The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced the 45 players chosen for the 2018 NFCA Division III All-America softball teams last night during the NCAA Division III Championship banquet at the Sheraton Hotel downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
For the second year in a row, Luther College had three players named NFCA All-Americans. Repeating as All-Americans included senior shortstop Anna Strien (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Waterloo Columbus) who was a first team honoree, and senior outfielder Ashley Burrows (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar) and junior pitcher Samantha Bratland (Spring Grove, Minn.), who were both named to the second team.
Strien becomes Luther's second player to be named a first-team honoree twice. Danielle Kittleson was a first-team selection as a catcher (1989) and as a pitcher (1990).
These three also join Kittleson, Tami Magner (2007, 2008) and Anna Simonson (2009, 2010) as two-time All-Americans. Luther softball players have now earned 30 NFCA All-America honors dating back to 1986.
"In my opinion, once an All-American, always an All-American," commented head coach Renae Hartl. "These three backed up an All-American season in 2017 with another All-American season this year, and that is very difficult to do. There are so many great softball players across the nation, to be recognized with this type of honor twice is something very special. Last year, we took the three of them to Oklahoma City for the NFCA Awards Banquet to receive their All-American awards. We also were able to watch some of the national tournament games and I knew they left compelled to bring their team to Oklahoma City."