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NFCA Announces NAIA All-America Squads
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is pleased to announce the 2014 NFCA NAIA All-America teams.
This year’s squad is comprised of 32 players representing 19 schools across the five NFCA geographic regions on each of two All-America teams.
NAIA national champion Auburn Montgomery and Olivet Nazarene garnered the most selections, with four apiece, while six other institutions — including World Series runner-up William Carey — had two players each honored.
Two of Auburn Montgomery’s four players selected — NAIA World Series Most Valuable Player Cassie Daniels and All-NAIA World Series team choice Lauren Shaw — made the first team. Junior pitcher Daniels went 20-5 this season for the (44-7) Warhawks, which won their first national title in just the program’s sixth season of existence. She fashioned an 1.41 earned-run average with 17 complete games, 11 shutouts, one save, 230 strikeouts and 55 walks over 174 innings. Sophomore Shaw, meanwhile, was one of five At-Large selections after batting .382 with 12 doubles, 13 home runs and 58 runs batted in.
Concordia University of California also placed two players on the first team — first baseman Annette Merjano and shortstop Jenna Jorgenson. Senior Merjano batted .437 this season for the Eagles with 66 hits, including 11 doubles and 15 homers, plus 70 RBI. Fellow senior Jorgenson, meanwhile, hit .479 with 69 runs and 78 hits, including 15 doubles, five triples and 16 homers, 68 RBI, a .562 on-base percentage and .926 slugging average.
Oregon’s Concordia University freshman Meghan Luebbert had a .409 average, nine doubles, two triples, nine homers and 11 stolen bases to earn one of the three first team outfield slots, where she was joined by University of Houston-Victoria junior Rachel Laird, who ranked first nationally in NAIA hits per game with 1.917 and batted .564 with 92 hits and 43 stolen bases and Belhaven University junior Dominque Corona, who hit .482 with 44 runs, 17 doubles, five homers and 39 RBI.
The first team catcher was Central Methodist junior Michele Rupard, who hit .402 for the Ravens with 45 runs, 17 doubles, seven homers and 29 RBI. Olivet Nazarene University senior second baseman Hannah Gardner batted .531 for the Tigers with 86 hits, including 19 doubles, two triples and 12 homers, 73 RBI and 74 runs scored.
Southern Wesleyan University freshman third baseman Lizzie Fela hit .457 for the Warriors with 17 doubles, eight homers and 47 RBI, while Oregon Institute of Technology senior Cassidy Olson snagged the first team designated player spot on the strength of a .408 average, eight doubles, 10 homers, 34 RBI and no errors in 73 fielding chances.
Brittanee Grove, a William Penn University junior, earned the utility player nod following a season in which she hit .444 for the Statesmen with 57 runs, 75 hits, including 16 doubles, two triples and 17 homers, 63 RBI and an .864 slugging percentage.
The other first team At-Large spots went to College of Idaho senior Nickayla Skinner, who compiled a 26-10 record with an 1.77 ERA, 32 complete games, 277 strikeouts and just 42 walks over 221.2 innings, plus a .307 average, six doubles, two homers, 21 RBI and one error in 57 chances; Davenport University junior KC Dunne (.483 average, 18 doubles, six triples, six homers, 47 RBI); Oklahoma City University sophomore Kyndra Holasek (.506 average, 83 runs scored, 120 hits, including 26 doubles, three triples and 11 homers, 65 RBI) and Southeastern University senior Kim Pierce (.462 average, 12 doubles, six homers, 25 RBI).
NFCA member coaches in the five regions selected the teams. For the complete squad, click HERE