FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Wichita State softball placed a school-record five student-athletes on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I All-Central Region Team.
Senior Neleigh Herring and sophomore Addison Barnard earned All-Central Region First Team honors, while Sydney McKinney was named to the Second Team. Zoe Jones and Lauren Lucas both picked up Third Team recognition.
Wichita State set a previous school record just a season ago with four on the All-Central Team. The Shockers (33-16) earned the sixth NCAA appearance in school history in 2022 and second straight bid.
Barnard, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, leads the nation in home runs (32) and RBI (82) to go with a .409 batting average and 25 stolen bases. She was an NFCA Second Team All-Region pick as a freshman.
This is the second straight season landing on the All-Region Team for Herring, but first time on the First Team. Herring posted career highs in home runs (14), RBI (40) and walks (39) in 2022 to go with a .336 average and .525 on base percentage.
McKinney is a two-time NFCA Second Team All-Region selection after doing it in 2021, as well. The junior shortstop tops the NCAA in batting average (.511) and hits (90) and was a unanimous First Team All-Conference selection. She became Wichita State’s all-time hits leader earlier this season.
A Texas Tech transfer, Jones, made a splash in her first season at Wichita State. Her 50 RBI are second on the team, while her 15 home runs are tied for second on the team with Lauren Mills. She’s hitting .327 to go with a team-high tying 12 doubles.
Lucas is one of three Shockers hitting .400 or better in the Wichita State lineup and took over the center field position midway through the season. She is hitting .400 with 10 home runs and 39 RBI. Lucas was also a First Team All-Conference choice in 2022.
The awards honor softball student-athletes from the Association’s 10 regions with First, Second and Third-team selections. NFCA member head coaches from each respective region nominated student-athletes and voted for the teams. All awarded student-athletes now become eligible for the 2022 NFCA Division I All-America squads.
The 2022 NFCA Division I All-America teams, voted on by the NFCA DI All-American Committee, will be announced on Wednesday, June 1.