LOUISVILLE, Ky. — University of Rio Grande shortstop Michaela Criner has been named to the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America First Team.
Criner, who earlier in the week was named to the NFCA’s All-Region VI First Team, was the offensive leader of the RedStorm’s 35-13 team which won both the River States Conference regular season and tournament championships en route to a fourth straight appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.
Criner, the RSC Player of the Year and a first team NAIA All-America selection, led the country with a .534 batting average. She also hit 13 home runs and drove in 49 runs, while tallying nine doubles, five triples, 58 runs scored and a .868 slugging percentage.
Criner, a sophomore from Bremen, Ohio and a second team honoree last year, also hit safely in 46 of Rio’s 48 games this season.
Twenty-six different schools were represented on the 16-play first team and 16-player second team.
Oklahoma City University and Georgia Gwinnett College had three honorees each among the first and second teams, while national champion University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) University had two recipients each.
Oklahoma City’s Jaci Smith was selected Diamond Catcher of the Year for the second consecutive season, while Niki Cook of Georgia Gwinnett was named the New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe Award recipient.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.