NFCA announces CCCAA softball awards for 2021 season including All-America teams

Santiago Canyon's Sabrina Rivera, winner of two NFCA honors, dives into third base during the 2021 season. (Courtesy SCC Athletics)
Santiago Canyon's Sabrina Rivera, winner of two NFCA honors, dives into third base during the 2021 season. (Courtesy SCC Athletics)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced the student-athletes chosen for this season’s NFCA Cal JC special awards.

Santiago Canyon College’s Sabrina Rivera took home two plaudits, earning Diamond Sports/NFCA Catcher of the Year and New Balance/NFCA Golden Shoe Award honors. Santa Ana College’s Emily Rosas was tabbed Schutt Sports/NFCA Player of the Year and Fullerton College’s Jessica Lopez captured Schutt Sports/NFCA Pitcher of the Year honors.

Rivera, who is being recognized for her prowess behind the plate and on the base paths, batted .371 with 33 hits, nine doubles, 11 RBI and 16 runs scored. Defensively, the sophomore threw out four runners attempting to steal and committed just one miscue in 110 chances for a .991 field percentage. An NFCA All-American, Rivera led the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) with 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts, including four against Golden West College on May 21.

An All-American at the Utility/Pitching position, Rosas tied for a CCCAA-best 14 victories and led the league with 125 innings pitched. She struck out 80 batters and recorded the seventh-lowest ERA at 1.51. For the year, she hit .358 with 24 hits, two triples, 11 RBI and a .511 on-base percentage.

Lopez fanned a CCCAA-high 126 batters, an average of 7.31 per seven innings. The sophomore hurler also matched Rosas with 14 victories and posted a 1.86 ERA in 120.2 innings of work. Lopez, an NFCA All-American, fanned 10-plus batters three times, including a season-high 11 at Mt. San Antonio, and also twirled four shutouts.

NFCA All-Region and All-American athletes must be nominated by their NFCA-member head coach, are voted for by the coaches in their region or division, and ultimately selected by the full membership to receive this prestigious accolade. These honorees are in the top 1% of student-athletes competing during the 2021 season. All special awards are also selected and voted on by the All-American committee members or by the entire division.

NFCA reveal Cal JC All-America Team

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Eighteen student-athletes have been named to the NFCA’s Cal JC All-America team, the Association announced recently.

Leading the way with five overall selections is College of San Mateo. College of the Sequoias, Cypress College, Fullerton College and San Jose City College each had two honorees.

2021 Cal JC All-Americans | 2021 Cal JC All-America Video

Kealani Cardona, Logan Bonetti, Chloe Moffitt, Titah Fa’aita and Sarah Giles keyed the Bulldogs to an undefeated 2021 season at 27-0, including a 16-0 mark in Coast-North Conference play. Cardona and Fa’aita paced San Mateo’s pitching rotation, each posting 9-0 records. Cardona recorded a 1.27 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 11 walks over 55 innings of work, while Fa’aita, an at-large selection, sported a 1.33 ERA and 61 strikeouts, an average of 8.11 per seven innings (fourth best in CCCAA). 

Bonetti took home All-America honors at third base. She ranked second with 38 RBI, hit .500 (32-for-72) with 11 doubles (t-3rd), six long balls, 27 runs scored, a .545 on-base percentage and .875 slugging percentage (5th). Moffitt, a Designated Player or Utility/Non-Pitcher selection, tied for the home run crown with eight and finished tied for third with a .954 slugging percentage and sixth with a .508 (33-for-65) batting average. She doubled eight times, drove in 23 runs and scored on 29 occasions. Giles, taking home at-large honors at first base, hit .575 (23-for-40) with five doubles, six home runs, 29 RBI and 21 runs scored. She slugged 1.150 and reached base at a .667 clip.

Pitcher Olivia Aguigam and outfielder Audra Pratt represented College of Sequoias with All-America plaudits. Aguigam registered a 10-3 record with a 1.62 ERA and third most strikeouts with 82. She issued just 12 free passes and struck out 6.97 batters per seven innings pitched. Pratt tied for seventh with a .500 average, recording six doubles, three triples, 25 RBI and 17 runs.

Cypress’ Paige Shafer and Alyssa Huerta took home All-America nods at first base and second base (at-large), respectively. Shafer, who hit .438 (35-for-80), ranked seventh with 14 stolen bases and tied for ninth with 29 runs scored. She also drove in 18 runs and earned 12 walks, while registering a .991 field percentage (one error in 117 chances). Huerta tied for fifth in runs with 31 and seventh with 36 base hits. She batted . 419, registered six doubles, drove in 25 runs and recorded 11 stolen bases. Huerta was nearly flawless at shortstop, committing just one error in 98 chances for a .990 fielding percentage.

Pitcher Jessica Lopez and shortstop Dee Ramirez helped Fullerton to a 21-6 mark, 21-5 in Orange Empire Conference play. Lopez fanned a CCCAA-best 126 batters, an average of 7.31 per seven innings. The sophomore hurler also won a league-best 14 games and posted a 1.86 ERA in 120.2 innings of work. Ramirez, an at-large selection, tied for seventh in both runs scored (30) and doubles (10). She also hit .402 (35-for-87) with four long balls, 20 RBI and seven stolen bases.

Representing San Jose City, shortstop Maddy Ribeiro and outfielder Kyra Garcia, captured All-America honors. Ribeiro hit . 472 with 11 doubles, six home runs, 23 RBI, 31 runs scored, a .573 on-base percentage and .931 slugging percentage. She ranked tied for third in doubles, fourth in slugging, tied for fifth in runs and long balls, and ninth in on-base percentage. A strong defensive player, she committed just three miscues in 93 chances for a .968 fielding percentage.  Garcia batted .403 (31-for-77) with six doubles, seven long balls, which is tied for third, 23 RBI, 21 runs, 12 stolen bases and a .805 slugging percentage.

Santiago Canyon College’s Sabrina Rivera is the 2021 All-America catcher. Rivera batted .371 with 33 hits, nine doubles, 11 RBI and 16 runs scored. She threw out four runners attempting to steal and committed just one miscue in 110 chances for a .991 field percentage.

Darcy Gillen of Sierra College earned the nod at second base. Gillen hit .413 (31-for-75) with seven doubles, four homers, 24 RBI and 19 runs scored. She recorded a .968 fielding percentage, making just two errors in 63 chances.

Joining Garcia and Pratt in the outfield is Anna Zoia-Buescher of Santa Rosa Junior College. She topped the CCCAA with 45 hits and ranked second with a .536 batting average and .606 fielding percentage. Zoia-Buescher drew 14 walks, swiped 12 bases and scored 33 runs (4th).

The All-American at the Utility/Pitching position is Santa Ana College’s Emily Rosas. She matched Lopez with a league-high 14 victories and also led the CCCAA with 125 innings pitched. Rosas, struck out 80 batters and recorded the seventh-lowest ERA at 1.51. She hit .358 with 24 hits, two triples, 11 RBI and a .511 on-base percentage.

Ariel Nieto of Antelope Valley College captured an at-large selection at shortstop. Nieto led the league with 39 RBI, ranked second with a .984 slugging percentage and tied for third with seven round trippers. Nieto, whose .500 batting average tied for seventh, also doubled nine times, scored 24 runs and reached base at a .562 clip.

Due to the limited number of participating Cal JC institutions in the 2020-2021 season, the All-America team has been reduced to one combined north and south team. This adjustment will be implemented for the 2021 season only. With Cal JC resuming full participation in 2021-2022, the NFCA will return to two-full All-America teams.

NFCA All-Region and All-American athletes must be nominated by their NFCA-member head coach, are voted for by the coaches in their region or division, and ultimately selected by elected All-American committee members to receive this prestigious accolade.  These honorees are in the top 1% of student-athletes competing during the 2021 season.  All special awards are also selected by the All-American committee members or by the entire division.

(Brian Stanley, NFCA)