We are at the one month mark of the DII softball season. In that short time, there have been a slew of red-hot hot starts offensively.
Heading into the first full week of March, 80 DII softball players are hitting .500 or better, yet only three sluggers have reached the double-digit home run mark. Let’s take a look at a few of the players that have jumped atop the leaderboards quickly in 2019.
Courtney Barnhill, Angelo State
Barnhill is seemingly always one of the most feared hitters in DII softball and she’s picking up right where she left off last season. The junior outfielder leads a potent lineup with a .465 batting average and 1.380 OPS through 22 games. Barnhill has also slugged five home runs to go with 10 doubles, tied for the most in DII. The Rambelles seem to always find their way to the top of the rankings, and Barnhill’s hot-hitting is a big reason why.
Courtney Barnhill of @AngeloSports hit .686 and drove in 16 runs to earn this week's @sluggerFP / NFCA DII National Player of the Week honors #NFCAPOTW https://t.co/AMf0ZAnKyM pic.twitter.com/TLfIpc9cHx— NFCA (@NFCAorg) February 20, 2019
AnnMarie Torres, Colorado Mesa
Torres opened the season drawing more walks than hits, but has found her groove, particularly of late. Over her last ten games, Torres has 21 hits, including a run of five multi-hit games in a row, a span in which she drove in 19 of her 27 runs this season. There is always good offense to be had in the RMAC and Torres is setting the tone early.
Kylee Moore, West Texas A&M
As usual, the two-time All-American has come out firing on all cylinders. She improved her career-high in home runs to 25 last season and with 10 already not even at the halfway point, it looks like she should surpass that number once again. So far, Moore is hitting .421 with 10 home runs and leads DII softball with 31 RBI.
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Angelique Elemen, Fort Lewis
The Skyhawks senior catcher actually went hitless in her first game of the season before catching fire. She leads DII softball with 11 home runs in her first 21 games but is by no means a one-dimensional player. Elemen has nine multi-hit games and a .433 batting average on the season.
Teala Howard, West Florida
The Argonauts have a trio of red-hot hitters in Howard, Rhiannon Sassman, and Rachel Wright. Howard, a freshman, gets the choice because she may be the hottest of the bunch. You won’t find much power in Howard’s approach, but she is currently on an eight-game hitting streak, with four of those games being multi-hit performances boosting her average to .522. She’s also showing she is one of the speedier players on the level with 20 stolen bases in her first 22 games.
Maddie Boyd was poised to become @RiverHawksSB’s career hits leader in 2017 when she learned she was pregnant. Granted a sixth year after an injury last year, Boyd is back on the field: https://t.co/6iacBireqC pic.twitter.com/jiNCv81JGO— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) February 27, 2019
Mary Collins, Trevecca Nazarene
It’s been quite the 10-game start to the season for Collins. The senior catcher is off to a 19-for-33 start for an impressive .600 batting average. Thirteen of her 19 hits have gone for extra bases, including a team-best eight home runs. Collins — who had just eight home runs the past two seasons combined — is on pace for a career season, already with 23 RBI and 13 runs scored.
Kasey Boatner, Anderson (SC)
Boatner is another standout freshman on our list. The Trojans infielder is 27-for-54 through the first 18 games of her DII softball career. She’s also blasted six of the team’s nine home runs. Boatner leads the South Atlantic Conference in hitting and is tied for the conference lead in home runs. That’s not a bad start to a collegiate career at all.