Willard Named First Team All-American

BYU's Delaney Willard was named to the NFCA All-America First Team, the second player in Cougar history to earn first-team honors. (Photo by Jonathan Hardy/BYU Photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Capping off an amazing season, BYU softball's Delaney Willard was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America First Team on Wednesday.

Willard is just the second player in BYU history to be named to the NFCA First Team, joining three-time honoree Oli Keohohou (2001, 02, 03). Jessica Purcell Fitu (3rd Team, 2009) and Ianeta Le'i (2nd Team, 2006) are the other two Cougars named NFCA All-America. The NFCA honor is the top All-America team in collegiate softball.

The Camarillo, Calif., native was selected with an at-large pick as an outfielder after being named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and earning NFCA All-Pacific Region First Team and All-WAC First Team honors, the first such awards of her career.

Willard was the only player in the nation ranked in the top-25 in nine different national batting categories at the end of the regular season, including RBI, RBI per game, slugging percentage, hits, home runs, batting average, home runs per game, doubles and on base percentage. Her 88 RBI and 1.54 RBI per game were both second-best in the nation in addition to ranking 14th and 11th, respectively, in the NCAA single season record book.

Only one player in the nation in the last 14 years has posted a better single-season RBI per game mark than Willard's number this season while no one in NCAA history has hit more RBI (88) in fewer games (57) in NCAA history.

Willard finished the year hitting .418 with 71 hits, 88 RBI and 44 runs. The senior ended with 146 total bases, including 18 home runs, 17 doubles and two triples. Willard also racked up an .859 slugging percentage and .505 on base percentage while starting 57 games in right field.

BYU won its second-most games in program history this year, going 45-15. The Cougars won the WAC Tournament after finishing second in the regular season standings and reached the championship game of the Eugene Regional in the NCAA Tournament.

Complete listing of all three All-America teams