CMU Softball Earns Three NAIA All-Americans
KANSAS CITY - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced that Central Methodist catcher Michele Rupard, pitcher Aubrey Utley and infielder Lauren Geringer have been named to the 2013 Softball All-America teams, selected by the NAIA All-America committee. Rupard is a second team pick, while Utley and Geringer are honorable mention selections.
The honors continue to roll in for Rupard, who has already been named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NAIA All-Midwest Region and All-Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) first teams. The sophomore from Kansas City ranked in the top 10 of the HAAC in batting average (0.427), hits (50) and on-base percentage (0.525).
Utley, the HAAC Pitcher of the Year for the third consecutive season, earns All-American status for the third time in her career and is already one of the most decorated players in school history. The junior has already been selected to the NFCA NAIA All-Midwest Region and All-HAAC first teams. In the NAIA in 2013, the Trenton, Mo., native ranked seventh in walked allowed per 9 (0.71), 27th in fewest walks allowed (12), 28th in wins (18) and 29th in earned run average (1.67). Utley pitched her second career no-hitter on April 27 against Baker (Kan.), and her 68 wins (68-16) rank as the most in Central Methodist history and all-time among current HAAC institutions.
Geringer burst onto the scene in her first season in Fayette, having been named the HAAC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year while breaking the school's single-season record for homers. In the NAIA, the Troy, Mo., native ranked 10th in home runs per game (0.317), 21st in home runs (13), 29th in slugging percentage (0.766), 29th in runs batted in per game (1.122) and 39th putouts per game (6.707). In the HAAC Tournament championship triumph against MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), Geringer tied the NAIA single-game record for home runs, belting three. She led the conference in dingers and slugging percentage.
Rupard, Utley and Geringer helped guide Central Methodist (35-12-1) to its sixth straight season of 30 or more wins, which included a school-record 19 game win streak. All three players helped the Green and Black to their third straight HAAC title and second consecutive conference tournament championship in 2013. The Eagles reached the NAIA National Championship for the second straight year and third time in school history.
Senior Katie Cotta of Concordia (Calif.) is honored as the NAIA Pitcher of the Year, and sophomore outfielder Dominique Hannah of Lee (Tenn.) is recognized as the NAIA Player of the Year.
Four individuals are repeat First-Team All-Americans and three others return from the 2012 All-America Second Team.