The NFCA and Diamond Sports, the NFCA’s “Official Protective Equipment,” have released the 10 catchers who have been named the winners of the 2008 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year award.
Diamond Sports and the NFCA present the award annually to the top catcher from NFCA member schools in each of the following divisions: NCAA (Divisions I, II and III), NAIA, NJCAA (Divisions I, II and III), Cal JC, Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) and high school.
Divisional committees consisting of NFCA member coaches determined the 2008 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year award winners. The recipients of this year’s awards, by division, are as follows:
NCAA Division I
Chelsea Bramlett, Mississippi State
A first-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American, Bramlett was also selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America squad for 2008. Bramlett, a first-team All-SEC catcher, hit .450 for the season with three doubles, three triples, two home runs, 25 RBI and a team-high 52 runs scored, setting a school record for runs by a sophomore. Bramlett was named one of 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award and stole 46 bases on 50 attempts during the 2008 season.
NCAA Division II
Jessica Shiery, Abilene Christian
The first-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American at catcher, Shiery led the Wildcats with a .440 batting average, starting all 61 games and going 77-for-175 at the plate. She knocked a team-high 20 doubles and 12 home runs for 44 RBI on the season while drawing 53 walks to rank fifth in NCAA Division II. Shiery was the first player in ACU history to earn first-team All-America honors. She was also selected to the NCAA Division II South Central Region All-Tournament Team, Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-South Central Region first team and first-team All-Lone Star Conference South Division for the 2008 season.
NCAA Division III
Nicky Neuman, University of Redlands
Neuman led the Bulldogs to their fourth consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. Neuman was named the SCIAC Player of the Year and a Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-team All-American. She led the Bulldogs in most offensive categories, hitting .407 with 68 hits, 40 runs scored, 15 doubles and six home runs while adding four triples and 28 RBI. She struck out just two times on the season and picked off an impressive 18 would-be base-stealers during the 2008 season.
NJCAA Division I
Kelsey Meyers, Iowa Western Community College
A Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-American, Meyers caught all 66 games for IWCC during the 2008 season. Offensively, she posted a team-high .440 batting average with 11 hits, 12 home runs and 82 RBI with a .658 slugging percentage. Over 262 at-bats during the season, Meyers struck out just four times. She is now attending Rogers State University.
NJCAA Division II
Lacy Goodman, Phoenix College
Goodman, the Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-America catcher for NJCAA Division II, hit .550 on the season with 105 hits, 92 RBI, 23 home runs, 19 doubles and 31 stolen bases. Goodman, the ACCAC Player of the Year, was also named first-team All-ACCAC, All-Region 1, NJCAA All-America, and was selected as the MVP of the 2008 NJCAA National Championship Tournament as the Bears won a fifth consecutive National Championship.
NJCAA Division III
Amanda Page, Monroe Community College
Page led Monroe Community College to a third consecutive NJCAA Division III Championship. For the 2008 season, Page hit .614, posting 97 hits with 12 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and 78 RBI on the season. A first-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America catcher, Page was named an NJCAA Division III first-team All-America as well as garnering Regional NJCAA Player of the Year honors, first-team NJCAA All-Region notice and a selection to the NJCAA Division III All-Tournament Team for the national championship tournament.
Kathryn Sumner, Ohlone College
Sumner accumulated 51 runs scored in 50 games for Ohlone College during the 2008 season. Hitting .410 for the season (62-for-151), Sumner led the team with 15 sacrifices and led her conference with 32 stolen bases on the season and had a state-high six triples for the year. An All-Conference, All-Northern California and Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first-team selection, Sumner also recorded 34 RBI on the season.
Ashley Fargher, Spokane Falls
Farger hit .425 for the 2008 season, going 57-for-134 at the plate with 39 runs scored, 13 doubles, a triple and six home runs for 42 RBI. Defensively, she threw out 11 of a possible 19 base stealers while leading her team in every offensive category. She was also named an NWAACC Eastern Region first-team All-Star.
Heather Vaughn, Emmanuel College
Vaughn had an impressive .527 batting average during the 2008 season with Emmanuel College, recording 77 hits, 19 home runs, 56 RBI, 49 walks and 52 runs scored with a 1.041 slugging percentage on the year. In 199 plate appearances during the season, Vaughn struck out just four times. The NAIA National Player of the Year and Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Player of the Year, Vaughn was also named to the National Christian College Athletic Association’s All-South Region Team as well as Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first-team honors.
Calli Wood, Bryan HS (Texas)
Wood, who is currently a freshman at Sam Houston State, was a three-year letterman at Bryan High School. During her senior season, Wood hit .496, going 57-for-115 with 28 runs scored, 42 RBI, nine doubles, 11 triples and three home runs over 36 games played. She was selected to participate in the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-Star Game and was named a first-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America catcher.