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NFCA Names Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Teams

2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America First Team Video 
2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Second Team Video 
2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Third Team Video 
2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Team Listing 

Arizona State and Florida led all teams with five players earning 2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America selections as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced the three All-America squads on Wednesday afternoon. 

Alabama, the only school in the country with three players selected for first-team All-America honors, earned four total All-America nods. Michigan and UCLA also picked up four total All-Americans in 2008. Houston and Oklahoma had three selections apiece while five other schools – Arizona, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Stanford and Texas A&M – each had a pair of All-Americans in 2008. 

All eight teams competing at the NCAA Division I Women’s College World Series, which starts on Thursday in Oklahoma City, earned at least one All-American nod this season. The 2008 WCWS will feature 24 players who earned a spot on one of this year’s three Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America teams. Here’s a look at the 2008 All-Americans in action at this year’s WCWS: 

For Florida, the top seed in the 2008 Women’s College World Series, their five All-America selections are headlined by SEC Pitcher of the Year Stacey Nelson and first baseman Alexandra Gardiner, both of whom are first-team All-Americans. Nelson struck out 288 batters during the regular season and went 38-2 with a 0.81 ERA over 260.0 innings pitched. Gardiner hit .415 for the gators with seven home runs, 17 doubles and 53 RBI during the regular season. 

The pair of Gators first-team selections were joined by second-team selections Aja Paculba and Francesca Enea as well as third-team selection Kim Waleszonia. Paculba, a second baseman, hit .337 for the Gators, turning in 11 doubles, two home runs and 3 RBI with 13 stolen bases and a .968 fielding percentage during the regular season. In the outfield, Enea hit .322 with 33 runs scored, 13 home runs and 49 RBI while Waleszonia, another Gator outfielder, hit .364 with 52 runs scored, eight doubles, 20 RBI and 18 steals. 

Arizona State, the No. 6 seed in the WCWS, also has five All-Americans, including outfielder Kaitlin Cochran, who earlier this month was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Cochran hit .443 on the season with 41 RBI, 18 doubles and 11 home runs while leading the Sun Devils offense. Her teammate, Katie Burkhart, was the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year. Burkhart had a 30-4 record during the regular season and finished with 394 strikeouts and a 0.87 ERA over 232.1 innings pitched. Both Burkhart and Cochran earned first-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America honors this season for the Sun Devils. 

Arizona State also placed Mindy Cowles on the second team and two players, Jackie Vasquez and Krista Donnenwirth, appeared on the third team. Cowles, a second baseman, was an at-large selection to the second team as she hit .348 this season, recording 49 RBI, 13 home runs and 10 doubles during the regular season. Vasquez, a second-team All-American outfielder, hit .418 during the regular season with three home runs, seven doubles and 21 RBI. Donnenwirth, a third baseman, was an at-large selection to the third team. She hit .369 with 14 home runs, 13 doubles and 64 RBI on the season. 

UCLA, the No. 2 seed in the WCWS, had four All-America selections, led by first-team selections Anjelica Selden and GiOnna DiSalvatore. Selden, a pitcher, turned in a record of 22-3 in the circle during the regular season, striking out 249 batters with a 0.78 ERA over 170.2 innings in the circle. DiSalvatore hit .373 for the Bruins with 13 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 39 RBI on the season and was named to the All-America first team as an at-large selection at first base. 

The Bruins added a pair of third-team All-America selections in second baseman Amanda Kamekona and utility-pitcher Megan Langenfeld. Kamekona led the Bruins with 11 home runs during the regular season, hitting .327 with 14 doubles and eight stolen bases. Langenfeld hit .339 on the season with five home runs, six doubles and 33 RBI while pitching 53.2 innings to earn a 7-1 record with five saves and 57 strikeouts. 

Alabama, the No. 3 seed at the WCWS, earned four total All-America nods and placed a trio of student-athletes on the All-America first team. Outfielder Brittany Rogers was joined by at-large selections Kelley Montalvo (3B) and Charlotte Morgan (Util-P). 

Rogers hit .443 during the regular season with 67 runs scored, 18 RBI and a whopping 53 stolen bases on the season. Montalvo hit .416 for the Crimson Tide, scoring 41 runs with 14 soubles, two triples, eight home runs and 49 RBI to go with 17 stolen bases. Morgan hit .435 for the regular season with 41 runs scored, 18 doubles, 15 home runs with 66 RBI. In the circle, Morgan pitched 82.1 innings for coach Patrick Murphy, striking out 52 for a 14-2 record and 1.28 ERA. 

The trio of Tide first-team selections was joined by third-team All-America pitcher Kelsi Dunne. The SEC Freshman of the Year, Dunne tossed 161.0 innings during the regular season, finishing with a 21-3 record with three saves, a 1.30 ERA and 214 strikeouts. 

The No. 5 seed at the WCWS, Texas A&M features a pair of All-America selections in first-team All-America utility-pitcher Megan Gibson and third-team at-large third baseman Jamie Hinshaw. 

Gibson, the first player in history to earn both Big 12 Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year honors, led the Aggies to both the regular season and tournament Big 12 titles in 2008. She hit .358 with 40 runs scored, 13 doubles, 13 home runs and 45 RBI while also leading Texas A&M in the circle. Gibson pitched 208.0 innings, finishing with a 30-1 record, 1.08 ERA and 241 strikeouts. Hinshaw hit .374 during the regular season with 42 runs scored, 12 doubles, 29 RBI and 14 stolen bases. She fielded at a .969 clip at the hot corner for the Aggies. 

Virginia Tech, the first-round WCWS opponent for the Aggies, is led by first-team All-America pitcher Angela Tincher. Tincher led the Hokies with 262.2 innings in the circle, striking out an eye-popping 532 batters during the regular season and finishing with a 30-6 record, two saves and 0.56 ERA. 

Seventh-seeded Arizona opens WCWS play on Thursday night against UCLA. The Wildcats placed two players on the All-America team, both as third-team selections. First baseman Laine Roth hit .358 with five doubles, 13 home runs and 39 RBI during the regular season for Arizona. Roth is joined by teammate Brittany Lastrapes, an at-large selection in the outfield. Lastrapes hit .364, accumulating 10 doubles, five home runs and 33 RBI during the regular season. 

Louisiana-Lafayette, which opens against top-seeded Florida in the first game of the WCWS at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, also had an All-America selection in first-team outfielder Holly Tankersley. The Sun Belt Player of the Year, Tankersley accumulated a .461 batting average during the regular season, scoring 71 runs with 10 doubles, 18 home runs and 66 RBI. 

Of the schools with at least four selections on the 2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America list, only Michigan, which was eliminated in Super Regionals by Virginia Tech, did not advance to the WCWS. 

The Wolverines were led by second baseman Samantha Findlay on the first team with Big Ten Freshman of the Year pitcher Jordan Taylor and outfielder Alessandra Giampaolo on the second team and pitcher Nikki Nemitz earning third-team honors. 

Findlay hit .400 during the regular season with 51 runs scored, seven doubles and 21 home runs. Taylor, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, pitched 190.0 innings for the Wolverines, striking out 245 batters en route to a 27-2 record with three saves and a 0.70 ERA. Joining Taylor on the second team, outfielder Alessandra Giampaolo hit .373 during the regular season with 11 doubles and 22 RBI with 39 runs scored. Michigan’s final All-America selection, third-team pitcher Nikki Nemitz, tossed 170.0 innings for the Wolverines, turning in a 21-3 record with two saves, 201 strikeouts and a 0.86 ERA.