From Berry College Athletics:
Berry College’s Kassie Howard is one of 25 outstanding softball players that have been chosen in the next step towards the inaugural NFCA/Schutt Sports Division III National Player of the Year award.
A sophomore pitcher from Alpharetta, Georgia, Howard earned the Southern Athletic Association Player of the Year award for the second straight year. She tossed 165 innings for the Vikings and has a 26-2 record. Howard also took home Pitcher of the Year and All-Conference First Team honors.
Howard has a 1.10 ERA on the season, tossed two no-hitters, and has struck out 215 batters in her 31 appearances. She won the conference’s pitcher of the week honor six times this year and helped the Vikings to a conference championship last weekend. Berry went undefeated at the SAA Championships. Howard was named to the tournament team and was the tourney MVP.
There are 14 seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen in the current group being considerd for player of the year. The list is a collaborative effort between the NFCA’s Division III Head Coaches and All-America committees.
The original list of 50 players contained 26 returning NFCA All-Americans, including four first-team honorees, nine second-team selections and 13 from last year’s third team. The remaining 24 members of the first group all earned first team NFCA All-Region recognition last season.
Thirteen players from the initial list made the cut to 25, while the remaining 12 players—including Howard–are newcomers.
The next list, due in two weeks, will narrow the field to 10. After that, three finalists will be chosen. The winner will be announced following the completion of the NCAA Division III Tournament in May.
Berry (36-6) awaits NCAA Championship selection on May 9 at 1 p.m.
View the full NFCA release HERE.