LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fifty-three student-athletes from 44 different institutions have been chosen to one of three 2018 NFCA Division II All-American teams, the Association announced at the NCAA Division II Championship banquet on Wednesday evening at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Roanoke, Va.
In addition to the All-Americans, the Diamond Sports / NFCA Catcher of the Year and New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe awards were announced. Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Mariah Jameyson and University of Montevallo’s Darbi Duke earned were the recipients, respectively.
West Texas A&M led the way with three All-Americans, two on the first team. University of North Georgia, Texas A&M University-Commerce and Southern Arkansas University each had two first-team honorees. Also collecting two overall selections was Colorado Mesa University and Winona State University,
Five of the eight programs that advanced to the NCAA Division II Championship, held May 24-28 at the Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va., had student-athletes earn All-America status.
Four of this year’s first-team selections will be in action this upcoming week in the New River Valley as North Georgia’s pitching duo of Kylee Smith and Amber Johns, along with the Southern Arkansas tandem of outfield Brooke Goad and pitcher Victoria Taylor lead their respective teams at the Championships.
Additionally, there are 14 returning honorees, including three-time selection third baseman Brenna Martini of Adelphi, who garnered second-team honors in 2018 after first-team nods in 2016 and 2017. The stellar third baseman for the Panthers is the only three-time honoree on the list.
The Lady Buffs two first-team honorees were first baseman Kylee Moore and outfielder Ashley Hardin. It is the first accolade for Moore and the second for Hardin. Moore, a junior, hit .389 with seven doubles, two triples, a Lone Star Conference-record 25 home runs, and a team-leading 66 RBI, along with a .920 slugging percentage. Hardin re-wrote the Division II and Lone Star Conference record books during her senior campaign and became the league’s leader in home runs, RBI and total bases. She finished 2018 hitting .412 with 15 doubles, three triples, 25 long balls, 61 RBI and a .955 slugging percentage. She finished her career with 83 home runs, second all-time in NCAA Division II, and third all-time in total bases (612) and RBI (266).
UNG’s Smith and Johns are a combined 53-1 and have been a strong one-two punch that has the NightHawks back in the NCAA Championships for the first time since they won it all in 2015. Smith garners first-teams honors again and is currently 35-1 with a 0.83 ERA and 320 strikeouts in 216.1 innings of work. She has held her opponents to a .129 batting average, twirled 13 shutouts and walked just 43 batters this season. Johns, an at-large selection, is one of two undefeated arms on the first team at 18-0. The sophomore righty has posted a 0.98 ERA and struck out 112 batters in 110 innings, while opponents are batting .146 against her.
Southern Arkansas’ Goad became NCAA Division II’s all-time leader in home runs this season and hit her 90th in game two of the Central Super Regionals. She is five shy of the NCAA’s all-division record held by Oklahoma’s Lauren Chamberlain and currently is tied for second with UCLA’s Stacey Nuveman. Goad has launched a NCAA-Division II-record 32 long balls this season, drove in 69 runs, scored 75 times andwalked 82 times. She is batting .404, slugging 1.043 and posting a .615 on-base percentage. Taylor, an at-large selection, owns an unblemished 31-0 record in 38 appearances (37 starts) with a 1.19 ERA, 224 strikeouts to 40 walks in 218.1 innings. The Great American Conference Pitcher of the Year has recorded eight shutouts and held her opponents to a .197 batting average.
Rounding out the multiple first-team selections are Jameyson and designated player Kinsie Hebler from Texas A&M University-Commerce. The tandem was a key cog in the Lions’ best season in program history as they reached the South Central Super Regionals and notched a school-record 42 wins. Hailing from Seattle Washington, Jameyson finished the regular season as the nation’s leader in on-base percentage, was second in batting average (.510), slugging (1.046) and RBI (89), third in total bases (160), fourth in walks (47) and fifth in home runs (23). Hebler hit .413 on the season with a .505 on-base percentage and .844 slugging percentage. The sophomore hit 19 homers and drove in 73 runs and was clutch in the Lions’ postseason run, crushing two grand slams and recording 17 RBI.
Joining Smith as a first-team pitcher is Schutt Sports/NFCA National Player of the Year finalists- freshman Callie Nunes of Concordia Irvine and junior Allison Lipovsky of Grand Valley State. Nunes was named the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year this evening after a spectacular rookie campaign. She posted a 25-4 record with 10 shutouts, a 0.74 ERA and 289 strikeouts in 190.1 innings of work. Nunes twirled two no-hitters, held her opponents to a .129 batting average and registered eight saves. Lipovsky finished with a 22-5 record and a 0.81 ERA. In her 191.0 innings pitched, she struck out 309 batters and walked just 28, while holding opposing lineups to a .139 batting average and posting 14 shutouts. The junior righty led NCAA DII with 11.3 strikeouts per seven innings, while her total strikeouts and shutouts ranked second in the nation. She also ranked third in strikeout to walk ratio (11.04) and hits allowed per seven innings (3.37), while ranking fourth in ERA.
The first-team second baseman is Northwest Missouri State’s Kaitlyn Weis. During 2018, Weis led the team in almost every category. She batted .390, crossed the plate 39 times, knocked in 48 runs and recorded 57 hits. Weis, a sophomore, started in all 46 games for the Bearcats and finished the regular season tied for first place in the record books with 15 home runs.
Valdosta State’s Jessica Mohl is the first-team third baseman. She is a finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year after a memorable senior campaign. Serving as VSU's leadoff hitter, Mohl led the GSC in runs scored (59), hits (80), doubles (19), and triples (7). She ranks among the top five players in the league in nearly every other major offensive stat category, including batting average (.452, 2nd), slugging percentage (.791, 2nd), on-base percentage (.533, 2nd), RBI's (47, 5th), at bats (177, 3rd), and stolen bases (32, 3rd).
Clara Larson, a sophomore from Colorado School of Mines, was selected to the first team as a shortstop. Larson had record-setting season for the Orediggers, hitting .425 with 15 home runs, 64 RBI, and 21 doubles. She set a program record with her 64 RBI and matched the single-season long ball mark. Larson recorded a .493 on-base percentage, slugged .839 and scored 59 runs.
Joining Goad and Hardin in the outfield is Colorado Mesa’s Brooke Hodgson. She leads NCAA Division II in RBI, doubles and total bases and is second with in runs scored. A finalist for Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year, Hodgson win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference triple crown with a .508 batting average, 17 home runs and 105 RBI, second highest total in NCAA Division II history. She also collected 27 doubles, scored 79 times and slugged .973.
A finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year, Ashley Mickschl of Augustana garnered first-team accolades at utility-pitcher. She led the Vikings with a 20-8 record over 35 appearances, including 31 starts and 17 complete games. She fanned 137 batters over 179.2 innings of work. Mickschl led the offense with a .429 batting average, 79 hits, 10 doubles a triple, eight home runs and 44 RBI. Additionally, she swiped 23 bases and registered a .473 on-base percentage.
Stephanie Day from Colorado School of Mines garners the nod on the first team at the utility-non-pitcher position. Starting every game of her sophomore campaign, Day hit .401 and set a single-season program record with 58 RBI. She also led the Cougs with 54 runs, 67 hits, 11 home runs and 111 total bases. Day swiped 10 bags and drew 22 walks, while posting a .471 on-base percentage.
Corralling the final at-large position is junior catcher Samantha Reilly from Georgian Court, who was instrumental in the Lions 30-win season and third-place finish in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Reilly recorded a monstrous 2018 campaign and leads the all of NCAA Division II with a 1.162 slugging percentage, while ranking second with 25 round trippers, 47 walks and a .636 on-base percentage. The Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year finalist is third in the country with a .511 batting average and 65 RBI.
Duke, the recipient of this year’s New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe award, currently leads Division II with 58 stolen bases in 62 attempts and is second at 1.26 steals per game. The senior outfielder was second on Montevallo with 54 runs, 60 hits, 19 walks and a .485 slugging percentage.