Six Linfield College Wildcats have been recognized for outstanding play on the softball diamond this spring with their inclusion on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association all-West Region teams.
Two infielders, two outfielders, a pitcher and a utility player make up the list of Linfield honorees. Appointed to the NFCA West Region first team are third baseman Karleigh Prestianni, pitcher Karina Paavola (Sr., Kelso, Wash.), outfielder Erin Carson (Jr., Camas, Wash.) and designated player/first baseman Lisa Yamamoto (Jr., Carson City, Nev.).
Prestianni and Paavola were repeat first-team selections while Garcia earned her second consecutive second-team nod. Middelstadt, Carson and Yamamoto, all sophomores, earned distinction for the first time.
A four-time NFCA all-region pick, Prestianni is in the midst of a commanding senior season. Already anointed as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year, Prestianni hit a career-high .480 with 19 doubles, two triples and eight home runs. She led the Wildcats with 58 runs batted in and 56 runs scored, drew a team-high 27 walks, and was second in total bases with 107. One of the most productive offensive players in Linfield history, she also stole 13 bases.
Paavola’s 22 pitching victories and 123 strikeouts led the NWC. She held opposing batters to a team-low .195 batting average while posting a 1.81 earned run average.
As the cleanup hitter in the Wildcats’ batting order, Yamamoto emerged as a potent offensive weapon. She hit .385 with a NWC-best 13 home runs, while contributing 12 doubles, two triples, 56 RBI and 105 total bases.
A converted shortstop, Carson achieved a remarkable season for a first-year starter, leading the NWC in batting average at .496 while adding 12 doubles, two triples and one home run. She filled a key void defensively, providing a steady glove in right field where she posted spotless 1.000 fielding percentage.
Leading the NWC in stolen bases while batting .327, Middelstadt was yet another key component in Linfield’s successful season. A leadoff slap hitter, she did tapped three doubles, two triples and 14 RBI while starting all 42 games in center field. She scored 50 runs, second only to Prestianni’s team-high 54.
Garcia, who spent the fall semester studying abroad in Costa Rica, returned to enjoy her best season as a Wildcat. She hit .437 with 16 doubles, five triples and seven home runs. She also drove in 51 runs and committed just four errors in 118 fielding opportunities.
Together, the six Wildcats propelled Linfield to a 36-6 overall record, the Northwest Conference championship, a 3-0 record in the NWC Tournament, and a berth in this week’s NCAA Division III Tyler Regional.
Karleigh Prestianni, Erin Carson, Karina Paavola
Ashley Garcia, Lisa Yamamoto, Grace Middelstadt
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128