The National Softball Coaches Association has released its list of 50 outstanding softball players that have been chosen for the 2019 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of the Year watch list. Among this list is Luther College senior pitcher Samantha Bratland (Spring Grove, Minn.).
Twenty-six returning NFCA All-Americans top the list, including seven first-team honorees, 11 second-team selections and eight from last year’s third team. The remaining 24 members of the group all earned first team NFCA All-Region recognition last season.
There are 25 seniors, 14 juniors and 11 sophomores in the group.
Bratland is a two-time NFCA All-American who was named second team in 2018 and third team in 2017. She returns to the circle for her final campaign with a career record of 70-12 and an ERA of 1.54. Her 70 wins ranks second on Luther's all-time list. She also ranks second all-time for career strikeouts with 515 and third for career shutouts with 19.
Three times she has been named Luther's Pitcher of the Year and has been a first team all-conference honoree every year during her career. Three times she has been named all-Midwest region, earning first team accolades in 2017 and 2018 and second team honors in 2016.
The Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III Player of the Year list is compiled annually by the NFCA’s Division III All-America committee. The list will subsequently be cut to 25, 10 and as the season progresses, before the winner is chosen following the completion of the NCAA III Championship.
The list will be adjusted along the way to assure the best players are being considered, with the eventual winner coming from the group of 10 finalists.