2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III All-Americans
SALEM, Virginia – Variety was the overriding characteristic of the 2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III All-America teams, announced Thursday night at the national championship banquet in Salem, Va., as 37 different schools placed athletes on one of the three squads.
Linfield was the lone school boasting more than one first teamer, as senior Jenny Marshall was named at second base for the second consecutive year. Fellow senior and outfielder Stephanie Rice joins her on the first team after garnering third team honors a year ago. Marshall and Rice led the Wildcats to a 38-6 record and fifth straight NWC championship. Marshall batted .476, good for 11th in the nation, with a gaudy 78 hits and 62 runs scored. Rice batted .416, with 72 hits, 50 runs scored and 11 doubles. Both were a threat on the base paths, combining to steal 39 bases in 45 attempts.
Wartburg junior Angela Hartwig is a first-team selection at pitcher, leading her team to its sixth straight 30-win season. As of May 5, her 0.63 ERA was good for fourth in the nation and her 3.32 hits allowed per seven innings was ranked fifth. Hartwig picked up 20 of Wartburg's wins, going 20-2 overall, with 14 complete games. She struck out 164 batters in 138.2 innings and did not make an error in 21 chances in the field. Megan Soultz of DePauw was the other first team pitcher, leading the Tigers to their first No. 1 ranking in school history in midseason and a 40-4 finish. She was No. 1 in the nation with 36 victories, losing just four decisions. Soultz finished with a 0.98 ERA, striking out 260 batters in 265.1 innings of work. As a sophomore, she has already broken the school career strikeout and victory records.
Sophomore Nicky Neumann is the first team selection at catcher, leading Redlands to its fourth consecutive SCIAC championship, garnering Player of the Year honors in the process. Neumann batted .407, with 68 hits, 15 doubles, four triples and six home runs, scoring 40 runs. Neumann was fourth toughest to strikeout in the country, with just two K's in 167 at-bats. She was also a force defensively, throwing out 21-of-33 would-be base stealers with 15 pickoffs.
Hardin-Simmons first baseman Sadye Hill garnered her third All-American honors, with this being her first first-team selection. She was a third-team at-large selection in 2005 and a second team selection at first base a year ago. Hill batted a ridiculous .527, with 49 hits, 10 doubles and nine home runs. She had an on-base percentage of .603, and she also had just five errors in 226 chances. Hill set numerous school and ASC records, including a career batting average of .472. She finished second in career records in the ASC in hits, home runs and RBIs, and nationally she was ranked sixth in batting average and third in on-base percentage.
Jackie Ferranti of Montclair State was named first-team third baseman after receiving second team honors a year ago. As a senior, Ferranti was named NJAC Co-Player of the Year after leading the Red Hawks to a conference championship and a 43-6 season. She batted .431 with 66 hits and 60 runs scored, including 16 doubles and eight home runs. Ferranti also walked 38 times, good for eighth in the nation in walks per game.
Salisbury shortstop Kelly Waskewicz completes the first-team infield, garnering her second All-American honors as a sophomore; she was a third-team selection a year ago. Waskewicz led the Sea Gulls to their 13th CAC championship in 14 years, garnering her second straight Player of the Year award. She batted .481, scoring 53 runs on 64 hits, with 12 doubles and 17 home runs. She drove in 45 runs, stole 16-of-17 bases and had a slugging percentage of 1.000.
Rowan's Heidi Smith and Simpson's Kelsie Host join Rice in the first-team outfield, both first-time All-American selections. Just a sophomore, Smith led the Profs to a 31-11 record, leading her team in hits with 62, doubles with 17, triples with four and RBIs with 37. Also a sophomore, Host helped the Storm go 29-12, breaking the Simpson single season record for triples with 11, also ranking her No. 1 in the nation in triples per game. She has already set the school career record for triples as well. Host batted .456, with 57 hits and a slugging percentage of .712.
Hope's Kylee Brouwer is the first-team selection at designated player. She was named to the third-team as a catcher in 2006, but a hand injury prevented her from playing her natural position as a senior. Brouwer led the Flying Dutch to a 25-14 record, setting a school single season record in the process with a .533 average. She scored 40 runs on 65 hits, with 12 doubles, seven triples and 14 home runs, with an on-base percentage of .567.She leaves Hope as the all-time leading hitter with a career .451 average.
Maria Bye of St. Thomas garnered her third first-team All-American honor after being named a first-team pitcher a year ago and a first-team utility player in 2006. Bye helped the Tommies go 42-5 and win their fifth consecutive outright MIAC championship, as the team was No. 2 in the nation with a .397 batting average. She batted .397, scoring 36 runs on 52 hits with 11 doubles and 12 home runs, driving in 42 runs. In the circle, Bye went 21-2 with a 1.29 ERA, striking out 120 batters in 119.1 innings of work, with hitters going just .153 off of her. She leaves St. Thomas as the career strikeout leader with over 800 K's.
McCaslin Carson is a first-team at-large selection after leading Louisiana College to its first-ever national championship appearance. As a junior, Carson has helped the Wildcats to a 42-5 record with a 0.83 ERA, good for ninth in the nation. She is 17-3, with 98 K's in 127 innings pitched, with batters hitting just .167 off of her. Luther catcher Tami Magner also garnered first-team at-large honors after a senior season in which she led her team to the second consecutive 30-win season, a first-time accomplishment. Magner batted .394, scoring 41 runs on 52 hits, with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs. She also made just three errors in 369 chances for a .992 fielding percentage. Willamette utility player Nikki Franchi rounds out the first team at-large selections. Also a junior, Franchi set several single season school records, including 46 runs, 45 RBIs, a .955 slugging percentage, 10 home runs, and 203 K's from the rubber. She was named the NWC Player of the Year after going 19-4 with a 1.85 ERA.
(All national rankings are as of May 5, 2008.)