The Blinn College softball team placed in the top six at the NJCAA National Championship with its younger roster, and the youth movement continued to pick up awards even after the season.
Four Buccaneers were named to the NJCAA All-America team that was announced Thursday, including three freshmen hitters.
Freshman second baseman Thomasina Garza was named to the first team, freshman third baseman Kristina Davila and sophomore pitcher Kaci Federwisch were placed on the second team, and freshman outfielder Leandra Maly was a third-team selection.
Garza, a Pasadena native, hit .410 this season with 10 home runs, 45 RBI and 44 runs scored.
“Any time you hit over .300, that’s good. Any time you hit over .350, that’s even better, but when you hit over .400, you’re in a category all by yourself,” Blinn coach Rick Church said.
Davila hit .400 for most of the season, but ended the season hitting .388 with a team-leading 11 home runs and 62 RBI. The freshman also scored 43 runs, good for fourth on the team.
“Kris produced some big hits with runners in scoring position,” Church said. “She got her hits when they counted the most.”
Federwisch, who was also named Region XIV Player of the Year, finished the year with a 26-7 record with a 1.48 ERA. She struck out 141 in 221 1-3 innings pitched while surrendering only 18 walks, good for a 7.8 strikeouts-to-walk ratio.
“I don’t know if very many pitchers have had that remarkable of a strikeouts-to-walks ratio,” Church said. “Hers wasn’t bad last year, but this year it was just phenomenal.”
Maly split time between right field and designated player, hitting a team-leading .457. The leadoff hitter led the team with 53 runs scored and also stole 16 bases.
“She’s up there with the best there has ever been at Blinn,” Church said.
The Buccaneers finished the season with a 51-10 record and made their fourth consecutive trip to the NJCAA National Championships.secutive NJCAA National Championship. The Buccaneers finished in the top six at this year’s tournament.