The D3 Softball season has come to a close. Now that Virginia Wesleyan has made the journey home from the D3 College World Series with their first-ever National Championship hardware, it's now time to look over some of the individual performances and cast your vote for this season's Player of the Year.
Polls close Friday, June 2 at noon, Pacific.
Hanna Hull, Fr. – Virginia Wesleyan
Hull has been one of the most dominant pitchers in D3 this season, leading the 54-3 Marlins to their first-ever National Championship. She finished her freshman campaign with a 32-3 with a 0.51 ERA, 372 strikeouts and just 58 walks in 220 innings, earning NFCA First-Team All-American honors, as well as Old Dominion Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year.
She is also the recipient of this year’s Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Freshman of the Year award.
Lindsey Thayer, Jr. – St. John Fisher
A force in the circle for St. John Fisher, Thayer led the Cardinals to a second-consecutive College World Series semi-final round appearance, finishing the 2017 campaign as runner-up after a third-place finish just a year ago.
After compiling a 31-7 record, 0.62 ERA and 456 strikeouts in 235.2 innings, Thayer was named the Empire 8 Conference Pitcher of the Year, along with First-Team NFCA All-American honors.
Julie Graf, Fr. – St. Olaf
Graf had one of the best seasons in St. Olaf's history. In addition to NFCA All-America honors she is also an NFCA First Team All-Region selection, was named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year, Rookie-of-the-Year, along with earning First Team All-MIAC honors.
She was the MIAC's Pitcher-of-the-Week four times and had two five-game stretches where she did not allow a run. She posted school records in ERA (0.73), strikeouts (272), wins (22) and complete games (21). She was third in the nation in ERA (0.73) and strikeouts (272), fifth in strikeouts per seven innings, tied for ninth in wins (22) and 11th in shutouts (9). She was 22-5 and allowed one or less run in all but five of her 31 appearances.
Maitlin Raycroft, Jr. – Texas Lutheran
The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher and Newcomer of the Year, Raycroft became the new national record-holder for no-hitters tossed in a season, finished the year with a record of 21-3. She hurled eight no-hitters (including one perfect game) and set the new school mark for wins, at 21.
Raycroft currently leads all of D3 in shutouts, with 14 – also a TLU record – and she ranks fourth in strikeouts per seven innings and fourth in hits allowed per seven innings.
The TLU Female Student-Athlete of the Year, Raycroft finishing the year with a school-record 219 strikeouts in 140-2/3 innings. She walked only 28, and opponents hit just .128 against her. Her final ERA was 1.29.
Josie Novak, Jr. – Moravian
The 2017 Landmark Conference Pitcher of the Year for a season straight spring, Novak was also tabbed the ECAC Division III Metro Pitcher of the Year for a second consecutive season. She was named to the NFCA All-Atlantic Region First Team, Landmark All-Conference First Team, and the ECAC Division III All-Star First Team.
This season, Novak posted an 18-3 mark in the circle, and recorded a 0.77 ERA, 13 shutouts, 20 walks and a conference-leading 144 strikeouts in 135.2 innings in the circle. Novak now has a career total of 474 strikeouts, the third player in school history to reach 400 career strikeouts, and her 56 career victories are fifth in the Moravian record books.
FAN CHOICE: D3 Softball Player of the Year (pitchers)
Cassetty Howerin, Jr./1B – Virginia Wesleyan
Howerin earned First Team All-American honors for the second-consecutive season after garnering Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors for this season's campaign. Howerin has been a threat across the board this year, batting .441 with 11 home runs, 48 RBI, 44 runs, and 25 stolen bases.
Savannah Lee, So./1B – Birmingham-Southern
17 HR – 1st
.935 Slugging – 3rd
A First-Team Southern Athletic Association selection, Lee concluded her sophomore season as the NCAA D3 home runs statistical leader. She ranks nationally in nine different categories including third in slugging percentage. The first baseman hit .382 with a .918 slugging percentage.
Janae Matos, Jr./C – Moravian
The D3 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year, Matos paced the Greyhounds at the plate by hitting for a .523 average with 56 hits, 23 runs, a school-record 22 doubles, three home runs, 45 RBIs, 24 walks including four intentional base on balls, a .621 on-base percentage and an .813 slugging percentage.
Matos recorded a team-high 203 putouts behind the plate to go with 13 assists. Matos became the 44th member of Moravian's 100-hit club in April.
Kaylee Prather, Sr./OF – Texas-Tyler
.503 average – 10th
Prather led the nation with 83 hits and finished with a .500 earning NFCA First-Team All-American honors. She finished her senior campaign with 12 doubles, six triples, two home runs, and 67 runs scored this season. She is 38-for-39 on stolen bases this season and is the program’s all-time leader with 75 stolen bases after transferring in as a junior. Prather is a career .467 hitter with 154 hits in 330 at-bats and 102 games played for the Patriots. She was named the American Southwest Conference Player of the Year, to the NFCA All-Region team and is a CoSIDA All-America third-team selection.
Jayme Perez, Sr./UTIL – East Texas Baptist
62 RBI – 3rd
15 HR – 5th
Perez was named an NFCA All-American for the fourth time in her career. She led ETBU and the American Southwest Conference with 15 homeruns this season, and also drove in a school record 62 RBI this season. Her 13 doubles lead the team, and she was second on the team with a .416 batting average and 67 hits.
Perez has now been named All-ASC, All-Region, and All-American four times in her career. Perez is also a CoSIDA Academic All-American First-Team selection, and becomes the first athlete in ETBU history to be named first-team in both categories.
Anna Strien, Jr./SS – Luther
.531 average – 5th
An NFCA First-team selection at shortstop, Strien was a key component in the potent Norse lineup. The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Position Player of the Year hit at a conference-leading .531 clip at the plate, with 51 runs, 15 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 66 RBI. She was twice the IIAC Player of the Week.
FAN CHOICE: D3 Softball Player of the Year (position players)