Franchi Receives Third Team All-America Honors from NFCA

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University senior softball player Nikki Franchi (RHP/DP, Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) has been named Third Team All-America for NCAA Division III, as selected by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). It is Franchi's second consecutive year on the All-America Team. She was chosen First Team All-America in 2008.

The Bearcats finished the 2009 season with a 29-6 overall record, including a 22-6 mark in the Northwest Conference to take second place. Willamette earned a team batting average of .330, while scoring 6.1 runs per game. The Bearcats were ranked #21 in the NCAA Division III Top 25 Poll released by the NFCA on May 6.

Franchi attained a .423 career batting average with 150 hits, 93 runs and 112 RBIs. She smacked 36 doubles, seven triples and 18 home runs in 126 career games played (120 starts). As a pitcher, she achieved a 50-19 career record (.725) with a 2.06 earned run average. She registered 565 strikeouts and had 22 shutouts (18 solo). She pitched 462 1/3 innings during her career.

This year, Franchi received her All-America honors as a utility player. Last year, she was named All-America as an at-large selection. In both cases, members of the NFCA recognized Franchi's exceptional contributions on offense and as a pitcher.

In 2009, she started all 35 games and batted .380, with 25 runs scored and 29 RBIs. She hit 10 doubles, one triple and four home runs. She had 10 games with two or more hits and recorded at least one extra-base hit in 12 games during the season.

As a pitcher, she achieved a 16-3 record and a 0.95 ERA this spring. She struck out 164 batters in 121 2/3 innings, while holding opponents to a .153 batting average. She registered nine shutouts, including two no-hitters. She threw a one-hitter and blasted a two-run homer in a 2-0 win over arch rival Linfield College.

In 2008, during her junior season, Franchi achieved 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 record with 46 runs scored. She blasted 24 extra-base hits overall, including 10 doubles and four triples. She started all 36 games.

Franchi’s pitching statistics in 2008 included a 19-4 record and a 1.85 ERA. She struck out 203 batters to set a Willamette record and held opponents to a .198 batting average. She registered four shutouts (three solo) and pitched a total of 147 2/3 innings.

In addition to being named to the All-America Team in 2008 and 2009, she was chosen First Team All-West Region in 2008 and 2009, and was named Third Team All-West Region in 2007. She was selected First Team All-NWC in 2007, 2008 and 2009. She was the NWC Player of the Year in 2008 and was chosen NWC Student-Athlete of the Week a total of eight times.

Franchi was chosen NWC Student-Athlete of the Week a total of eight times. She was named Player of the Week on March 17, 2008. She was chosen Pitcher of the Week once in 2007 (March 12), three times in 2008 (Feb. 25, March 10, April 7) and three consecutive times in 2009 (March 23, March 30, April 6).

During her Willamette career, Franchi set numerous school records. Listed below are the single season and career records she established during her four seasons as a Bearcat.

Willamette University Softball Records
Held by Nikki Franchi

Single Season Offense
Batting Average, .518 (2008)
Slugging Percentage, .955 (2008)
On-Base Percentage, .588 (2008)
Stolen Base Percentage, 1.000 (11 of 11, 2008, tied record)
Runs Scored, 46 (2008, tied record)
Hits, 57 (2008)
Doubles, 15 (2007)
Home Runs, 10 (2008)
RBIs, 45 (2008)
Total Bases, 105 (2008)
Walks, 21 (2009, tied record)
Sacrifice Flies, 5 (2009)

Single Season Pitching
Opponent Batting Average, .153 (2009)
Strikeouts Per Game, 9.62 (2008)
Wins, 19 (2008)
Solo Shutouts, 9 (2009)
No-Hitters, 2 (2009)
Strikeouts, 203 (2008)

Career Offense
Batting Average, .423 (2006-09)
Slugging Percentage, .715 (2006-09)
On-Base Percentage, .499 (2006-09)
Home Runs, 18 (2006-09)
RBIs, 112 (2006-09)
Total Bases, 254 (2006-09)
Walks, 54 (2006-09, tied record)

Career Pitching
Opponent Batting Average, .209 (2006-09)
Strikeouts Per Game, 8.55 (2006-09)
Wins, 50 (2006-09)
Games Started, 66 (2006-09)
Complete Games, 52 (2006-09)
Solo Shutouts, 18 (2006-09)
Strikeouts, 565 (2006-09)

Nikki Franchi earned NCAA Division III All-America honors for the second season in a row.

Nikki Franchi earned NCAA Division III All-America honors for the second season in a row.

Nikki Franchi batted .380 and drove in 29 runs this season.

Nikki Franchi batted .380 and drove in 29 runs this season.