TYLER, Texas – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced the 2014 Division III All-American teams at Wednesday night's banquet preceding the NCAA Division III Softball Championship and the Salisbury University softball team made program history with three players being named to the first team.
Junior Rachel Johnson and sophomores Kim Dorsey and Paige Knussman all earned the top honor on the eve of the Sea Gulls' run to what could be the program's first national championship. This marks the first time that Salisbury has had three first teamers, and the first time since 2009 that the Sea Gulls have had three All-Americans in the same season.
The honor is the second in a row for Johnson, a pitcher from Preston, Md., who became just the second Sea Gull to earn first-team honors in back-to-back years, matching the run of Lisa Gentilella (2002-'03). Johnson has been one of the top pitchers in Division III softball this season, recording a 1.23 earned-run average along with a 25-2 record to go with three saves. She has been a part of six no-hitters this season, three of which have been perfect games. She has also collected 257 strikeouts, and ranks second in the nation with 11.3 strikeouts per seven innings and 3.60 hits allowed per seven innings.
Dorsey has been one of the most feared hitters in the nation throughout the season, as she ranks seventh in the nation with 15 home runs this year, in her first year of starting at shortstop. Along with the long balls, Dorsey has also ripped 13 doubles and a pair of triples for a .931 slugging percentage, which is eighth in the country. The Baltimore native's power has led teams to not pitch to her, earning 19 walks on the year, second on the team. Her .538 on-base percentage ranks in the top 30 in the nation. All of the extra-base hits have led to a team-high 60 runs batted in, a single-season total which ranks third in program history; her 1.4 RBIs per game are fifth in the NCAA this year.
Knussman, in her second year as a starter at the designated player position, ranks in the top 20 nationally in four different categories. Her batting average of .529 is fourth best in the country, while she's reached base at a .565 clip (13th in the country). She is second on the team to Dorsey, driving home 56 runs this season, with her per-game average ranking 12th, and her slugging percentage of .838, on 10 doubles, 10 home runs and a triple, ranking 18th.
Salisbury now has had 31 All-Americans in program history, 14 of which have been first-team selections.
The Sea Gulls open play in the Softball Championship on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., eastern time, against the University of St. Thomas (Minn.).
To see the All-American teams in their entirety, click here.