claire, Wisc. Of the eight teams at the championship, two will be making their first appearance (Christopher Newport and East Texas Baptist), two are returning after more than decade-long absences (Eastern Connecticut and Luther); and the other four have made a least one appearance in the last five years (DePauw, Ithaca, Linfield, and Moravian). Just four of these teams boast at least one all-American, as there are 31 teams across the country that claim one of the 45 spots.
That being said, four teams placed two athletes on the first team all-American squad, including championship participants Luther and Linfield and Texas-Tyler and Louisiana College. The Luther battery of pitcher Kim Lambert and catcher Tiffany Kruse looks to continue its success during the next five days after helping lead the Norse to their first championship appearance since 1991. Lambert is currently 21-3 on the year with 16 complete games and nine shutouts, and her 0.81 ERA leads a pitching staff that is second in the nation with a 0.99 team ERA. She has has 198 strikeouts in 138 innings of work, and batters are hiting just .138 off of her. Kruse is batting .412 on the season, with a team-leading and third in the nation 17 home runs, and her 57 runs scored and 13 stolen bases are part of the No. 14 scoring team in the nation at 7.37 per game. She has also thrown out 8 of 13 potential base stealers for a .619 average.
Linfield's home run hitting duo of first teamers includes utility player Karlee Prestianni and at-large nod Staci Doucette. The two share the national lead for home runs at 18 and lead a lineup that is No. 1 in the nation with 73 total home runs. Prestianni, who split time at first and third base this season, is batting .450 with 42 runs scored, 58 hits and 58 RBIs. She has just three errors in 169 chances. Doucette, a sophomore who is receiving her second first-team nod, leads Linfield with a .496 batting average, including 68 base hits and 10 doubles. She is second in the nation in slugging percentage at .964 and tied for second with 62 RBIs.
Texas-Tyler, who narrowly missed out on a return trip to the national championship, placed both first baseman Whitney Wyly and outfielder Joey Cronin on the first team, while American Southwest Conference (ASC) rival Louisiana College had shortstop Mary Alice Roy and outfielder Jodi Montagnino on the first team. Wyly receives her second first team all-American award after a 2010 season in which she finished just under .400 at .396. She led the Patriots with 65 hits and 53 RBIs, and had 13 doubles and eight home runs. Cronin led UTT with a .405 average, 13 home runs and 57 runs scored. She had 14 doubles and 48 RBIs, and was hit by a pitch 16 times. Roy was named East Division Player of the Year after batting .425 with a league-high 71 hits, 15 doubles, three triples and 46 RBIs. She also scored 60 runs and stole 23 bases to help LC capture the ASC title. Montagnino batted .390 and provided the power for the Wildcats with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs. The speedy duo combined for 48 stolen bases to help LC capture the ASC title.
Pitcher Molly Rathbun has led Eastern Connecticut back to its 12th national championship appearance, but first since 1992, after going 27-1 on the year. She currently leads the nation with a 0.61 ERA and 16 shutouts, including two no-hitters, while also leading Eastern at the plate with a .420 batting average. In just her sophomore season and receiving her second all-American award, Rathbun already holds program career records for strikeouts with 493 and ERA with 0.70, and is near the top in several other categories.
Cortland State's Donnalyn Cross received first team honors at second base for the second straight year, while Harmony Palmer of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps rounds out the first team infield at third. Now a junior, Cross was named the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Player of the Year after sharing that honor as a sophomore. She led the Red Dragons with a .416 batting average, 47 runs scored and 21 stolen bases, and her 15 triples led the nation. Palmer helped Claremont to a school record 34 wins and its first regional win, finishing with a team-leading .468 average and 58 RBIs. She scored 38 runs on 66 hits, 17 doubles and nine home runs.
Whitney Tornow from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh received a second consecutive all-American award in the third outfield spot. She led the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in nearly all major offensive statistical categories, including batting average at .500. She led Oshkosh with 42 runs scored, 60 hits, and 45 RBIs, and her 40 walks were nearly twice as many as any other WIAC player. Tornow was second in the nation in on-base percentage at .617 and tied for third in the nation with 19 doubles. Alyssa Scrader was named the first team designated player after leading Carthage College to a 25-15 record and just its second appearance in school history in NCAA regionals. She batted .402 with 45 hits and a team-leading 11 home runs, 37 RBIs, and 19 walks.
Ohio Northern's Jackie Mangola and Messiah's Jessica Rhoads were named to the final two first team at-large spots. Mangola was named the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Player of the Year after leading the 41-7 Polar Bears to a near-repeat national championship appearance. She batted .455, including 61 hits, 17 doubles and a team leading 13 home runs, and the 67 runs she scored led the nation. In just two seasons, Mangola already ranks among ONU's all-time career leaders with 123 base hits, 95 RBIs, 30 doubles, 101 runs scored and 20 home runs. After leading Messiah to its first national championship a season ago, Rhoads receives her first all-American nod in a season in which she battled a knee injury all year. The sophomore pitcher led the nation with 29 victories and 395 strikeouts; she was second in the nation with 14 shutouts and third with a 0.71 ERA. Rhoads was also a force at the plate, batting .336 with 36 hits, seven doubles, 26 RBIs, and 16 walks.
(All stats are as of May 17, 2010.)