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Cassandra Valdez Named NAIA Softball All-American and Pitcher of the Year

Cassandra Valdez Named NAIA Softball All-American and Pitcher of the Year

KANSAS CITY, MO. (June 4, 2024) - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2024 Softball All-America teams as selected by the NAIA-Softball Coaches' Association All-America Committee. Cassandra Valdez of Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) is honored as the National Pitcher of the Year.

This marks the first time an OLLU student-athlete has been named a national player of the year in school history. Valdez was named a First-Team NAIA All-American in 2023 and received Honorable Mention honors in 2022.

Valdez, a graduate student, was the backbone of the Saints' success and a key player for OLLU. Her stellar performance, going 30-1 in the circle and finishing first in the nation with a 0.53 ERA in 197 innings pitched, was instrumental in the team's first Red Banner win in program and school history in 2024. Valdez's individual achievements, including allowing hitters just a .149 batting average in 2024 with a total of 286 strikeouts, further underline her contribution to the team's success. 


Name Institution Position Class Hometown
Annalise Jarvis$^ Georgia Gwinnett Pitcher Jr. Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
Cassandra Valdez$ Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) Pitcher Gr. Brownsville, Texas
Sophie Williams$^ Science & Arts of Oklahoma Pitcher Jr. Vernon, Texas
Brylee Bilger Indiana Wesleyan Catcher Jr. Surprise, Ariz.
Kenzie Chambers Houston Victoria (Texas) Catcher Jr. Grand Prairie, Texas
Haley Fontenot LSU Alexandria (La.) Infielder So. Morgan City, La.
Sarah Giles Jessup (Calif.) Infielder Jr. Hayward, Calif.
Savannah Harweger$ Marian (Ind.) Infielder 5th Seymour, Ind.
Emily Loveless Reinhardt (Ga.) Infielder Sr. Rockmart, Ga.
Kaila Mick% Oregon Tech Infielder Gr. Klamath Falls, Ore.
Jade Gainer Cumberlands (Ky.) Outfielder Jr. Ringgold, Ga.
Baileigh Loux Oklahoma City Outfielder Gr. Reno, Nev.
Autumn Oehlstrom$ Indiana Southeast Outfielder Gr. Lisbon, Ohio
Macenzie Ruth* Science & Arts of Oklahoma Outfielder Sr. Sulphur, Okla.
Lolo Walker College of Idaho Designated Player So. Meridian, Idaho
Emersen Heron Oklahoma City Utility Jr. Edmond, Okla.
Emmalee Hamp (UT)% Spring Arbor (Mich.) At-Large Sr. Alto, Mich.
Kaylie Hoskins (P)^ Eastern Oregon At-Large Jr. Lake Stevens, Wash.
Abby Madere (OF) Marian (Ind.) At-Large So. Indianapolis, Ind.
Maeson Schlaud (P) Madonna (Mich.) At-Large Sr. North Branch, Mich.



Name Institution Position Class Hometown
Jordyn Ball Central Methodist (Mo.) Pitcher So. Fayette, Mo.
Shelby Cornelson%^ Oklahoma City Pitcher Sr. Tuttle, Okla.
Allie Puente$ Hope International (Calif.) Pitcher Sr. Fresno, Calif.
Lauren Hill Central Methodist (Mo.) Catcher Jr. California, Mo.
Lauren Johnson% Cottey (Mo.) Catcher Sr. Lockport, Ill.
Chapel Cunningham Southeastern (Fla.) Infielder Jr. Chattanooga, Tenn.
Roni Foote% Midland (Neb.) Infielder Sr. Omaha, Neb.
Kamryn Garvie Oklahoma City Infielder Sr. Edmond, Okla.
Malea McMurtrey Science & Arts of Oklahoma Infielder So. Lone Grove, Okla.
Elizabeth Palumbo Central Methodist (Mo.) Infielder So. Sterling, Ill.
Tara Hoehner Oklahoma City Outfielder Fr. Minco, Okla.
Anna Lay Cumberland (Tenn.) Outfielder So. Smyrna, Tenn.
Shannon McAlinden% Concordia (Mich.) Outfielder Sr. Riverview, Mich.
Karli Quillin Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) Outfielder So. Columbia, Tenn.
Kaylee Larkin Taylor (Ind.) Designated Player So. Brownsburg, Ind.
Kameryn Etherington Northwestern (Iowa) Utility Sr. Algona, Iowa
Alissa Gauthier (OF) Madonna (Mich.) At-Large Jr. Goodrich, Mich.
Aliyah Rincon (P) Midland (Neb.) At-Large Sr. Granada Hills, Calif.
Kacie Schmidt (P)$ Oregon Tech At-Large Jr. Beaverton, Ore.
Olivia Stunkel (P)% Marian (Ind.) At-Large Jr. Oakland City, Ind.


Name Institution Position Class Hometown
Kira Baker$ Baker (Kan.) Pitcher So. Eudora, Kan.
Talli Burgess% Cumberlands (Ky.) Pitcher Sr. Crandall, Ga.
Katie Machado Southern Oregon Pitcher Sr. Petaluma, Calif.
Amber Atkins Cumberlands (Ky.) Catcher Jr. South Pittsburg, Tenn.
Piper Love Southern Oregon Catcher Jr. Corvallis, Ore.
Nita Cook Oregon Tech Infielder So. Vernonia, Ore.
Becca Dunn Friends (Kan.) Infielder Jr. Jurupa Valley, Calif.
Darcy Gillen Tabor (Kan.) Infielder Sr. Yuba City, Calif.
Kaitlyn Jones Oklahoma City Infielder Sr. Edmond, Okla.
Sierra Selfridge Science & Arts of Oklahoma Infielder Jr. Mustang, Okla.
Amber Gainer Cumberlands (Ky.) Outfielder Jr. Ringgold, Ga.
Lauren Haskins Stillman (Ala.) Outfielder Sr. Alabaster, Ala.
Clare Heitz Benedictine (Kan.) Outfielder Sr. Riverton, Utah
Chelsea Kurtz Avila (Mo.) Outfielder Sr. Wichita, Kan.
Alivia Eggleston Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) Designated Player So. Madison, Ala.
Brooklynn Fischer Missouri Baptist Utility So. New Florence, Mo.
Emma Almodoba (OF) Embry Riddle (Ariz.) At Large Jr. Tucson, Ariz.
Katie Cunningham (P) Bellevue (Neb.) At Large Jr. Bellevue, Neb.
Ryanne Hornsby (P) William Carey (Miss.) At-Large So. Hattiesburg, Miss.
Madison Leffle (OF) Jessup (Calif.) At-Large Jr. Pittsburg, Calif.
Bryce Peacock (OF) Coastal Georgia At Large Sr. Baxley, Ga.
Alexus Reese (INF) St. Xavier (Ill.) At Large Sr. Schererville, Ind.
Bailey Selvage (P) Benedictine (Kan.) At-Large So. Lincoln, Neb.
Madyson Shoebottom (INF) Williams Baptist (Ark.) At Large So. Bald Knob, Ark.
Alexis Teems (OF) Reinhardt (Ga.) At-Large Jr. Rockmart, Ga.

$ 2023 1st team

% 2023 2nd team 

* 2022 1st team

^ 2022 2nd team