Two members of the Longwood University softball team earned 2013 Division I All-American honors, as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) on May 29. Sophomore catcher Megan Baltzell/Stafford was named to the All-American Second Team, while senior Brooke Short/Hurt garnered Third Team accolades as a designated player based on a vote by this year’s selection committee. This marks the school’s first-ever Division I All-American selections.
"This is like having an ice cream sundae with a cherry on top," said head coach Kathy Riley. "Having two girls make All-American is great for Longwood University, the athletics department, this year’s team and all of the people that follow our program."
Baltzell started all 61 games behind the plate for Longwood this season. She received All-Southeast Region and All-Big South Conference First Team accolades, and was an All-Tournament Team selection following the championship game. The lefty, who set a program and conference record, led the nation with 30 home runs and 0.49 home runs per game. She also achieved a new program best with 78 RBI and finished first on the squad a .984 slugging percentage, as well. With the help of a team-best, 39-game streak of reaching base and a .406 batting average, Baltzell logged a .506 on base percentage during her sophomore campaign. Standing at 5-9, she notched a total of five multi-home run games and a team-high 21 multi-RBI games this year.
"Megan had the kind of year that deserved recognition," commented Riley. "We’ve never had anyone come close to hitting 30 home runs in a season, and having 78 RBI was also a big accomplishment for her. She’s one of the main reasons why we had that magical run this year."
Short, a four-year standout for the Lancers, graduated as the program's all-time career leader for at-bats (636), hits (248), RBI (197), runs scored (172), home runs (55), walks (106) and games played (218). In addition to being named to the All-Southeast Region First Team, she was also the Big South Conference Player of the Year, an All-Conference First Team honoree and an All-Tournament Team member. The southpaw started all 61 of the team's games and finished first on squad with a .527 on base percentage, and second with a .420 average, 15 doubles and 69 RBI, in addition to an .824 slugging percentage.
"This is a culmination of Brooke’s outstanding career," concluded Riley. "It couldn’t have happened to a more team-oriented player. She’s been a leader for us offensively since the day she stepped on campus and I’m really happy for her."
In all, 54 players from 32 different institutions were selected to one of three 2013 NFCA Division I All-American teams. The voting was based on regular-season statistics only, and therefore did not include any conference tournament or NCAA Tournament results.
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