It was a Linfield kind of night Thursday evening at the NCAA Division III Championship Banquet held at Salem Civic Center.
A school-record six Wildcats were selected for inclusion on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America team, including four first teamers.
Receiving first team recognition were catcher Emilee Lepp, designated hitter Staci Doucette, outfielder Kayla Hubrich and shortstop Emily Keagbine.
Third baseman Karleigh Prestianni (Sr., Grants Pass, Ore.) was chosen as a second team NFCA All-American and pitcher Claire Velaski earned third team honors.
The No. 1 seed entering the NCAA Finals as well as the No. 1-ranked squad all season in the NFCA Division III Top 25, Linfield placed six athletes, the maximum number allowed, on the All-America squad.
This season, Doucette, Lepp and Keagbine all rank among the top four in home runs in the country. For the second straight year, Linfield ranks No. 1 in Division III in both batting average (.400) and home runs (95).
Doucette, a junior who is receiving her third first-team nod, leads Linfield with a .548 batting average. She led the nation in on-base percentage at .663 and was third in batting average, home runs (20) and RBIs (72).
Keagbine receives her second All-America citation. She enters the NCAA Finals tied for fourth in the nation with 17 home runs and is batting .455 with 13 doubles and 59 RBIs.
Also a second-time All-American, Lepp may have the most impressive power numbers, setting the single-season Division III home runs record, currently at 29 and five better than the previous nine-year old record. She leads the Wildcats with 89 RBIs, 69 runs scored and 78 hits.
Hubrich flourished in her role as leadoff hitter, batting .415, stealing 14-of-15 bases and scoring 63 runs while not making an error in 26 chances in left field.
Prestianni started all 47 games at third base, scoring 34 runs and driving home 45. The sophomore earned her second All-America honor, hitting 10 home runs and 12 doubles and making only two errors all season in 94 chances.
Velaski posted an outstanding season, moving up to No. 2 on Linfield’s career ladder for wins (50) and third for strikeouts (289). She posted a 23-1 record, including 4-0 at the regional tournament, and registered a 1.70 earned run average with 127 strikeouts and only 36 walks.
The top-ranked Wildcats (45-2) face SUNY-Cortland Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Finals.
Three-time first team All-American
Director of Sports Information
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