LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Fifty outstanding softball players have been chosen for the 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of the Year watch list, which will be paired down in the coming weeks until just one player remains at the conclusion of the season.
Seniors Jayme Perez and Lacey Lindsey are among the 50 finalists up for the award. Perez (Utility; Austin, Texas) and Lindsey (1B; Leander, Texas) are three-time All-Americans and amongst the team leaders in numerous categories. Perez is currently hitting .475 with a team-high six homeruns and 28 runs batted in, and is also 4-0 in the circle with a 1.70 earned run average. Lindsey ranks in a tie for second place with four homeruns and has 17 runs batted in. Lindsey has a team-high 111 putouts in 112 chances for a .991 fielding percentage.
Twenty-two returning NFCA All-Americans top the list, including six first-team honorees, seven second-team selections and nine from last year’s third team. The remaining 23 members of the group all earned first team NFCA All-Region recognition last season.
Three teams have three players each on the initial list — Manhattanville, Otterbein and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, while six others — Aurora, Carthage, East Texas Baptist, Tufts and Washington (Mo.) — have two apiece and 37 others have one selection.
There are 22 seniors, 18 juniors and 10 sophomores in the group.
The list is a collaborative effort between the NFCA’s Division III Head Coaches and All-America committees. The list will subsequently be cut to 25 and 10, before the winner is chosen.
The list will be adjusted to assure the best players during the season are considered, with the eventual winner coming from the group of 25.
ETBU will play a double header against DePauw University with a scheduled start at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, but the games might be moved up due to inclement weather approaching Marshall later in the day.