May 15, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Three Colorado State softball players earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region honors on Thursday, the most selections since 2004. Freshman Haley Hutton was named to the Pacific Region second team, while teammates Chelsea O’Connor and Holly Reinke earned third-team selections.
The Pacific Region is comprised of schools from the Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12, WAC and West Coast. Voting was conducted by NFCA member coaches from each region. The announcement comes two days after the trio was named to the Mountain West All-Conference Softball Teams.
"I’m thrilled for them, because all three had a great season,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “I’m proud of the work that they put in, and all three are all very humble teammates. Each of them made an impact and raised the level of our program.”
The three are now eligible for selection to one of three 2014 NFCA Division I All-America teams, which will be announced May 28. CSU has four career NFCA All-America selections, most recently in 2006.
Just a freshman, Hutton made an immediate impact for the Rams both on offense and defense. She started all 49 contests for CSU, hitting .413 – the third-best batting average in CSU history. Her 52 runs scored and 33 walks were not only team bests, but her 1.06 runs-per-game average ranked 19th nationally and her walks total was second-most in program history.
From the leadoff spot, Hutton reached base at a .521 clip and was a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen-base attempts. On defense, the Platteville, Colo., native recorded a .970 fielding percentage, making fantastic defensive plays on a daily basis. In April, she was named the Mountain West Player of the Week.
“I would like to thank my coaches and my teammates for making my freshman year such a memorable one,” Hutton said. “We all worked so hard in the run for that conference title, and while it is disappointing that we came up short, I am more than excited to see what we are capable of these next couple of years.”
Hutton is the sixth freshman in program history to be named to an NFCA All-Region team. Her mother, the former Chris Oglesby, was a two-time NFCA All-Region selection at CSU in 1988 and 1990.
O’Connor, a Windsor, Colo., native who transferred to CSU after stints at Tennessee and Boston, made the most of her lone season on the field with the Rams, tying a single-season CSU record with 66 RBI. Her 1.35 RBI-per-game average is currently the second-best in the nation. The senior hit .323, slugged .634 and had a team-most 11 home runs. On defense, the center fielder made numerous highlight-reel catches and threw out four runners on the bases.
"I'm honored," O'Connor said. "All of the effort during the off-season, the early morning workouts and the hard work was all worth it. I had a lot of fun playing with these girls this season."
As the Rams’ ace, Reinke pitched in 33 games, earning 24 starts and 20 victories. Her win total is tied for the third-most in CSU single-season history. The sophomore from Littleton, Colo., tossed 20 complete games and four shutouts, limiting batters to a .256 batting average and holding a 2.49 ERA. Reinke had 109 strikeouts. In February, she was named the Mountain West Pitcher of the Week after lifting CSU to a 4-0 start to the season.
"I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and all of the support from my family for a really fun and successful season," Reinke said. "Also, I would like to give all the glory to God. He is my strength, and I'm so thankful for all of His blessings."
As a team, the Rams finished the 2014 season 32-17, the most wins since 2004 and the fifth-best winning percentage in school history. CSU was in contention for a share of the conference championship going into the final day of the season.
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