LOUISVILLE, Ky. – May 16, 2013 – A season of hard work and dedication came to a head tonight as 45 top Division III softball players were recognized for their on-the-field achievements as the 2013 NFCA Division III All-American class was announced at the NCAA Division III Championship Banquet in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
A complete list of all the 2013 NFCA Division III All-American award winners is available here.
Nine 2013 NFCA All-Americans earned repeat honors from the 2012 season, while one selection has now earned an NFCA All-American honor all four years of her collegiate career. The nine players named to an All-American team for the second season in a row are:
Alex Hill - Montclair State
Arielle Cooper - Eastern Connecticut State University
Devan Boggs - Capital University
Tori Higginbotham - Virginia Wesleyan College (pictured)
Allyson Fournier – Tufts University
Karleigh Prestianni – Linfield College
Johanna Clair – Tufts University
Kimmy Hassel – University of St. Thomas (MN)
Lucia “Cheech” Meola – SUNY Cortland
Leading the pack among institutions, were the University of Texas-Tyler and Linfield College with three All-American selections. Eight schools earned two All-American awards.
Linfield was led by four-time NFCA All-American Karleigh Prestianni (2010-13) who reaped an at-large selection on the first team along with teammate Lisa Yamamoto at designated player. Linfield College’s third All-American selection this year is second team outfielder Erin Carson.
Prestianni batted .480 this season with 60 hits, 58 RBIs, 19 doubles, 53 runs scored, two triples, eight home runs and drew 27 walks at the plate. Prestianni turned in 17 multi-hit games this season and only struck out six times in 125 at-bats.
UT Tyler earned one first team selection and a pair of second team selections in outfielder Joey Cronin, pitcher Kelsie Batten and utility Heather Abshire. This marked the second time Cronin has earned an NFCA All-American award, with her first coming in 2010.
Salisbury University was the only other school to earn two First Team All-American awards with pitcher Rachel Johnson and catcher Michelle Gravdahl taking home the honors. This marked Gravdahl’s second All-American award as she was also named one in 2010.
Of the final eight teams in the Division III World Series, four – Tufts University, UT Tyler, Central College and Montclair State – placed players on an All-American team.
First team at-large selection Allyson Fournier and second team catcher Johanna Clair earned the honors for Tufts University. Clair was also named an All-American in 2012. Central College pitcher Malory Schulenberg helped the Dutch to a sweep of the Pella Regional and earned a spot on the third team at the pitcher position.
Voted in as the first pitcher named to the NFCA All-American First Team, Montclair State’s Alex Hill earned her second All-American award in as many seasons. Last season she was an at-large selection, and this season after turning in a 0.57 ERA and a 36-3 record with 402 strikeouts, she earned top honors for the Redhawks.
Lucia “Cheech” Meola, the lone representative for SUNY Cortland, earned her third consecutive NFCA All-American award. This season Meola was named to the third team as an at-large selection. Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd-Scripps College second baseman Harmony Palmer also earned the second NFCA All-American award of her career after earning a spot in 2010.
The 2013 NFCA Division III All-American awards are chosen by a committee of eight NFCA member head coaches, representing the eight regions of NCAA Division III softball. Student-athletes must be selected to an NFCA All-Region First Team to be eligible for NFCA Division III All-American honors.