NFCA announces NWAC All-Americans; Wenatchee Valley duo garner Diamond Catcher and New Balance Golden Shoe awards

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –  The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is pleased to announce the 12 players named to the NFCA Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) All-America team. Additionally, Wenatchee Valley College’s Amber Writer and Makenzi Howard were named recipients of the Diamond Catcher of the Year and New Balance NFCA Golden Shoe awards.

2017 NWAC NFCA All-Americans

Leading the way with three overall selections- infielder Alyssa Martinez, outfielder Bobbi Bertsch and utility player Shevan DeFreitas- is Southwestern Oregon Community College, which enters the NWAC Championship as the No 2 overall seed after claiming the South Region regular season title. Douglas College, Edmonds Community College, Bellevue College and Wenatchee Valley each grabbed two plaudits, while North Idaho College received one honor.

DeFreitas, the only returning All-American, leads the NWAC with 23 home runs, a monstrous 1.185 slugging percentage and .632 on-base percentage for a 1.817 OPS and is second overall with a .524 batting average. Pacing the Lakers offensively, her 61 runs scored and 66 RBI are tied for fourth and fifth in the league. Bertsch hits .466 with 11 doubles, nine homers, 55 RBI and 59 runs scored, while Martinez is tied for second in the NWAC with 62 runs scored to go along with a .453 average, 13 doubles, nine long balls and 41 RBI.

Taking home All-American honors along with the Diamond Catcher accolade is Writer whose 62 runs scored is tied for the second best total in the NWAC, while her .589 OBP and 64 RBI are fourth. She is batting .489 with 12 doubles, 11 round trippers and just four strikeouts in 131 at bats. Her teammate Allie Kopczynski is the Knights second All-American. The first baseman is hitting at a .508 clip, good for fifth in the league, with 60 hits, a NWAC-best 24 doubles, five homers and 59 RBI. Howard, the New Balance NFCA Golden Shoe recipient, currently leads the NWAC with 47 stolen bases in 50 attempts.

Douglas, who claimed the North Region regular season championship with a perfect 32-0 mark, grabbed the top seed in the upcoming NWAC Championships. The Royals are led by All-Americans, pitcher Keeley Ainge and outfielder Kolby Hamilton. Ainge tops the league with a perfect 17-0 record and 1.51 ERA. She has 92 strikeouts to just 15 walks in 111.1 innings of work. Hamilton ranks second in the NWAC with a .522 average and 40 stolen bases, adding eight double, 30 RBI and 51 runs scored.

Edmonds’ Lesieli Aholelei and Kamryn Kanae keyed the Tritons to a 34-8 overall and 26-6 mark in North Region play and head into the NWAC Championships as the No. 5 seed. Aholelei is 12-2 with a 2.69 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 80.2 innings. She does a lot of damage at the plate as well, hitting .518 with 58 hits, 10 doubles, 19 dingers, 57 RBI and 58 runs. Here 1.170 slugging percentage and 1.769 OPS rank second behind DeFreitas.  Kanae bats .453 with 58 hits, 16 doubles, 11 home runs, 40 RBI and 38 runs scored.

Payton Gibbs and Cierra Barkis earned All-American honors for Bellevue. Gibbs, a utility player, is hitting .445 with 61 hits, 10 doubles, 18 homers and 67 RBI, ranking third and second overall, respectively. Barkis bats .431 with 66 hits, 14 doubles, four triples, seven long balls, 46 RBI and 61 runs scored. She ranks tied for fourth in runs and tied for fifth in hits.

Rounding out the All-American selections is the league’s hits (78) and RBI (77) leader North Idaho’s Kennedy Anderson. Anderson is hitting .506 with 13 doubles, 14 home runs and 50 runs scored. 

2017 NFCA NWAC All-Americans

Name Position School Region  Keeley Ainge Pitcher Douglas College North  Lesieli Aholelei Pitcher Edmonds Community College  North  Amber Writer    Catcher Wenatchee Valley College  East  Allie Kopczynski Infielder Wenatchee Valley College  East  Kennedy Anderson      Infielder North Idaho College West  Alyssa Martinez Infielder Southwestern Oregon Community College South  Cierra Barkis                Infielder Bellevue College  North  Bobbi Bertsch Outfielder Southwestern Oregon Community College South  Kamryn Kanae Outfielder Edmonds Community College  North  Kolby Hamilton             Outfielder Douglas College North  Payton Gibbs Utility Bellevue College  North  Shevan DeFreitas  Utility Southwestern Oregon Community College South 

New Balance NFCA Golden Shoe: Makenzi Howard, Wenatchee Valley College

Diamond Catcher of the Year: Amber Writer, Wenatchee Valley College

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