Softball Leads Country in NFCA All-Region Selections
STARKVILLE, MS – With the eight NCAA Division II Super Regionals set to kickoff around the country this weekend, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) released the 2011 Louisville Slugger All-Region Teams.
For the second straight season, North Georgia dominated the NFCA All-Region teams, placing seven players on the squads, more than any other school in the country. Jessica Coan, Katherine Martin, Hilary Cox, Kasey Knight, and Ansley Williams all earned First-Team honors, while Sarah Phillips and Pilar Harden were named Second-Team.
Just three days after being named the Daktronics Southeast Region Pitcher of the Year, Jessica Coan picks up First-Team All-Region honors from the NFCA. The Duluth, Ga., native has a 26-4 record with 309 strikeouts in just 199.1 innings of work. Opponents are hitting just .142 against the right-hander who has 24 complete-game victories and an earned run average of 0.77.
A year after being named an NFCA All-American, Katherine Martin is well on her way to the honor in back-to-back seasons after earning First-Team All-Region honors at first base. The sophomore is hitting .335 with 12 doubles, four home runs, and 32 runs batted in, and has one of the best defensive gloves in the country, recording a perfect fielding percentage in 376 chances at first base.
Hilary Cox picked up the First-Team nod at third base, as the junior slugger is hitting .356 with five doubles, 12 home runs, and a team-leading 44 runs batted in. She was second in the Peach Belt Conference with 44 runs batted in, as she put together a 10-game hitting streak during the year, while stringing together 13 games with multiple hits. Cox drove in multiple runs in 10 different games, while recording three or more RBI's in seven games.
Making the way around the diamond, senior Kasey Knight picks up her second First-Team selection of the week after earning Daktronics honors at shortstop. The senior is hitting a team-leading .361 with 75 hits and 31 runs batted in. She has just eight strikeouts in 208 at bats, as the First-Team Peach Belt All-Conference selection has played and started in all 59 games for the No. 2 team in the country. Knight has made just six errors at shortstop in 161 chances for a .963 fielding percentage.
As a freshman, Ansley Williams continues to bring home the awards, earned First-Team honors as an outfielder. As the leadoff hitter for the No. 2 team in the land, Williams is hitting .345 with 12 doubles, 12 home runs, and 41 runs batted in. She has played and started in all 59 games for the Saints and put together 19 games with multiple hits, including an eight-game hitting streak during the year. A two-team Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Week winner, the Cartersville, Ga., native has an on base percentage of .427 and is 18-for-20 in the stolen base department.
Picking up Second-Team honors at pitcher is senior hurler Sarah Phillips who continues to make her presence felt in the circle. She has a 20-4 record with an earned run average of 1.44 in 150.1 innings of work. The Powell, Ohio, native has tallied 130 strikeouts on the year, while opponents are hitting .183 against the right-hander.
As a two-time Peach Belt All-Conference performer, Pilar Harden is now an All-Region pick in three straight years, earning NFCA Second-Team honors as an outfielder. The junior is hitting .299 with seven doubles, seven home runs, and 35 runs batted in. She has played and started in all 59 games for the No. 2 team in the land, and has put together 12 multiple hits games during the season.
NFCA member coaches in each of the eight regions select the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Region teams and all honorees are now eligible to be selected to one of three All-American teams.
The 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American teams will be announced at the 2011 NCAA Banquet of Champions in the Community Ballroom of the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va. on Wednesday night, May 25. The entire list of 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II All-Americans, and its accompanying release, will be placed on NFCA.org later that evening.