EAU CLAIRE, Wis.– Senior catcher Michelle Gravdahl and sophomore pitcher Rachel Johnson received National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American honors at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship Banquet on Thursday evening. Gravdahl and Johnson were each named to the first team.
For the 13th consecutive season at least one Sea Gull has been honored as an All-American, and the pair brings the program's total to 28 All-Americans.
The last time a Sea Gull was named to the first team was in 2008, while a duo was last named first team All-American back in 2006.
Gravdahl is a three-time All-American, earning second-team status her freshman season and third team in 2012. The catcher has been an integral part of the Sea Gull offense and defense, saving one of her best seasons for last. The Ellicott City, Md., native is batting .462 and has knocked home 48 RBIs while touching home 45 times, a career best, along with a season-high 10 home runs. Gravdahl has been honored as a NFCA All-Region first-team member, Capital One Academic All-District recipient, while also being named to the Salem Regional All-Tournament team, All-CAC first team and the CAC Player of the Week for April 8.
Johnson makes her first appearance as an All-American after being one of the nation's top pitchers in 2013. The sophomore set new career highs in strikeouts, with 17 twice, while tossing two perfect games and 13 shutouts. The Preston, Md., native was named the CAC Pitcher of the Week seven times this season while garnering the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year award. She was also named the Eastern College Athletic Conference South Pitcher of the Week four times and the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week on April 17. To go along with her performance in the circle, Johnson was named a Capital One Academic All-District team member for her performance in the classroom.
After going 4-0 in the Salem Regional, Johnson was named the Most Valuable Player and her season statistics of 311 strikeouts and 16 earned runs in 175.0 innings pitched support her NFCA All-Region first-team accolade.
The top-ranked Sea Gulls (39-2) open up play in the 31st NCAA Division III Softball Championship tomorrow, Friday, May 17 against the University of New York at Cortland. The Sea Gulls and Red Dragons are the first contest of the World Series and will take the field at noon, eastern time.