Rio Grande pair named 2nd Team All-America

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – University of Rio Grande freshman shortstop Caitlyn Brisker and junior outfielder Taylor Webb have been named to the 2021 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Softball All-America Second Team.

The teams, which included First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention list, were selected by the NAIA All-America committee and announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Brisker hit a team-best .446 with a team-high eight triples, 59 runs scored, 15 stolen bases and a .797 slugging percentage despite missing the team’s first 17 games while still a member of the Rio women’s basketball team. The Oak Hill, Ohio native was second on the RedStorm with eight home runs and third with 12 doubles and 36 RBI.

Brisker, who also earned River States Conference Player of the Year honors and an All-Region VI selection from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), ranked sixth nationally in triples.

Webb, who also received Second Team All-American honors on Monday from the NFCA after earning All-Region kudos last week, batted .436 with a team-high 11 home runs and 70 runs batted in. She also led the RedStorm in hits (95), doubles (25) and total bases (161), while ranking second in runs scored (54).

A native of Willow Wood, Ohio, Webb went 15-for-26 (.577) with six doubles, three homers and eight RBI in Rio’s eight post-season contests, ranked second nationally in hits, RBI and total bases and was third nationally in doubles.

The duo helped Rio Grande equal the school’s single-season record for wins (47) en route to a River States Conference regular season and tournament championship. The RedStorm got to within two wins of the NAIA World Series, but lost to Milligan (Tenn.) University in the championship game of the Lawrenceville (Ga.) Bracket of the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round.

Southern Oregon senior infielder/pitcher Lauren Quirke was named the NAIA Player of the Year, while senior Emily Cerny of Science & Arts of Oklahoma was honored as the NAIA Pitcher of the Year.

Quirke had an amazing final year at Southern Oregon, finishing the season ranked top five in different statistical categories, including No. 1 in total hits with 101. She is a two-time national champion, earning NAIA All-American second team in 2019 and 2020.

Cerny graduates Science & Arts (Okla.) decorated with honors. The pitcher went the distance for the past four years for the Drovers and is a three-time First-Team All-American, as well as the 2018 NAIA Pitcher of the Year. She finished the 2021 season No. 1 in total wins (34) and No. 1in total innings pitched (257.1).

Indiana University Southeast pitcher Hannah Ogg, the River States Conference Pitcher of the Year, made the team as an honorable mention selection. She was the only other player from an RSC institution — outside of Brisker and Webb — to be recognized.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.