Go big and go home.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Student-athletes from nine collegiate institutions have been selected 2017 Diamond Sports Catchers of the Year, announced the association on Wednesday afternoon.

The award is presented annually to the player determined to be the most outstanding catcher from an NFCA member institution. This year the collegiate awards honorees were recognized during their respective All-American announcements. The High School winner will be announced in July.

A committee comprised of elected head coaches in each of the nine represented divisions selects the winner of their respective award.  This year’s Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year recipient are as follows: 

NCAA Division I

Kendyl Lindaman – Freshman - Minnesota

Lindaman (pictured), the Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year, finished off a tremendous rookie campaign with a .426 batting average, 63 hits, 63 walks, 20 home runs, 76 RBI, a .598 on-base percentage and a .899 slugging percentage. A top-3 Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshman of the Year finalist and first team All-American, Lindaman finished third in the NCAA in walks and on-base percentage, tied for third in runs batted in, fifth in slugging, and led all NCAA freshmen ranking seventh in home runs.

 

NCAA Division II

Marisa Monasseri – Junior – Caldwell University

A first-team All-America selection, Monasseri finished 2017 with a .503 average (3rd/NCAA), 11 homers, 11 doubles and a NCAA-best .624 on-base percentage. She posted a .787 slugging percentage and drove in a team-best 67 runs (6th/NCAA). Additionally, Monasseri ranked sixth in the NCAA with 48 walks and was a top-10 finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA National Player of the Year.

 

NCAA Division III

Janae Matos – Junior – Moravian College

Matos, who was selected as the 2017 Landmark Conference Player of the Yea paced the Greyhounds at the plate with a .523 average that included 56 hits, a school-record 22 doubles, three home runs, 45 RBI, a .621 on-base percentage and an .813 slugging percentage. Matos had a team-high 203 putouts behind the plate to go with 13 assists and zero errors for a 1.000 fielding percentage.

 

NAIA

Jaci Smith – Sophomore – Oklahoma City University

Smith was third in the NAIA with a team-best .516 batting average and 111 hits, helping the Stars to a second straight NAIA national title. She ended the year on a 14-game hitting streak and recorded at least one hit in 54 of the 68 games she played in this season. The first-team All-American’s 80 RBI and 23 doubles ranked sixth and tied for the seventh in the NAIA.

 

NJCAA Division I

Evelyn Loyola – Freshman – Howard College

Loyola  hit .423 with 11 doubles, 13 homers, 62 RBI and 40 runs scored. The first-team All-American slugged .744 and threw out six of 17 runners attempting to steal for a .353 caught stealing percentage.

 

NJCAA Division II

Maddie Hansen – Sophomore – Kirkwood Community College

Hansen, a two-time first-team All-America selection, finished second in NJCAA II with 92 RBI, fourth with a .534 batting average and tied for fourth with 19 home runs.

 

NJCAA Division III

Hannah Long – Freshman – Rock Valley College

A NFCA All-American, Long batted .430 with 16 doubles, three triples, a homer and 40 RBI. Behind the dish, she recorded 220 putouts, 12 assists and just two errors for a .991 fielding percentage.

 

Cal JC

Taylor Jaurique – Sophomore – Mt. San Antonio College
Jaurique played a key role in the Mounties’ runner-up finish at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships. She led the Mountie’s with a .477 average, 51 hits, 10 home runs, 44 RBI, 35 runs scored, .907 slugging percentage and .517 on-base percentage. Tabbed a NFCA All-American, Jaurique did not commit an error in 190 chances, while keeping runners at bay. Only 12 opponents attempted to steal on Jaurique, who threw out four of those would be base stealers.

 

NWAC

Amber Writer – Freshman - Wenatchee Valley College
In helping Wenatchee Valley to a NWAC Championship, Writer scored 76 runs, which was the second best total in the NWAC, while her 69 RBI and 565 on-base percentage was third and sixth, respectively. The NFCA All-American hit .467 with 15 doubles and 14 round trippers. She struck out just five times in 165 at bats.

-- Image courtesy of Minnesota Athletics

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