A half-dozen Linfield Wildcats have been singled out for regional recognition by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, including three infielders, an outfielder, and a pitcher-catcher combination.
Named to the first team NFCA West Region all-stars are first baseman Staci Doucette, third baseman Karleigh Prestianni (Sr., Grants Pass, Ore.), catcher Emilee Lepp, pitcher Karina Paavola (Jr., Kelso, Wash.) and outfielder Jaydee Baxter.
Appointed to the West Region second team was second baseman Ashley Garcia (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.).
Doucette was named a first team all-region performer for the fourth consecutive season. The Northwest Conference Player of the Year leads NCAA Division III statistics with 18 home runs and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Her on-base percentage of .610 ranks second nationally and she also ranks fifth in batting average (.500) and seventh among Division III hitters in runs batted in (1.37 per game).
A starter in all 45 games, Prestianni is hitting .420 with 11 doubles, two triples and nine home runs. Prestianni received first team all-region and all-Northwest Conference recognition for the third time of her career.
Lepp leads Linfield with 61 runs scored and a career-best 27 stolen bases. Her 60 RBI ranks second on the club behind Doucette’s 62. She is hitting .394 with 11 doubles, five triples and 14 home runs, ranking 10th in the nation in that category.
Paavola, a sophomore righthander, was named to the all-region list for the first time. She leads the NWC in strikeouts with 161 and boasts the most pitching victories (22) and lowest earned run average (1.27). Paavola posted six shutouts during the 2012 season, third-most in the NWC.
A four-time NWC and two-time all-regional selection, Baxter hit .362 with a team-high 13 doubles. She also contributed four home runs, 23 RBI and 11 stolen bases. In the outfield, she was spotless defensively, recording a 1.000 fielding percentage in 63 opportunities.
As a first-year starter, Garcia enjoyed a stellar season. She hit .354 with five doubles and eight home runs. She drove in 31 runs and scored 25 times.
Linfield is in the midst of another watershed season, having won the Northwest Conference and Bloomington (Ill.) Regional championships. The Wildcats won 42 of 47 games and are one of eight teams still competing for the NCAA Division III title.
The NFCA All-America team is expected to be announced Thursday evening at the pre-tournament banquet at the Division III Finals in Salem, Va.
Linfield plays Ohio Northern Friday at 8 a.m. PDT in the opening game of the eight-team NCAA Finals.
Lepp, Baxter, Doucette
Garcia, Paavola, Prestianni
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128