LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Forty-eight student-athletes from 40 programs were selected to the 2019 NFCA High School All-America teams, announced the Association on Monday afternoon.
Fourteen different institutions were represented on the first team with Howell (Mich.) High School and Spain Park High School (Hoover, Ala.) notching two accolades apiece. Overall, Donovan Catholic High School (Toms River, N.J.) topped all programs with four all-america selections with Howell garnering three recognitions. Spain Park, Lincoln (Neb.) Southwest High School and Marist High School (Chicago, Ill.) had two All-Americans each.
The NFCA High School All-America teams are selected by a committee of member head coaches from the pool of players who earned first-team All-Region recognition in the five high school regions. The three 16-member squads had representation from 20 different states.
Lincoln Southwest’s Emma Kauf was selected Diamond Catcher / NFCA of the Year and Alexa Raphael from Mt. St. Dominic Academy (Caldwell, N.J.) was named the New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe Award recipient.
Headlining the first team were four state Gatorade Players of the Year- Kauf, senior pitcher Sydney Supple from Oshkosh (Wisc.) North High School, first baseman Karina Gaskins of Donovan Catholic and junior shortstop Bailey Dowling of St. Joseph (Ill.)-Ogden High School. A pair of second-team hurlers – Makenna Kliethermes of Blair Oaks High School (Jefferson City, Mo.) and Jordan Hatch from West Stanly High School (Oakboro, N.C.) – also earned state Gatorade Player of the Year recognition.
Kauf, earned her second straight first-team selection, the first coming as a second baseman in 2018. The senior backstop hit .570 with 15 doubles and 22 home runs leading the Silver Hawks to a Nebraska Class A state championship. Kauf recorded 60 RBI, scored a state single-season record 81 runs and produced a 2.108 OPS (.725 OBP / 1.383 SLG), while also graduating as the state’s all-time leader in home runs (59), RBI (214) and runs scored (236).
Supple, a three-time state Gatorade Player of the Year, posted a perfect 29-0 record with a 0.75 ERA and led her squad to its WIAA Division I state title and an unbeaten season. The 2019 MaxPreps Player of the Year struck out 298 batters to just 12 walks in 167 innings of work.
Gaskins is another back-to-back first-team selection. The junior first baseman finished 2019 with a .642 batting average, 19 home runs, 62 RBI, 63 runs scored. Leading the Griffins to their first state title and Tournament of Champions crown in school history, Gaskins drew 31 walks and owned a 2.195 OPS (.750 OBP / 1.476 SLG).
Dowling, a member of the Team USA’s U-19 National Team, took home state player of the year honors for the second straight season. Hitting .674 with 22 home runs and 47 RBI, she led the Spartans to a Class 2A section semifinals. She drew 31 walks to post a .760 on-base percentage and slugged 1.495, both attributing to her 2.237 OPS.
A pair of three-time All-Americans – Oaks Christian School’s (Westlake Village, Calif.) Maya Brady and Spain Park’s Maddie Majors – also took home first-team accolades. For Brady, it is her first time as a first-team selection, while Majors earns her second straight first-team nod after a second-team honor in 2017. Brady, a senior shortstop, hit .558 with 12 home runs, 32 RBI, 36 runs scored, a 1.799 slugging percentage and .657 on-base percentage. Majors, who roamed the outfield for the Jaguars, batted .448 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs, 69 RBI and 36 runs scored. The senior slugged .779 and registered a .448 on-base percentage.
Joining Supple as first-team pitchers are sophomore* Mikala Houge (28-1, 0.42 ERA, 316 K, 168 IP / .518, 14 2B, 40 RBI) of Collins-Maxwell High School (Maxwell, Iowa), sophomore and two-time honoree Annabelle Widra (22-2, 1.28 ERA, 237 K, 16 BB / .503, 18 2B, 43 RBI) of Spain Park, Mahopac (N.Y.) High School’s (19-4, 0.39 ERA, 369 K, 163 IP, .097 opp. BA) sophomore Shannon Becker and Cedar Grove (N.J.) High School’s senior Mia Faieta (10-1, 0.40 ERA, 163 K, 70 IP, .043 opp. BA). Becker tossed a perfect ‘perfect’ game this season, fanning all 21 batters against Carmel High School, while Faieta helped her squad to a Group 1 state title.
Also garnering first-team recognition at catcher is junior Kaitlin “Keke” Tholl (.600, 54 H, 13 2B, 15 HR, 61 RBI, 1.267 SLG) of Victor J. Andrew High School (Tinley Park, Ill.). Rounding out the infield selections are Howell senior second baseman Maddie Gillett (.556, 65 H, 13 2B, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 24-24 SB, 1.11 SLG) and Southwest High School (San Antonio, Texas) junior third baseman Aaliyah Ortiz (.667, 60 H, 18 2B, 5 3B, 22 HR, 79 RBI, 73 R).
Taking home first-team outfield nods with Majors is the Golden Shoe recipient Raphael (.545, 55 H, 52 R, 53-56 SB) and Howell senior AJ Militello (.525, 63 H, 13 2B, 7 3B, 17 HR, 60 RBI, 1.175 SLG). The first teamer at the utility position is senior Kasey Widmyer (.536, 59 H, 17 2B, 16 HR, 49 RBI / 20-4, 1.25 ERA, 294 K, 140 IP) of James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan S.C.
*2018 summer season