Softball
From Left to Right: Claire Dudek (DMACC), Maddie Hansen (Kirkwood), Lexi Kinnaird (Kirkwood), Molly Jacobsen (DMACC)
From Left to Right: Claire Dudek (DMACC), Maddie Hansen (Kirkwood), Lexi Kinnaird (Kirkwood), Molly Jacobsen (DMACC)
Softball - Thu, Jun. 8, 2017

Seven Division II ICCAC softball athletes were selected to the 2017 NJCAA All-American teams. Of the seven selections, four came from Kirkwood, two from DMACC and one from Iowa Central.

Four players earned 1st Team status after fantastic seasons had all of them participating in the National Tournament. Both of DMACC's All-Americans found themselves on 1st Team. Freshman pitcher Molly Jacobsen dominated lineups all season long in both conference and non-conference play. As the Region XI Pitcher of the Year, Jacobsen finished in the top five in the NJCAA in wins (25), shutouts (10), strikeouts (273), and ERA (1.15). Her 11.22 strikeouts per game was the nations best.

Fellow Bear teammate and shortstop Claire Dudek accompanied Jacobsen on 1st Team. A 2nd Team All-American in 2016, Dudek was the catalyst for DMACC offensively in 2017. She led the team in numerous categories and finished in the top 20 in the NJCAA in runs (70), triples (6), walks (27) and stolen bases (49). Dudek finished the season on an eight-game hit streak, including six hits in 10 at-bats at the National Tournament.

Maddie Hansen and Taylor Nearad represented Kirkwood on 1st Team in 2017, just as they did a year ago. Nearad was the NJCAA Division II Player of the Year in 2016 and will be in the discussion again this season. Nearad led all of Division II softball in runs (106), hits (112) and doubles (35). She hit 19 home runs and drove in 80 runs which was good for 4th and 6th respectively. Nearad was both the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year for Region XI in 2017.

Hansen, the Eagles' catcher, was also a force offensively for Kirkwood. She, too, hit 19 home runs but had 92 RBIs, second best in the country. Her 109 hits were second to her teammate Nearad and her average was 4th best in the nation (.534). Defensively, Hansen recorded the second most put outs (452) and allowed just two stolen bases all season.

Two more Eagles were awarded All-American honors, both on 2nd Team. Lexi Kinnaird was Kirkwood's ace all season long in the circle. The nation's wins leader racked up 30 victories in her 2017 campaign. In her 195 innings pitched, she tallied 30 complete games, accumulated 12 shutouts and struck out 285 batters to lead the nation in each of those categories.

Another Lexi was also apart of the 2nd Team. Sophomore infielder Lexi Ferrari was top 10 in the country in RBIs (75) and runs (83). On the season, Ferrari racked up 91 hits, 37 of which went for extra bases. She belted 14 homers and 21 doubles, both good for top 20 in the nation.

Alexis Egan of Iowa Central rounded out this year's selections for the ICCAC. The outfielder led the nation in stolen bases despite only playing through the regional tournament. Her 73 swiped bags were the most since 2015 when Katy Taylor of Labette Community College led the NJCAA with 89. Egan was third amongst all players with 102 hits. She held a .490 batting average and scored 59 runs.