LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After breaking school and conference records and leading the nation in several offensive categories in 2013, the Trine University softball team had a first as the sibling duo of Carly Searles and Andi Gasco became the Thunder’s first-ever All-Americans in the 28-year history of the program.
Announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), Thursday from the Florian Gardens Event Center in Eau Claire, Wis., site of the NCAA Division III National Championship, Searles was named an NFCA First Team All-American while Gasco earned a Second Team NFCA All-American nod.
The former Petoskey High School softball standout duo also made Trine the first team since Hope in 2005 to have multiple players selected as All-American’s in the same season.
According to the list of All-Americans on the NFCA website, since the selections began in 1986, Searles and Gasco become the first pair of siblings to earn All-American honors in the same season while at the same institution.
Searles, a 2011 Petoskey High School graduate who also competed in track, basketball and volleyball with the Northmen, becomes the first player from the MIAA since 2009 to earn First Team All-American honors and the 15th selection in conference history.
The sophomore outfielder currently ranks second in Division III with 1.54 runs per game and 10 triples. Searles also currently sits third in triples per game (.24), fifth in stolen bases per game (.98), 32nd in on base percentage (.534) and 45th in batting average (.464).
In just her second season, Searles has already broken a 25-year old school record with 21 career triples. Searles also set single-season school records this year with 63 runs, 40 stolen bases, and a .464 batting average.
During the 2013 MIAA conference season, Searles became just the third Trine player to win the batting title, and the second consecutive following her sister in 2012. Searles came just .012 away from setting a new batting average record while breaking the all-time MIAA record with 31 hits and seven triples.
Recognized as a pitcher, Gasco, a 2009 Petoskey graduate, earns her first All-American honor after being named to the NFCA All-Central Region First Team for three straight seasons.
The senior pitcher and designated player leads the nation with 19 home runs and .44 home runs per game. Gasco also ranks second with 1.47 RBIs per game and a 1.083 slugging percentage.
Offensively, Gasco also sits eighth with seven triples, 18th with .16 triples per game, 19th with 1.28 runs per game, 43rd with an on base percentage of .525 and 76th with a .444 batting average.
The two-time MIAA Most Valuable Pitcher also ranks 18th in the nation with 18 wins, 24th allowing just 5.04 hits per game, 43rd with a 1.61 earned run average, 59th with five shutouts, 70th with 6.7 strikeouts per game and 94th with 121 total strikeouts.
In her four seasons at Trine, Gasco rewrote almost every pitching record and nearly half the batting records. Gasco set 14 career records, seven pitching and seven batting, while also breaking or tying 10 single-season records, five pitching and five batting. She also became the first Trine pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters, including two in 2013, one of which came in conference play at home against Saint Mary’s (IN) on April 26.
To be eligible for an NFCA All-American award, the players must have been selected to an NFCA All-Region First Team.
In all, 120 student-athletes were eligible to be named an NFCA All-American, but only 15 student-athletes were honored on each of the three teams - First, Second and Third Team NFCA All-American.
The 2013 NFCA Division III All-American awards are chosen by a committee of eight NFCA member head coaches, representing the eight regions of NCAA Division III softball. Student-athletes must be selected to an NFCA All-Region First Team to be eligible for NFCA Division III All-American honors.