Vet Voices

Hilltoppers’ Donzella is NFCA All-American


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – West Liberty University senior catcher Kat Donzella made history on Tuesday when she was named to the 2021 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) NCAA Division II All-America Team. A third-team selection in the nationwide balloting, Donzella is the first Lady Hilltopper ever to earn All-America honors.

    Tuesday’s honor was merely the latest in a growing list of post-season awards for the former Wheeling Park High School all-stater. Donzella had been voted Mountain East Conference Player of the Year after leading Coach Herb Minch’s Hilltoppers to their second consecutive MEC title and was also named to the NFCA and D2CCA All-Atlantic Region teams.

    Donzella put together one of the best seasons in West Liberty softball history in leading WLU to its second straight NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament berth. The 2021 MEC Tournament MVP was a major offensive force at the plate, where she led the conference in hits, runs, doubles, home runs, total bases, batting average, slugging percentage and on-base average. The speedy Donzella also made things happen on the basepaths, ranking among the top base-stealing threats in the region with 23 swipes – including a clutch steal of home to turn the tide in the MEC Tournament finals.

    Donzella ranked No. 2 nationally with 77 hits and her 134 total bases checked in at No. 4 among all NCAA D2 players but the rest of her final numbers were almost off the charts, as well: a .458 batting average with a .798 slugging percentage and .518 on-base average. She pounded out 19 doubles and slugged 12 home runs while scoring 49 runs and driving in 37 more. An elite receiver behind the plate, she led the MEC with 12 caught stealing and ranked among the national leaders in fielding percentage (.996) with just 2 errors in 512 total chances.

    The Hilltopper catcher was one of 54 players from 43 teams to earn NCAA Division II All-America honors from the NFCA this spring and the only one hailing from a Mountain East Conference school. Shippensburg first baseman Hannah Marsteller and Millersville catcher Faith Willenbrock were first-team All-Americans from the Atlantic Region. Shepherd third baseman Nicole Purtell was a second-team pick while Kutztown first baseman Jenna Lipowski joined Donzella as a third-team selection.

    The 2021 NCAA Division II World Series gets under way in Denver, Colo. this week. Atlantic Region champion West Chester (Pa.) is the No. 7 seed and will take on No. 2 seed St. Anselm (N.H.) Thursday at 6 p.m.


NCAA Division II

2021 NFCA All-America Team


Pos.        Player                                             School

P              Morgan Perry                               Saint Anselm

P              Mackenzie Ward                          MSU-Mankato

P              Kenzee Smith                                Indianapolis

C             Shanna McBroom                        West Texas A&M

1B           Hannah Marsteller                      Shippensburg

2B           Sydni Hawkins                              Missouri Western

3B           Alyssa Herrera                              Georgian Court

SS            Nicole Pennington                       Valdosta State

OF           Lauren Wedman                          Colorado Mesa

OF           Kendall Cornick                            Augustana

OF           Ruby Salzman                               West Texas A&M

UT/P       Hannah Rose Corbin                   Columbus State

Util         Lauryn Henderson                       Academy of Art

C             *Faith Willenbrock                      Millersville

1B           *Tatum Brummitt                        UNC Pembroke

P              *Kylee Smith                                 North Georgia

UT/P       *Ellie Smith                                   Colorado Mesa

C             *Bailey Byers                                Malone

  *-denotes at-large selection


Pos.        Player                                             School

P              Ashley Mickschl                            Augustana

P              Abbey Busby                                 Palm Beach Atlantic

P              Ally Muller                                     Adelphi

C             Ashley Perez                                 UT-Tyler

1B           Mahina Sauer                               Southern Nazarene

2B           Sam Catron                                   Hillsdale

3B           Nicole Purtell                                Shepherd

SS            Margaret Simmons                      North Georgia

OF           Rajene Bowe                                Dominican

OF           Shelby Robb                                  Metro State-Denver

OF           Allie Miller                                     Auburn-Montgomery

UT/P       Sidney Booth                                Northwest Nazarene

Util         Kylee Leonhardt                           Lenoir-Rhyne

Util         *Izzy Starr                                      Humboldt State

P              *Kali Crandall                                Oklahoma Christian

P              *Callie Nunes                                Concordia-Irvine

SS            *Tatum Dow                                 Western Washington

OF           *Taylor Shingler                           Maryville

  *-denotes at-large selection


Pos.        Player                                             School

P              Ali Shenefield                                Rollins

P              Payton Foster                               UT-Tyler

P              Hannah Beatus                             Grand Valley State

C             KAT DONZELLA                            WEST LIBERTY

1B           Molly Cobb                                    Auburn-Montgomery

2B           Kiley Robb                                     Valdosta State

3B           Teala Howard                               West Florida

SS            MaKray Odom                              Trevecca Nazarene

OF           Mary Pardo                                   Augustana

OF           Courtney Barnhill                         Angelo State

OF           Caitlyn Canady                             Columbus State

UT/P       Ava Fitzmaurice                            New Haven

Util         Torri Chute                                    Augustana

P              Andrea Morales                           Rogers State

1B           Jenna Lipowski                             Kutztown

3B           *Kaitlyn Weis                                NW Missouri State

OF           Gabrielle Simms                           University of the Sciences

UT/P       Morgan Hill                                   Valdosta State

  *-denotes at-large selection

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