Every pitcher knows who on the opposing lineup they are hoping not to see in the on-deck circle. We take a look at the D2 softball hitters on that list – who do think should be at the top? Vote at the bottom. The poll closes Tuesday, March 22 at noon Pacific.
Lacey Taylor/Sr. – West Texas A&M
.584 obp (3rd)
.458 avg (11th)
.71 walks/g (21st)
The Lone Star Conference Preseason Player of the Year, BR-1 West Texas A&M’s Lacey Taylor (pictured above) enters her senior season a 1st Team All-American selection behind the plate, registering a .458 batting average with 11 doubles, two triples and 12 home runs. She posted an .813 slugging percentage with 63 runs batted in, drawing 40 walks and an on-base percentage of .584 – third highest in all of D2.
This season, through 24 games she’s posted a .450 average and a .983 slugging percentage, with 6 hr, 24 runs, 32 RBI, and a .585 obp.
Courtney Burns/So. – Claflin
Claflin's Courtney Burns scored 1.49 runs/game last season – 2nd in D2 (photo courtesy of Claflin Athletics)
.557 obp (11th)
.486 avg (3rd)
.60 walks/g (T55th)
BR-225 Claflin’s Courtney Burns finished second in D2 in runs per game last season with 1.49, and her .486 batting average ranked third. Burns finished the season with 54 hits, 10 home runs, 55 runs scored and 39 runs batted in . A threat on the basepaths, Burns also swiped 30 bases in 31 attempts.
Off to a slow start this season, Burns is hitting at a .233 clip, with a home run and 10 runs batted in, with a .356 obp through the Panther’s first 23 games – we can certainly expect those numbers to climb.
Morgan Hasty/So. – Johnson C. Smith
Johnson C. Smith's Morgan Hasty hit .459 last season – 10th best in D2 (photo courtesy of Johnson C. Smith Athletics)
.459 avg (10th)
.531 obp (27th)
Last season’s Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year, BR-248 Johnson C. Smith third baseman Morgan Hasty led the CIAA in hitting with a .459 average – also good for 10th in all of D2, finishing fourth in home runs with eight with a .531 on-base percentage.
Hasty ranked in the top-50 in D2 posting a .776 slugging percentage, while driving in 32 runs.
So far this season, Hasty has a .308 average, with 4 walks, and 3 runs scored through the Golden Bulls first 6 games.
Janessa Bassett/So. – Dixie State
Dixie State's Janessa Bassett was named NFCA Freshman of the Year for 2015 (photo courtesy of Stan Plewe/Dixie State Athletics)
.534 obp (23rd)
.449 avg (20th)
.59 walks/g (65th)
Sophomore BR-27 Dixie State outfielder Janessa Bassett earned PacWest Conference Freshman of the Year, PacWest First Team, All-Region First Team, All-America First Team, and NFCA Freshman of the Year honors in 2015. She started all 58 games as a freshman, hitting .449 with 83 hits and 30 RBI, while stealing 47 bases on 50 attempts.
Through her first 20 games this season, she is hitting .431, with a .615 slugging percentage, 6 RBI, 40 total bases and a .500 on-base percentage.
Nicki Sprague/Jr. – Azusa Pacific
Azusa Pacific Nicki Sprague (photo courtesy of Azusa Pacific athletics/Holly Magnuson)
.532 obp (26th)
.453 avg (16th)
For the first two years of her collegiate softball career, BR-26 Azusa Pacific third baseman Nicki Sprague earned honors as the Pacific West Conference Player of the Year.
Her sophomore season Sprague hit .453 – the 16th best in D2 and was the only player in the D2 West Region to top the .400 mark. Her .744 slugging percentage led the PacWest. Sprague also drove in 49 runs with 78 hits and 128 total bases for the Cougars last spring.
So far this spring, Sprague is hitting at a .476 clip with 2 home runs, 19 runs batted in, 43 total bases to go along with .529 on-base and .683 slugging percentages through 17 games.