6-22-2017 NCAA Changes DI Recruiting Rules, Calendar

NCAA Changes 2017-2018 Division I Softball Recruiting Rules & Calendar

The NCAA is implementing big changes to the softball recruiting landscape starting August 1, 2017. Early recruiting has run rampant over the last few years, and now the NCAA is looking to take preventative measures by altering the non-scholastic recruiting calendar and non-institutional camp policies.null
Photo: NFCA.org

Changes To Fall Ball

Fall ball recruiting will be restricted to select Saturdays and Sundays in October and November.

  • October 14-15, 2017
  • October 21-22, 2017
  • October, 28-29, 2017
  • November 4-5, 2017
  • November, 11-12, 2017
  • November 18-19, 2017
Non-Instiutional Camp Restrictions

Softball coaches and noncoaching staff members with responsibilities specific to softball may only be employed at noninstitutional camps and clinics that occur during recruiting calendar periods when evaluation at nonscholastic practice or competition activities is permissible (See Bylaws 13.12.2.3.6 and 13.12.2.3.8).

Non-Institutional Camp Dates
  • October 14-15, 2017
  • October 21-22, 2017
  • October, 28-29, 2017
  • November 4-5, 2017
  • November, 11-12, 2017
  • November 18-19, 2017
Contact Period
  • August 1 through August 13, 2017
  • June 7 through July 31, 2018
Evaluation Period (For scholastic and nonscholastic practice or competition activities.)
  • August 14 through November 19, 2017 [Except for Quiet Period, Dead Period dates]
  • October 14-15, 2017
  • October 21-22, 2017
  • October, 28-29, 2017
  • November 4-5, 2017
  • November, 11-12, 2017
  • November 18-19, 2017
  • January 2 through May 28, 2018 [Except for Quiet Period, Dead Period dates]
  • During high school regional and state championship competition that does not occur during a dead period
Quiet Period
  • November 20, 2017, through January 1, 2018
Dead Period
  • November 18-19, 2017
  • December 6-9, 2017
  • April 9-12, 2018
  • May 29 through June 6, 2018
  • June 7 through July 31, 2018

Dates are based on the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Softball Championship. Dead period remains in effect until the day following the conclusion of the Women’s College World Series. If the championship series ends after two games, the dead period ends on June 5 and the contact period would start on June 6.

**Dates are based on the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Softball Championship. Contact period starts the day following the conclusion of the Women’s College World Series. If the championship series ends after three games, the contact period starts on June 7.

What is a contact?

A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college’s campus.

What is a contact period?

During a contact period, a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.

What is an evaluation period?

During an evaluation period, a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.

What is a quiet period?

During a quiet period, a college coach may only have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents on the college’s campus. A coach may not watch student-athletes compete (unless a competition occurs on the college’s campus) or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.

What is a dead period?

During a dead period, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit?

Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.

During an official visit, the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and the parent or guardian, and reasonable entertainment expenses, including three tickets to a home sports event.

The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event.

What is an Unofficial visit?

Student athletes can visit a coach on that coaches campus at anytime, as long as they pay their own way. These types of visits are called unofficial visits and have become a big part of the recruiting process.

What is an Official visit?

During your senior year the NCAA allows any academic institution to pay for you to attend campus on a 48-hour official visit. Included in the visit is transportation (airfare or mileage reimbursement) to and from campus, lodging (either on campusor in a hotel), meals, and tickets to sporting events on campus.

What is a National Letter of Intent?

A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Other forms of financial aid do not guarantee the student-athlete financial aid.

The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports. Signing a National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.

A student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but attends a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility and must complete a full academic year at their new school before being eligible to compete.

What are recruiting calendars?

Recruiting calendars help promote the well-being of prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.

6-22-2017 NFCA Catcher of the Year Awards

NFCA’s 2017 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year collegiate winners announced

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Student-athletes from nine collegiate institutions have been selected 2017 Diamond Sports Catchers of the Year, announced the association on Wednesday afternoon.

 

The award is presented annually to the player determined to be the most outstanding catcher from an NFCA member institution. This year the collegiate awards honorees were recognized during their respective All-American announcements. The High School winner will be announced in July.

 

A committee comprised of elected head coaches in each of the nine represented divisions selects the winner of their respective award.  This year’s Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year recipient are as follows:

 

NCAA Division I

Kendyl Lindaman – Freshman – Minnesota

Lindaman, the Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year, finished off a tremendous rookie campaign with a .426 batting average, 63 hits, 63 walks, 20 home runs, 76 RBI, a .598 on-base percentage and a .899 slugging percentage. A top-3 Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshman of the Year finalist and first team All-American, Lindaman finished third in the NCAA in walks and on-base percentage, tied for third in runs batted in, fifth in slugging, and led all NCAA freshmen ranking seventh in home runs.

 

NCAA Division II

Marisa Monasseri – Junior – Caldwell University
A first-team All-America selection, Monasseri finished 2017 with a .503 average (3rd/NCAA), 11 homers, 11 doubles and a NCAA-best .624 on-base percentage. She posted a .787 slugging percentage and drove in a team-best 67 runs (6th/NCAA). Additionally, Monasseri ranked sixth in the NCAA with 48 walks and was a top-10 finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA National Player of the Year.

 

NCAA Division III

Janae Matos – Junior – Moravian College

Matos, who was selected as the 2017 Landmark Conference Player of the Yea paced the Greyhounds at the plate with a .523 average that included 56 hits, a school-record 22 doubles, three home runs, 45 RBI, a .621 on-base percentage and an .813 slugging percentage. Matos had a team-high 203 putouts behind the plate to go with 13 assists and zero errors for a 1.000 fielding percentage.

 

NAIA

Jaci Smith – Sophomore – Oklahoma City University
Smith was third in the NAIA with a team-best .516 batting average and 111 hits, helping the Stars to a second straight NAIA national title. She ended the year on a 14-game hitting streak and recorded at least one hit in 54 of the 68 games she played in this season. The first-team All-American’s 80 RBI and 23 doubles ranked sixth and tied for the seventh in the NAIA.

 

NJCAA Division I

Evelyn Loyola – Freshman – Howard College
Loyola  hit .423 with 11 doubles, 13 homers, 62 RBI and 40 runs scored. The first-team All-American slugged .744 and threw out six of 17 runners attempting to steal for a .353 caught stealing percentage.

 

NJCAA Division II

Maddie Hansen – Sophomore – Kirkwood Community College
Hansen, a two-time first-team All-America selection, finished second in NJCAA II with 92 RBI, fourth with a .534 batting average and tied for fourth with 19 home runs.

 

NJCAA Division III

Hannah Long – Freshman – Rock Valley College
A NFCA All-American, Long batted .430 with 16 doubles, three triples, a homer and 40 RBI. Behind the dish, she recorded 220 putouts, 12 assists and just two errors for a .991 fielding percentage.

 

Cal JC

Taylor Jaurique – Sophomore – Mt. San Antonio College
Jaurique played a key role in the Mounties’ runner-up finish at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships. She led the Mountie’s with a .477 average, 51 hits, 10 home runs, 44 RBI, 35 runs scored, .907 slugging percentage and .517 on-base percentage. Tabbed a NFCA All-American, Jaurique did not commit an error in 190 chances, while keeping runners at bay. Only 12 opponents attempted to steal on Jaurique, who threw out four of those would be base stealers.

 

NWAC

Amber Writer – Freshman – Wenatchee Valley College

In helping Wenatchee Valley to a NWAC Championship, Writer scored 76 runs, which was the second best total in the NWAC, while her 69 RBI and 565 on-base percentage was third and sixth, respectively. The NFCA All-American hit .467 with 15 doubles and 14 round trippers. She struck out just five times in 165 at bats.

 

 

6-22-2017 NPF Roundup

USSSA Pride Completes Two Game Sweep Against Texas Charge

Kristyn Sandberg (Texas Charge) Photo by: Allie Martinez courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch

SAN MARCOS (June 20, 2017)— The USSSA Pride completed a two-game sweep of the Charge Tuesday night by tallying a lopsided 16-2 victory at Bobcat Softball Stadium in San Marcos.
Based in Viera, Florida, the Pride tallied five runs over the first two frames and then exploded for seven more in the third to seize a commanding 12-0 lead.
Kylee Lahners put Texas (7-6) on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the third, and Lauren Haeger belted a solo home run one inning later.
USSSA was the first team this season to score an earned run against the Charge’s Brittany Mack-Oakes. The right-hander from LSU took the defeat after allowing five runs on five hits in one inning of work.
The Pride’s Lauren Chamberlain — the NCAA Division I all-time home run leader — was locked in from the plate all night long, finishing 2 for 2 with a home run, a double and six RBIs. Teammate Shelby Pendley was 3 for 4 with four RBIs.
Chelsea Goodacre and Kirsti Merritt also notched home runs for USSSA in its triumph.
Texas reliever Coley Ries held the Pride scoreless over the final four frames and only surrendered one hit. USSSA’s Keilani Ricketts got the win from the pitcher’s circle.
Texas is scheduled to have two off days before continuing its current homestand with a three-game series against the Chicago Bandits. The opener is set for 7:05 p.m. Friday at Bobcat Softball Stadium.
Quick Facts
Attendance: 487
Game Time: 2:41
Vaultz® Lock it Up! ® Player of the Game: Lauren Chamberlain (USSSA Pride)
Click Here For: Box Score
The Texas Charge are an affiliate professional fastpitch softball team competing in the National Pro Fastpitch league. The team, headquartered in New Braunfels, TX, began competition in the league in 2015. The Charge provides elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Austin area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dallas Charge at www.texascharge.net
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success.  The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Early Scoring and No Errors Secures the Win For The Dawgs

Kiki Stokes (Scrap Yard Dawgs) Photo by: Jade Hewitt courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch

Conroe, TX (June 20, 2017) – A dazzling performance by Monica Abbott and the Dawg’s defense move them to a record of 6-5 after an 8-0 win against last year’s Cowles Cup champions bringing them to 9-6 on the year. Abbott had 15 strikeouts on the night allowing only three hits in seven innings while the defense behind her committed no errors.
The Dawgs sat down the Bandits in order in the first inning with no damage while the Dawgs left two on the base at the end of the inning
The scoring started early for the Dawgs after a bunt from Winkfield for the first hit of the game. Smart base running and a double from Kiki Stokes would bring in Winkfield to score the Dawgs first run of the game and Bennett flying out to end the second inning. Abbott start the third inning off with strikeouts numbers three and four on the night yet again keeping the Bandits bats quiet.
A clean inning from the Bandits keeps the Dawgs off the scoreboard in the third inning and moving on to the top of the fourth where Carosone would get the Bandits’ first hit of the game but Abbott getting three more strikeouts. MJ Knighten comes in to pinch hit got Christian Stokes and get her first RBI of the night to score Watkins from third after a stolen base bringing the score to 2-0. Kiki Stokes sends a hit to shallow left field to score her second RBI of the night making it 3-0, Dawgs.
Abbott strikes out three more batters to end the fifth while the Bandits make a change  in the circle, Shelby Turnier for Haylie Wagner. Turnier comes in to walk Myers, May-Whitley, and Goler to load the bases while Jade Rhodes comes in to pinch hit and bring in run number 4 after being walked.
Abbott again get three more strikeouts, bring her total to 13 on the night. Kiki Stokes who was 3 for 3, reaches base from hit number six to left field in the bottom of the sixth. Cervantes is walked to load the bases again brining up Edwards who is also walked to bring in a run. May-Whitley keeps the runs coming after a single brings in run number six for the Dawgs. Winkfield hits a 2 out sac-fly to score Edwards but not before Brianna Cherry, in to hit for Winkfield, is hit by a pitch to score Cervantes from third making it 8-0, Dawgs.
A last ditch effort by the Bandits in the top of the seventh after Hernandez is hit by a pitch, Stacy May-Johnson gets on after a single to left field, but Abbott end the threat after getting strikeouts number fourteen and fifteen to solidify the Bandits win for the night.
The Dawgs are back at it at the Scrap Yard on Wednesday against the visiting Chicago Bandits. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
Quick Facts:
* Attendance- 441
* Game Time- 2:00
* Vaultz® Lock It Up® Player of the Game– Kiki Stoke (Scrap Yard Dawgs) 3-3, 2 RBIs, 1 R
Click Here For: Box Score
The Scrap Yard Dawgs began competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs provides elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success.  The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.

6-22-2017 Knighten Nominated for Espy Award

OU Softball: Knighten Nominated for ESPY Award

 

NORMAN — Oklahoma sophomore infielder Shay Knighten has been nominated for an ESPY Award in the Best Championship Performance category, ESPN announced Wednesday.

The 2017 ESPYS, hosted by Peyton Manning, will air live on ABC at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, July 12 at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Fans will have the chance to select the winners by voting at ESPN.com/ESPYS.

Knighten was named the Women’s College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player after hitting .350 (7-20) with four runs scored, two doubles, a home run and six runs batted in as the Sooners swept top-seeded Florida for OU’s second straight national title, third in the last five years and fourth overall.

The Buena Park, Calif., native had clutch hits in each of the Sooners’ wins over the Gators.

In game one, Knighten was the hero as she broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the 17th inning with a towering three-run home run to left field. It was her 11th of the season and the third WCWS home run of her young career.

In game two, the Sooners found themselves trailing Florida 3-2 in the bottom of the second when Knighten stepped in with the bases loaded and two outs. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Knighten smashed a bases-clearing double to right center, giving OU a lead it would not relinquish.

In addition to being the WCWS Most Outstanding Player, Knighten was a second team All-American and first team All-Region honoree for the second straight year. She was also named the Big 12 Player of the Year after leading the team with 70 RBI and hitting .358 with a .575 slugging percentage, a .435 on-base percentage, 49 runs scored, 13 doubles, 28 walks and nine stolen bases.

Also nominated in the category with Knighten are Tom Brady, who led the New England Patriots to a comeback win in the Super Bowl, Kevin Durant, who helped the Golden State Warriors to an NBA title and Deshaun Watson, who quarterbacked Clemson to the national championship.

Should Knighten win, she’d be the second college athlete to take home the honor since the award was introduced in 2001, joining Texas’ Vince Young who won in 2006.

Knighten’s nomination marks the third time in the last five years that the Oklahoma softball team has been nominated for an ESPY. In 2015, Lauren Chamberlain was nominated for Best Record Breaking Performance after setting the NCAA career home run record, while in 2013, the Sooners were up for Best Team after winning the 2013 national championship and Keilani Ricketts was nominated in the category of Best Female College Athlete.

Prior to that, the last time Oklahoma was nominated for an ESPY came in 2009 when Sam Bradford and Blake Griffin were each in the running for Best Male College Athlete.

 

6-18-2017 Henderson Shuts Out Dawgs

Henderson Tosses Gem in Shut Out of Dawgs

Morgan Melloh (Scrap Yard Dawgs) Photo by: Jade Hewitt courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch

Conroe, TX (June 16, 2017) For the second consecutive night, the Scrap Yard Dawgs succumbed to tough pitching. This time it was the USSSA Pride’s Jolene Henderson who frustrated the Dawgs offense, allowing one of two Dawgs hits en route to a 7-0 win at the Scrap Yard in The Woodlands.
The middle of the order for the Pride was brutal to Dawgs pitching, accounting for seven of the Pride’s 13 hits. The Pride put the pressure on the Dawgs right away in the top of the second inning and built a 3-0 lead. Shelby Pendley doubled to the gap in left center to start the rally for the Pride. A bunt single by Hallie Wilson moved Pendley over to third for Chelsea Goodacre. The University of Arizona product delivered a single to right to score Pendley.
But the Pride wasn’t done. After Gionna DiSavatore drew the walk off Morgan Melloh, Megan Wiggins singled to right to score Wilson and Goodacre to extend the Pride’s lead to 3-0. Wiggins had a solid night at the plate – going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.
The offense for the Pride didn’t let up in the top of the third inning. It was Pendley again who got things rolling with a base wrap to left center. Wilson then ripped a double to the gap to score Pendley. The RBI was Wilson’s second of the season. Andrea Duran used a base hit to score Wilson to help the Pride take a 5-0 lead.
Henderson had a perfect game going through three and two-thirds, but Nerissa Myers broke things up with a perfect bunt down the first base line for the single. The Dawgs couldn’t convert, though as Henderson got Taylor Edwards to fly out to center to end the inning.
Henderson – the Cal Berkeley product – allowed just the one hit in four and one-third shutout innings.  Henderson walked just two and struck out five for her first win of the 2017 season.
The Dawgs got to Henderson just a bit in the bottom of the fifth inning with Alisa Goler and Amanda Fama drawing walks. Brittany Cervantes also drew a walk off Angel Bunner, who entered the game in relief of Henderson. With the bases loaded, Jade Rhodes grounded out to third to end the inning and the Dawgs threat.
Bunner tossed two and two-thirds in relief of Henderson and allowed just a Meagan May-Whitley single in the bottom of the seventh. In three and two-thirds an inning of work, the lefty struck out two and walked three.
The Pride pushed across a pair of insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning with Kirsti Merritt and Kelly Kretschman RBIs. Kretschman had a perfect day at the plate with three hits.
Melloh took the loss the Scrap Yard Dawgs, allowing five runs on eight hits in two and two-thirds. She walked three and struck out two.
The two teams square off again at the Scrap Yard on Saturday for the final game of the series with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.
Quick Facts:
* Attendance: 184
* Game Time: 2:11
* Vaults® Lock It Up® Player of the Game: Jolene Henderson (USSSA Pride)