Now that the D2 Softball season is in the books and we have a new National Champion – congratulations to coach Meyer and the Minnesota State Mavericks — it's now time to look over the performances of the players that had standout seasons and cast your vote for the D2 Softball's Player of the Year.
Polls close Friday, June 2 at noon, Pacific.
Coley Ries, Sr. – Minnesota State
Leading the Mavericks to the program's first-ever National Championship, Reis, this season's NFCA Schutt Sports Player of the Year, amassed a NCAA-best 476 strikeouts, 17 shutouts and 41 wins (41-3). Along with allowing the fewest hits per seven innings amongst D2 pitchers (3.42), Ries held opponents to a .148 batting average.
A unanimous NFCA First-Team All-American, Ries tossed back-to-back perfect games in April.
Jennifer Leonhardt, Fr. – Southern Indiana
This season's Great Lakes Valley Conference Freshman of the Year, Leonhardt led the Screaming Eagles to the College World Series, finishing her freshman campaign with a 29-4 record, a 1.67 ERA and 191 strikeouts.
Leonhardt broke the program record for wins in a single-season and her 11 shutouts is two shy of the program's single-season mark.
Brandy Marlett, Jr. – Angelo State
Leading the Rambelles to the NCAA Championship Finals, Marlett finished the 2017 campaign with a 29-5 record, and a 1.36 ERA. She had eight shutouts on the season and is held opponents to a .163 batting average, striking out an ASU single season record of 306. She has 12 games of at least 10 strikeouts including setting her career high and the ASU single game record with 17 twice. The junior allowed just 55 runs and completed 18 games.
Kylee Smith, Fr. – North Georgia
As UNG's ace, Smith led the Nighthawks to a Regional Crown.
The freshman hurler led the Peach Belt Conference with a 31-6 record, miniscule 1.04 ERA and 254 strikeouts, while ranking second in appearances (42) and opponent’s batting average (.183).
Hannah Vet, Jr. – West Virginia Wesleyan
Vet led the Bobcats to a third-place finish in this season's College World Series, posting a 28-4 record with one save on the season. She finished her junior campaign with a D2 second-best 0.94 earned-run-average in 216 innings pitched, fanning 148 batters, with 28 complete games.
Autumn Humes, Fr. – Harding
As the Lady Bison's ace, Humes was key to the team's success this season leading HU to a 58-9 overall and 40-4 conference records – both program records. The freshman hurler was a force both in the circle and at the plate, tossing a no-hitter in Harding's first-ever NCAA Tournament game. Offensively, Humes hit .346 with 10 doubles, seven homers and 53 RBIs.
The Great American Conference Freshman of the Year, Humes finished tied for second in the D2 with 16 shutouts, while her 33 wins and 292 strikeouts rank third and seventh, respectively. She posted a 33-3 mark with a 1.19 ERA and seven saves, leading the GAC in those categories, while also holding opponents to a .176 batting average.
Maddie Dow, Sr./1B – Southern Arkansas
22 HR – 1st
.899 slugging – 5th
598 OBP – 2nd
The D2 home run leader with 22, Dow ended her career at SAU with a bang. The Great American Conference Player of the Year, Dow leaves SAU as the program’s career leader in batting average, on-base percentage, hits, home runs, RBI, walks and total bases. In 2017, she was the league-leader in average (.423), long balls, slugging (.899), OBP (.598), walks (54), hit-by-pitch (24) and total bases (151).
Dow leads the NCAA with 54 walks, while her OBP and slugging rank second and fifth overall.
Kaitlyn Bannister, Sr./3B – Alabama-Huntsville
.482 avg – 9th
.926 slugging – 3rd
21 HR – 2nd
73 RBI – 1st
A two-time NFCA First-Team All-American, Bannister closed out her distinguished four-year career at Alabama-Huntsville leading the D2 with 73 RBI, and second with 21 homeruns. The senior is the two-time Gulf South Conference Player of the Year and has been selected to an NFCA All-Region team all four seasons. She finished ranking in D2 top 10 in several offensive categories. Bannister finished 2017 with a single-season UAH record .482 batting average, while collecting 18 doubles and 21 home runs. She slugged .926 (3rd) and drew 30 walks, which attributed to her .545 on-base percentage (10th).
Sarah Kennedy, Jr./SS – Augustana (SD)
.505 avg – 2nd
.962 slugging – 3rd
Kennedy was recently named the Central Region and Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year for the second time in her career after earning the same honors as a sophomore in 2015. Kennedy is a four-time All-NSIC First Team selection and a three-time All-America First Team selection.
Kennedy ended her career at Augustana batting .505 with 95 hits, including an D2 single season record 32 doubles. She hit one triple and 15 home runs in 2017, producing a slugging percentage of .926 while driving in 58 runs and scoring a team-high 60 while leading the country with 174 total bases.
At the conclusion of the 2017 season, Kennedy ranked first amongst all active NCAA players (Division I, II or III) in hits, doubles and total bases while ranking seventh in runs scored and eighth in RBI.
Christa Reisinger, So./OF – Truman
.509 avg – 1st
.571 OBP – 4th
The Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year, Reisinger was also tabbed First-Team All-Midwest Region and was one of 10 finalists for Schutt Sports/NFCA D2 National Player of the Year.
Reisinger set Truman single-season records for games played (63), at-bats (216), runs scored (75), hits (110), and total bases (152). The sophomore outfielder finished first in batting average (.509), first in hits (110), fourth in total bases (152), fourth in on-base percentage (.571), fifth in runs per game (1.19), 37th in stolen bases per game (0.62), 48th in doubles (16), 56th in slugging percentage (.704), and 65th in triples (4).
Marisa Monasseri, Jr./C – Caldwell
.503 avg – 3rd
.624 OBP – 1st
67 RBI – 7th
The NFCA Diamond Catcher of the Year, Monasseri completed another outstanding season for the Cougars as she was named the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Conference selection for the second straight season. She was named as a NFCA Division II Player of the Year Top-10 Finalist earlier this month.
Monasseri finished the season with a .503 this season with 11 homeruns, 11 doubles, 78 hits, with an on base percentage of .624. She posted a .787 slugging percentage and led the team with 67 RBI. Monasseri led the CACC in on base percentage, slugging, average, homeruns, RBI and walks. She was tied for second in the conference in hits, fifth in runs scored and tied for 11th in doubles. In the nation, she led Division II in walks and was ranked third in average, sixth in RBI, 20th in slugging and sixth in walks.