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Linfield College student-athletes Staci Doucette and Brynnan Hyland are finalists for the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented as part of the 61st Oregon Sports Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10 at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton.
A first baseman, Doucette was one of the most feared hitters in the Division III. During 2012, the Vancouver, Wash., native hit .462 with 20 home runs and 65 runs batted in. She holds Linfield career records for batting average (.480), slugging percentage (.935), on-base percentage (.581), walks (120), games played and started (201). Doucette is also the NCAA Division III career leader for home runs (73) and RBI (259).
The 2012 Linfield graduate is a four-time NFCA first team All-American and a member of four consecutive Northwest Conference championship teams.
She led Linfield to a 46-7 season as a senior in 2012. The Wildcats finished as runner-up at the NCAA championship tournament.
In 2011, Doucette was the recipient of the Rutschman Award after leading Linfield’s 2010 softball team to a runner-up NCAA finish. She went on to power the Wildcats to the 2011 NCAA Division III national championship.
Hyland was a first team AFCA and d3football.com All-America selection. The towering defensive end from Eugene's Churchill High School recorded at least one sack in every game and two or more sacks in 6 of 9 regular-season games. Hyland was a dominant force, totaling 19 tackles for loss, including 18 sacks.
With Hyland leading the defense, Linfield rolled to an impressive 11-1 season that included a fourth consecutive Northwest Conference title and two NCAA playoff victories.
Linfield’s defensive unit ranked first in the NWC statistically in scoring defense (16.2), total defense (270.8), passing defense (200.0) and rushing defense (70.8). Linfield led Division III in sacks and tackles for loss.
Among the finalists for the female Rutschman Award this year are George Fox women’s basketball All-American Keisha Gordon and Concordia-Portland national track and field champion Junia Limage. Competing along with Hyland for the male Rutschman Award are Eastern Oregon championship decathlete Robbie Haynie and Southern Oregon wresting champion Mitchell Lofstedt.
The Oregon Sports Awards, honoring the best and brightest in amateur and professional athletic achievement in Oregon over the preceding year, will be presented at Nike’s Tiger Woods Center. The event, hosted by ESPN personality Neil Everett, will be streamed live on the internet.
The Rutschman Award is named in honor of legendary Linfield football and baseball coach Ad Rutschman. Rutschman led the Wildcats to three NAIA national football championships (1982, '84, '86) and a NAIA baseball title (1971).