GSW’s Zoe Willis Earns Second NCAA Division II Softball Player of the Year Award
Published 8:11 am Saturday, June 3, 2023
From Staff Reports
LOUISVILLE, KY — Georgia Southwestern State University junior Zoe Willis was named the 2023 NCAA Division II National Player of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) on Thursday afternoon, June 1. It is the second national player of the year award this season for Willis, who also received the D2CCA award last week.
Willis, a first-team NFCA All-American at second base, had one of the best offensive seasons in Peach Belt Conference (PBC) history. The two-time PBC Player of the Year finished the season batting .447 with 25 home runs and 67 RBI. Willis led all of NCAA Division II in home runs and home runs per game, setting both a program and conference single-season record.
Along with home runs, Willis topped Division II with a .993 slugging percentage and finished in the top six in total bases (151), on-base percentage (.563) and RBI. She was also spectacular in the circle, as she finished 14-3 with a 2.54 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 104.2 innings of work.
The Pine Mountain, GA. native was named the PBC Player of the Week twice. She had five multi-home run games this spring and eight games with three or more RBIs.
Willis’ stellar season continued during the PBC Tournament. She put up impressive numbers, going 4-for-9 with two home runs and five RBIs. She also drew five walks over the three-game span.
Last season, Willis became the first Lady Hurricane to ever be named the PBC Player of the Year and this year, she’s the first student-athlete in school history to earn the league’s top individual award in consecutive seasons.
The NFCA Player of the Year award was created in 2015 to honor the outstanding athletic achievements among softball student-athletes throughout NCAA Division II. In 2019, the Association expanded the award to include a Player and Pitcher of the Year.
The awards are voted on by the elected members of the NFCA Division II All-American Committee, with one head coach representing each of the eight NCAA regions. To be eligible, a student-athlete’s head coach must be a member.