Softball | Friday, May 16, 2008
Franchi Selected First Team All-America
SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior softball player Nikki Franchi (RHP/DP, Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) has been named First Team All-America as a utility player by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The 2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America Team for NCAA Division III honored a total of 15 players on the First Team, plus 15 players each on the Second Team and a Third Team.
Franchi became Willamette's first All-America selection in softball. She was named to the First Team as an at-large selection. She was named Player of the Year in the Northwest Conference.
This season, Franchi earned an impressive .518 batting average and set Willamette records with 10 home runs and a .955 slugging percentage. She set another record with 45 RBIs and tied a WU record with 46 runs scored.
She blasted 24 extra-base hits overall, including 10 doubles and four triples. She started all 36 games for the Bearcats.
As a pitcher, Franchi finished the year with a 19-4 record and a 1.85 earned run average. She struck out 203 batters to set a Willamette record and held opponents to a .198 batting average. She registered three complete-game shutouts and one combined shutout. She pitched a total of 147 2/3 innings.
She ranks eighth nationally in NCAA Division III in batting average and is eighth in slugging percentage. She is ninth in on-base percentage (.588), 14th in runs batted in per game (1.25) and tied for 14th in runs scored per game (1.28). She is 15th in pitching wins and strikeouts per game (9.6).
During her first three years at Willamette, Franchi has set several career records. On offense, her records include a .439 batting average, a .753 slugging percentage, a .509 on-base percentage and 14 home runs.
Her career pitching records include total strikeouts (401) and strikeouts per game (8.2). She has thrown 340 2/3 innings to rank fourth all-time at Willamette and owns a 34-16 career win-loss record. She is third at WU in career victories and trails the leader, Hayley Boston (37, 2000-03), by just three wins.
Franchi was named First Team All-West Region this spring, after earning Third Team All-Region honors in 2007. She was chosen First Team All-Northwest Conference for the second consecutive season.
Willamette concluded the year with a 25-11 overall record. The Bearcats were 19-9 in the NWC and claimed third place in the conference standings. Willamette ranked fourth in NCAA Division III in home runs per game (1.25), as the Bearcats smacked 45 homers in 36 games.