E&H's Braun and VWU's Seale Named All-Americans
FOREST, Va. --- Virginia Wesleyan University lefty Hanna Hull and catcher Jessica Goldyn added two more awards to their already overflowing stable of honors in 2021 as the Marlins battery was announced as the Schutt Sports/NFCA Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively, by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) on Thursday.
This is the third time Hull has earned the top award for Division III, adding to the honors she received in 2017 and 2018. She and Goldyn earned Most Outstanding Pitcher and Player laurels in Salem, Va., after leading VWU to the 2021 NCAA Division III softball title last weekend.
Goldyn and Hull's high honors mark the fourth time in five chances that an ODAC student-athlete has claimed at least one of the NFCA's major honors. In addition to Hull in 2017 and 2018 when there was only one award for each NCAA division, former University of Lynchburg standout Mackenzie Chitwood claimed the 2019 player of the year award in the first season where the NFCA honored a position player and a pitcher. The only season not featuring an ODAC star was in 2016 when the University of Texas at Tyler's Kelsie Batten earned the inaugural award.
RELATED: Schutt Sports/NFCA Awards History
Goldyn and Hull are two of four conference players to earn NFCA All-American honors. Joining them on the All-America First Team is Emory & Henry College senior Alex Braun. Braun earned her spot in the utility position reserved for players that contribute offensively as well as in the pitching circle. Virginia Wesleyan righty Emily Seale turned her impressive first season at VWU into an All-America Third Team selection.
All four players are a major portion of the ODAC's nine stars that earned All-Atlantic Region distinction by the NFCA.
NFCA ALL-ATLANTIC REGION
- First Team (5) | Alex Braun, E&H (UT); Jessica Goldyn, VWU (C); Hanna Hull, VWU (P), Emily Seale, VWU (P); Julia Sinnett, VWU (3B)
- Second Team (2) | Ariana Rolle, VWU (OF), Danielle Stewart, VWU (1B)
- Third Team (2) | Madison Glaubke, VWU (OF); Jada Karnes, RC (P)
Goldyn, a senior from Virginia Beach, Va., was simply stellar in helping to lead the Marlins to their third NCAA championship in the past five years. Goldyn set a new Division III single-season record for stolen bases in going 73-for-75 on the basepaths. She also led Division III in runs (69), hits (84), doubles (23), and total bases (153). Her hits total reset the ODAC single-season record, while her doubles mark is tied for the most in league-history with the 23 doubles smacked by Guilford's Cynthia Hayes in 2014.
The ODAC Player of the Year finished atop the league charts in all major offensive categories including batting (.488), OBP (.564), slugging (.890), triples (11), homers (8), RBI (54), and walks (30) in addition to the totals listed previously. Goldyn played in all 53 games for VWU and hit safely in 44 contests including 16 straight midway thru the campaign. She had 26 multi-hit outings. Of her 84 total hits, 42 went for extra bases (50%).
On the way to being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Salem portion of the NCAA Championship, Goldyn went 9-for-20 (.450) with a .476 OBP and a 1.100 slugging percentage. She doubled three times, legged out two triples, and hit a pair of homers while driving in four runs to go with four stolen bases.
Hull, a graduate student from Chesterfield, Va., is now a four-time All-American to go with four ODAC Pitcher of the Year honors after an historic four-plus seasons at VWU. Hull's legacy is written all over the ODAC and NCAA Division III record books. She is #1 all-time in D-III history in wins (132) and appearances (170), fourth in strikeouts (1,353) and games started (138), seventh in winning percentage (132-12; .917), eighth in innings pitched (880.1), tied for ninth in shutouts (48), 11th in saves (15) and strikeouts-per-seven innings (10.76), and 17th in ERA (0.80; 100 ER). Hull also owns a share of the NCAA Division III single-season wins record, going 40-2 in VWU's 2018 title run to match the 40 wins by Jennifer Segner from then Muskingum College in 2000.
This season, Hull tied for the most wins (with Cami Henry from DePauw University) in Division III in going 23-3 with three saves in 33 appearances covering 154.2 innings. She gave up 36 runs (29 earned) on 69 hits with a 1.31 ERA. She walked 97 batters and fanned 200. Opponnents hit just .134 off her. Hull struck out 10 or more batters six times, giving her 60 for her career. Her career-high for strikeouts in a game was 19 against Bridgewater College in a 3-0 two-hit victory in 2017.
In Salem during the NCAA Tournament, Hull went 4-0 with a save in five appearances on the way to Most Outstanding Pitcher laurels. She gave up four runs (three earned) on 11 hits over 25.0 innings in the circle. She walked eight batters and fanned 25. Opponents hit .138 against her.
Braun, a senior from Lexington, S.C., is just the second All-American in Emory & Henry program history and the first to be named to the first team. In 2003, Mandy Smith was selected to the NFCA All-America Second Team as a centerfielder, leading the Wasps to an ODAC Championship and E&H's first NCAA Tournament appearance.
Braun led the Wasps in several statistical categories at the plate and in the circle this spring. She batted .448 with a .473 on-base percentage and a .840 slugging average. She posted a program-best 56 hits, eight home runs and 42 RBI in 125 at bats. Her 21 doubles tied the school-record for doubles in a season and are second-most in NCAA Division III this year. Additionally, Braun posted a 24-game hitting streak to start the year and reached base safely in 33-of-38 games.
As a pitcher, Braun posted a 14-4 record with a 2.10 earned run average across 123.1 innings pitched. She notched 18 complete games in 19 starts and added a save on the year. Braun also struck out 130 batters with a 7.38 K/7 ratio and a 4.64 K/BB ratio. She struck out double digit batters four times this year.
Seale, a first-year from Madison, Va., formed a perfect lefty-righty 1-2 punch with Hull in leading Virginia Wesleyan to a 46-6-1 overall record. Seale finished the season 22-3 with an ODAC-best 1.25 ERA. She gave up 39 runs (25 earned) on 106 hits over 140.1 innings in the circle. She walked just 28 batters and struck out 63. Opponents hit .202 against her. Seale enjoyed three extended winning streaks, claiming five straight decisions to start the season before winning 10 straight decisions during the middle of the schedule. She enjoyed a seven-decision run late in the year that included the ODAC and NCAA Tournaments.
In Salem, Seale made three appearnces including two starts. She went 1-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 12.0 innings of work. She gave up three runs on 10 hits. She did not walk a batter and struck out three.