The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is proud to announce the 360 players chosen for the 2018 NFCA Division III All-Region softball teams.
As in the past, the squad is comprised of three 15-player teams in each of the country’s eight NCAA regions. First team honorees will advance and now be considered for 2018 All-American honors that will be announced at the National Championships in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma May 24-29.
Luther placed five players on the Midwest Region (three on the first team and two on the third team).
Named first team all-Midwest Region for the second year in a row were senior outfielder Ashley Burrows (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar), senior short stop Anna Strien (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Waterloo Columbus), and junior pitcher Samantha Bratland (Spring Grove, Minn.). All three were NFCA All-Americans last year. Strien was a first-team All-American, Burrows was on the second-team and Bratland was a third-team selection.
Burrows becomes the fifth player in Luther history to be named all-region four times. She was a second team honoree in 2015 and a first time selection the past three years. Strien and Bratland join a list of 14 players to be named all-region three times. Both were second team honorees (2016) and have been on the first team the past two years.
Entering the Super Regional (May 18-19), Burrows is batting .421 with 23 RBI. She is Luther's all-time leader for career hits (241) and at-bats (570) and is four shy of the career record for runs scored (164). Her career batting average is .424 that currently ranks third all-time.
Strien has rewritten the Norse record books. She is batting .455 with 43 RBI and has a slugging percentage of .705 and on-base percentage of .571. She holds career records for RBI (168), doubles (57) hit-by-pitch (42) and defensive assists (269). She ranks second to Burrows for career hits (218) and is third for runs scored (153).
Bratland has posted a record of 24-4 with an ERA of 1.38. In 172 innings worked, she has allowed 34 earned runs, walked 62 and struck out 174. Following the Decorah, Iowa Regional, she was named the Most Outstanding Performer after posting three wins. She currently ranks second on Luther's all-time list for career wins (66-10) and strike outs (500) and is ranked fourth for shutouts (16).
Third-team honors went to senior first base Natalie Stockman (Glencoe, Minn./Norwood Young America) and junior catcher Addy Pender (Johnston, Iowa). This is the second time Stockman has been named all-region and the first time for Pender.
Stockman leads the team with 43 RBI and is batting .342. Defensively, she has committed just two errors and has been credited with 296 putouts and 11 assists.
Pender is batting .333 with 30 and is tied with Stockman for the team lead with four home runs. She has committed just one error behind the dish and has been credited with 263 putouts and 24 assists.
Luther enters the Super Regional round with a record of 38-8.