In the middle of a tight contest, every coach knows the player they’d like to be due up in the order – some players just seem to find their way from the batter’s box down to first base, one way or another.
In D3 softball, we’ve taken a look at some of the toughest outs from last season, and listed them out below.
Take a look at our list, and let us know who would you’d like to be coming up in the next inning? The only way to vote is in the poll at the bottom of the page, which closes one week from today — Wednesday March 9 at noon Pacific.
Hannah Tavik, JR, BR-77 Frostburg State
.491 batting avg. (15th)
k/58 ab (24th)
.556 obp (12th)
Frostburg State's Hannah Tavik is a force at the plate, and in the circle for the Bobcats (photo courtesy of Frostburg State Athletics)
In addition to being one of BR-77 Frostburg State’s top pitchers, junior Hannah Tavik is also a force in the lineup. Tavik led the Bobcats and the Capital Athletic Conference with a .491 batting average and a .793 slugging percentage, and her 57 hits and 13 doubles put her in a tie for second. She also blasted six home runs and had 33 RBI – good for sixth in the CAC.
Through just a pair of games this season, Tavik has two hits along with four walks.
Kahala Bonsignore, SR, BR-273 NYU
.491 batting avg. (16th)
k/144 ab (8th)
.512 obp (74th)
NYU's Kahala Bonsignore averaged a strike out in every 144 at-bats – 8th best in the nation in 2015 (photo courtesy of NYU Athletics Information)
Senior shortstop Kahala Bonsignore led BR-273 NYU in nearly every hitting category. Her .491 batting average ranked 16th overall in Division 3. A tough strikeout at the plate, she averaged a strikeout every 144 at-bats last season, which placed her eighth overall.
Bonsignore’s 36 RBI, 17 doubles, 56 hits and .512 on-base percentage led the Violets, and earned her First Team All-UAA honors.
Through the first four games this season, Bonsignore is hitting .364 with four hits and two RBI.
Kaylee Martinez, SO, BR-363 Cedar Crest
.521 batting avg (3rd)
.570 obp (8th)
Cedar Crest's Kaylee Martinez Ranked 3rd in D3 with a .521 batting average (photo courtesy of Cedar Crest Athletics)
During her freshman campaign, BR-363 Cedar Crest’s Kaylee Martinez hit a lights-out .521 to finish third in all of D3 in hitting, while her .570 on-base percentage led the Colonial States Athletic Conference and placed her eighth overall.
She led the Falcons with 50 hits, two triples, four home runs and 18 runs batted, along with swiping 18 bases – being caught only once.
Martinez and the Falcons open their season March 6th against BR-279 Manhattanville in Clermont, Florida.
Taylor Dix, SR, BR-38 Averett
Courtesy of Avarett Athletics
.540 batting avg. (1st)
.606 obp (2nd)
k/24.5 ab (152nd)
BR-38 Averett senior shortstop Taylor Dix (pictured above) boasted D3 Softball’s top batting average in 2015, hitting a USA-South Conference record .540. The USA South Player of the Year also had the second-best on-base percentage in the land, reaching base just over 6-of-10 times.
Dix earned NFCA All-American Second Team honors, as well being named as the Virginia Sports Information Directors Player of the Year. She finished the season with 22 doubles, three home runs and 58 runs batted in.
Off to a bit of a slow start this spring, through nine games Dix is hitting .200 with a .379 on-base percentage – it’s a pretty safe bet we’ll watch for those numbers climb.
Alyssa Hancock, SR, BR-110 Eastern Conn. State
.508 batting avg. (6th)
.542 obp (23rd)
Eastern Connecticut's Alyssa Hancock led the Little East Conference in hitting in 2015 (photo courtesy of Eastern Conn. Athletics)
The Little East Conference leader in hitting, BR-110 Eastern Connecticut shortstop Alyssa Hancock finished her junior campaign with the sixth best batting average in D3, hitting at a .508 clip. Hancock also topped the LEC in stolen bases with 32 and shared the lead in hits with 67. She also added seven home runs to go along with an .842 slugging percentage.
While hitting leadoff for the Warriors, Hancock also put together a 20-game hitting streak during 2015, and earned third-team D3 All-American honors.
Hancock has yet to step in the box this season, as the Warriors open 2016 against BR-21 Trine, in Columbus, Georgia for the NFCA Leadoff Classic on March 11.
Kristen Solari, SR, BR-256 Johnson & Wales (RI)
k/127 at-bats (4th)
.511 obp (81st)
Johnson and Wales Kristen Solari was 4th toughest to strike out last season (photo courtesy of Johnson & Wales Sports Information)
After helping BR-256 Johnson and Wales to their first-ever win the NCAA Tournament last season, Wildcat catcher Kristen Solari was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team. Solari finished the season ranked fourth toughest to strikeout in D3, with a k/127 at-bat ratio.
Her .472 batting average led the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, and she finished second in hits, with 60.
Emma Hart, SR, BR-31 Wheaton (MA)
.507 batting avg. (7th)
.544 obp (21st)
Emma Hart Leads Wheaton (MA) at the plate with 26 mulit-hit games, and a 12-game hitting streak in 2015 (photo courtesy Wheaton College Athletics)
Outfielder Emma Hart led BR-31 Wheaton (MA) last season with a .507 batting average, which also put her seventh in the nation in hitting. Hart added 58 runs scored, 22 runs batted in, seven doubles, two triples and two home runs to her stat-line. She tied for the longest hitting streak of the season with 12 games, hitting .477 with runners in scoring position.
In addition to those numbers, Hart produced 26 multi-hit games this spring, a 12-game hitting streak from March 12 to April 10 and reached base safely in 21 straight contests to start the season. Hart also hit .477 with runners in scoring position.
Wheaton opens the season in Kissimmee, Florida against BR-37 Rowan at the Rebel Games, Saturday, March 12th.