Purdue Northwest’s Payne Named to NFCA Division II All-Region Team
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Less than a week after earning the Softball Player of the Year award from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), Purdue Northwest senior Kyleigh Payne (Bourbonnais, Ill./Kankakee CC/Bishop McNamara) continued to haul in the postseason awards when she was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II All-Midwest Region First Team Wednesday. The NFCA Division II All-Region teams are comprised of 207 student-athletes from 120 programs across eight regions.
“This is another deserving recognition for Kyleigh, who had such an amazing senior season,” said Purdue Northwest softball coach Niki Stansell. “She is the type of player who works so hard and puts in so much blood, sweat and tears into bettering herself. I’m so happy for her and glad to see that all of her efforts are paying off.”
Payne, who started all 52 games for PNW at first base this season, wasted no time establishing herself as an offensive force at the NCAA Division II level. She helped the Pride to a fourth-place finish in the league regular season standings in Purdue Northwest’s first year as a member of the GLIAC.
At the end of the regular season, Payne boasted the GLIAC’s top batting average (.440) and also led the league in hits (62), triples (9), on-base percentage (.549) and slugging percentage (.851). She also ranked second in the conference in home runs (10) and third overall in RBI (39).
The NFCA Division II All-Region awards honor softball student-athletes from the Association’s eight regions with first and second team selections. NFCA member coaches from each respective region voted on the teams, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to the 2018 NFCA Division II All-America squads. The 2018 NFCA Division II All-American teams will be announced on Wednesday, May 23 at the NCAA Division II National Championship Banquet in Salem, Va.
Purdue Northwest finished its first season of competition at the NCAA Division II level with a 26-26 overall record. The Pride went 15-17 in GLIAC play to finish fourth out of nine teams in the conference and took the fourth seed into last week’s GLIAC Softball Tournament at Sports Force Parks in Sandusky, Ohio. PNW had a 7-2 win over Ferris State University (Mich.) at the postseason tournament, but a 2-1 loss to Saginaw Valley State University (Mich.) brought the season to a close last Saturday.