LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is pleased to announce the nine student-athletes that have been selected as recipients of the 2015 NFCA Golden Shoe accolade.

The NFCA Golden Shoe award is presented annually to the player determined to be the most outstanding base stealer from an NFCA member institution in each of the following divisions: NCAA (Divisions I, II and III), NAIA, NJCAA (Divisions I, II and III), Cal JC, NWAACC and high school.

A committee comprised of elected head coaches in each of the 10 represented divisions selects the winner of their respective award.  This year’s winners of the prestigious honor are as follows:

NCAA Division I

MORGAN ZERKLE – MARSHALL UNIVERSITY
Zerkle swiped a NCAA-best 47 total bases and .94 per game in a breakout sophomore season. Manning centerfield for the Thundering Herd, Zerkle hit a Conference USA and school-record .506, which ranked second in Division I. She also set school records with 89 hits and 62 runs, while becoming the first player in program history to register five hits in a game. The first team NFCA All-Region and All-Conference USA selection already ranks sixth in Marshall’s annals with 95 career stolen bases.

NCAA Division II

NIKI COOK – SHORTER UNIVERSITY
A third team NFCA All-American, Cook registered 59 stolen bases and ranked third in the NCAA with .98 swipes per game. The rookie outfielder paced the Lady Hawks with a .389 batting average, 72 hits, 66 runs scored and her Gulf South Conference (GSC)-best 59 thefts. In helping Shorter to a NCAA national semifinal appearance, Cook was selected the GSC Freshman of the Year and earned NFCA All-Region and GSU first-team honors.

NCAA Division III

NINA MURPHY-COOK – WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
Garnering the program’s first NFCA All-American honor (third team), Murphy-Cook paced Division III with 57 stolen bases on 59 attempts and ranked second by averaging 1.27 thefts per game. The freshman leftfielder set a NEWMAC single-season record with her 56th in the NCAA Division III Super Regional against eventual national champion Tufts and went on to finish her inaugural campaign tied for fourth all-time in a Division III single season. A sparkplug from the leadoff spot, Murphy-Cook, the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, led the league with 77 hits and 60 runs, and was second in batting average (.487) and on-base percentage (.51-2), while ranking sixth nationally in runs per game (1.33).

NAIA

CARLY SPALDING – COLUMBIA COLLEGE (MO.)
A first team NFCA NAIA All-American in 2015, Spalding (pictured) produced 53 stolen bases and 1.18 swipes per game, which each ranked second in the NAIA. The Monroe City, Mo. native enjoyed a record-breaking sophomore campaign with a program-best .491 batting average, while her 83 hits were second highest in a single season. Awarded NAIA Second Team All-American, American Midwest Conference (AMC) Player of the Year and AMC first-team all-conference honors, Spalding finished 2015 leading the NAIA in hits per game (.1.84), runs per game (1.47), triples (8) and total bases per game (2.96) and landing in the top 10 in average, hits, runs (66) and triples per game (0.18).

NJCAA Division II

CHASNEY JENKINS – KIRKWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Jenkins, a sophomore outfielder, was perfect on the base paths as she stole a NJCAA Division II-leading 75 bags this season The first team NFCA NJCAA Division II All-American also led NJCAA II with 34 walks,  ranked second nationally in batting average (.545), hits (91), runs (92) and on base percentage (.622) and third in doubles (23). Jenkins will continue her collegiate career at Savannah State University.

NJCAA Division III

GIANNA MARRA – COLLEGE OF DUPAGE
Marra finished third in NJCAA DIII with 37 stolen bases in 42 attempts. The freshman finished the season batting .361 with 44 hits, three doubles, a triple, 19 RBI and 30 runs scored. 

Cal JC

TORI GARCIA – EL CAMINO COLLEGE
Garcia garnered second team NFCA Cal JC All-American honors after leading the CCCAA with 42 stolen bases. The sophomore shortstop played a key role in the Warriors claiming their second conference title in school history, first since 1989. Garcia, a native of San Pedro, Calif., finished the season batting .428 with 65 hits, 14 doubles, five triples, 52 runs and a .511 on base percentage.

NWAC

SARAH CASEL – SHORLINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Swiping a NWAC-best 49 bases in 52 attempts, Casel stole12 more bases than the second closest player in the league. The Mill Creek, Wash. native ranked second in the NWAC with a .554 batting average and paced the Dolphins with 62 hits and 44 runs scored.

High School

RACHEL HAMMONS – BOURGADE CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL (ARIZ.)
Hammons was nearly perfect on the base paths recording 68 stolen bases in 69 attempts in her freshman campaign. A first team NFCA All-American, Hammons hit a cool .790 (83-for-105) with nine extra base hits and 76 runs. The speedster also sported .821 on base and .904 slugging percentages. 

-- Image courtesy of Columbia College Sports Information

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