Marlins have Two in Mix for Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of Year

Marlins have Two in Mix for Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of Year

Marlins have Two in Mix for Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of Year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ten outstanding softball players remain in the mix for 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of the Year honors, with Virginia Wesleyan leading the way with two candidates in Cassetty Howerin and Hanna Hull.

Just three student-athletes remain from the initial list of 50 released on March 10 — Howerin, Averett senior Jessica Long and St. John Fisher junior Lindsey Thayer. The other seven finalists were added when the list was updated on April 21 to better reflect the best 25 players in Division III this season.

Current NFCA Top 25 leader Virginia Wesleyan has two players on the list, while everyone else has one each, including senior Kaylee Prather of defending national champion Texas-Tyler.

The other players on the list are Salisbury junior LeAnn Collins, East Texas Baptist sophomore Linzie Lewis, Texas Lutheran junior Maitlin Raycroft, Kean senior Emily Sabo and Luther junior Anna Strien.

Three 2016 NFCA All-Americans remain on the list — first teamers Howerin and Thayer, plus third teamer Long. Of the remaining seven members of the group, Lewis, Prather and Strien earned NFCA All-Region recognition last season. Among the other three, Hull and Raycroft were not in Division III last year.

The list is a collaborative effort between the NFCA's Division III Head Coaches and All-America committees. The winner will be revealed following the conclusion of the season.