LOUISVILLE, KY – Four Peach Belt Conference softball players were among the 50 players selected to the 'Watch List' for the 2019 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year. North Georgia was one of six institutions nationwide to have two players on the list with Kylee Smith and Shelby Hammontree. Young Harris' Emily Harris and Columbus State's Elizabeth Perdue were also recognized.
The PBC is one of five conferences with at least four players selected to the watch list.
Smith is the reigning Schutt Sports/NFCA National Player of the Year. The junior from Suwanee, Ga., was also named the D2CCA National Pitcher of the Year in 2018 and a consensus first-team All-American. The 2018 PBC Pitcher of the Year, she led NCAA Division II in wins, ERA and strikeouts. Her 338 Ks last season was the sixth-highest single-season total in PBC history and her 0.59 ERA was seventh-lowest. In 2019, she is already 2-0 with 17 strikeouts in 16 innings of work.
Hammontree was a PBC first-team All-Conference selection at catcher in 2018 and a preseason All-Conference pick last month. A junior fro Ringgold, Ga., she hit .354 with 14 home runs and 56 RBIs. She was second in the PBC in batting average, home runs, RBIs and among the league's top 10 in five other categories.
Harris was a 2018 NFCA third-team All-American, the PBC Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-Conference selection. A sophomore from Cumming, Ga., she hit .403 with seven doubles and 17 RBIs. She was third in the league in batting average and led the PBC with 77 base hits.
Perdue was named the 2018 PBC Player of the Year and a second-team D2CCA All-American. A senior from Phenix City, Ala., she hit .423 with 13 home runs and 68 RBIs; the 68 runs driven in are the sixth-highest single-season total in PBC history. She led the league with a .769 slugging percentage and was second in batting average and on-base percentage.
The Top 25 finalists for the 2019 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division II National Player of the Year award will be announced on April 25. A student-athlete does not have to be on the watch list to be considered for the Top 25. The top 10 finalists will be announced on May 14 and the winner will be recognized on May 30 following the conclusion of the 2019 season.
The previous honorees of the award are Courtney Poole, North Georgia (2015), Lyndsay Butler, Wayne State University (2016), Coley Ries, Minnesota State (2017) and Kylee Smith (2018).
Behind the collaboration between the NFCA and the NCAA Division II Head Coaches Committee, and the generosity of Schutt Sports, the award was created in 2015 to honor the outstanding athletic achievement among softball student-athletes throughout Division II.