The DII softball regular season is winding down. Let's take a look at some of the best sluggers that the 2019 season has had to offer.
Georgia Capell, Tarleton
Capell made program history with the TexAnns last year, becoming the first Tarleton freshman to earn All-American honors. How is she following that breakthrough campaign up, you ask?
By playing even better, of course.
Heads up Mineral Wells ⚠️ Georgia Capell just sent a softball your way 😳😈 #tank pic.twitter.com/mVPyLolXld— Tarleton Athletics (@TarletonSports) March 9, 2019
Capell is on pace to set career highs across the board, including home runs. She has 14 already and with 13 regular season games left, she should easily get the four she needs for a new career-best. Capell is also hitting .422 and making nearly every home run count: the TexAnns are 10-2 when she homers.
Danelle Day, Rogers State
Day is one of the hottest home run hitters on the list, currently on a three-game home run streak heading into the Hillcats first weekend of April softball. It’s Day’s second three-game home run stretch of the season, also pulling off the feat back in February.
Day’s run-producing efforts should come as no surprise. She broke out last season with a 20-home run campaign and is well on pace to at the very least match that output. Day hopes to power Rogers State back to the NCAA tournament with another big finish.
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Chelsea Fagan, Southern Arkansas
There was certainly a big void to fill on the Muleriders this season. The DII home run queen Brooke Goad was lost to graduation as was Jill Roye, another steady big bat in the lineup. Fagan has certainly helped fill that hole. The junior transfer has smacked 15 home runs in the heart of the lineup, which is tops in DII softball.
Mary Collins, Trevecca Nazarene
The senior catcher had 17 career home runs entering her final season. She is on pace to match that, if not surpass it, this year alone. Collins has been an absolute nightmare for opposing pitchers. She’s hitting .469 with 13 home runs, both well above her career norms. She leads the Great American Conference in home runs and slugging percentage (1.062) — which is also tops in DII — but also sports the second-best on-base percentage (.532) and third-best batting average. That is just an all-around hitter right there.
Emily Benson, Western Washington
The Vikings are certainly happy to have their all-time home run leader back in the lineup. Benson missed 2018 with injury and has jumped right back into the lineup without missing a beat. The senior has been red-hot in March, blasting eight of her 13 home runs. She launched two home runs in consecutive games on March 25 and 27 and earned national player of the week honors in doing so. Benson is beginning to run away with the GNAC triple crown with lengthy leads in batting average (.473), home runs, and RBI (43).
SB🥎 | @WWU_Softball senior 1B Emily Benson is named the @sluggerFP / @NFCAorg D2 National Player of the Week.— WWU Athletics (@WWUAthletics) April 3, 2019
🔗 https://t.co/0fhzIDoS9f pic.twitter.com/eSGZzXATUe
Bri Sims, Jodie Hill, Texas A&M-Commerce
The Lions are lucky enough to not have one, but two of DII softball’s best sluggers this season. Texas A&M-Commerce leads the Lone Star with 67 home runs and Sims and Hill are responsible for 25 of them. Both players have surpassed their 2018 totals and are showing no signs of slowing down.
Kylee Moore, Ruby Salzman, West Texas A&M
West Texas A&M, as usual, is a home run haven and Moore and Salzman are leading the way. For Moore, its business as usual, coming off a program-record 25-home run 2018 season. She’s hitting .464 this season, raising her career average to .401. Salzman appears to be the next in line of slugging Lady Buffs. She’s leading all freshmen in the nation with 12 home runs.
WATCH: It took 6 innings for @WTSoftball to take care of business against LCU, highlighted by Ruby Salzman's 7 RBIs en route to an 18-9 win. pic.twitter.com/wBXVaLeL6F— WTAMU Athletics (@wtathletics) March 6, 2019
Others of note:
Jordan Harris, Mars Hill: Harris bided her time, waiting to start, and is shining in her senior season. She had three career home runs entering the season and nearly doubled that in a three-game run from March 2 to March 7 in which she hit five home runs over that span.
Haley Barnette, Union (TN): Talk about break out. The senior has matched her career total in home runs this season and has been scorching hot since March started, with 10 of her 12 homers coming since then.
Shauntaja Dedecker, Winston-Salem State: The Rams offense has been absolutely absurd this season. They are in the top 3 in batting average, scoring, slugging percentage, and home runs per game. Dedecker is leading the way, hitting .397 with a team-best 10 home runs.