Milligan University sophomore outfielder Katie Cronin collected First Team All-America honors from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-America committee on Tuesday.
Cronin, a Greeneville High grad, spent most of the season atop the national batting leaderboard and finished the year tied for first in the NAIA with a .519 average (70-135). She ranked second in the country with 1.75 hits per game, and led the Buffs in runs (39), RBI (35), doubles (13), stolen bases (19) and on-base percentage (.529).
Cronin logged 25 multi-hit games and the set single-season program record for batting average.
She was named the AAC Player of the Year and was an NFCA All-Region First Team selection.
Milligan posted a 32-9 record in 2021, won the Appalachian Athletic Conference regular season title and swept through the Lawrenceville bracket in the NAIA Softball Opening round to reach the NAIA Softball World Series for the first time in program history.
Campbell Named All-American
Taylor Campbell, Maryville College’s softball home run queen with 27 career blasts, has been named a second-team NCAA Division III All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Campbell, in her final season in the orange and garnet, paced the USA South with eight home runs, was second in the league with a .459 batting average, and fifth in the conference with 26 RBI. Her eight blasts rank 35th nationally.
The Afton native and Chuckey-Doak High School alum helped Maryville College softball revitalize their program going 75-44 over the past four seasons winning over 63-percent of all challenges. In USA South action, the Scots went 32-12 claiming 73-percent of all league matchups. Following Taylor’s freshman and sophomore campaigns, the Scots posted a 60-25 record while going 27-3 within the USA South. During this time, they earned two USA South regular-season titles, a pair of USA South tournament crowns, and two trips to the NCAA National Tournament.
Taylor played in 117 games during her career finishing with a .424 career batting average. Taylor was a fixture at second base while recording 151 career hits, 37 career doubles, 27 career home runs, and 129 career runs driven in. She was on base over 50-percent of her plate appearances and finished with a slugging percentage of .772.
Campbell’s game was not one-dimensional as she also excelled on defense. In 353 career chances, Taylor recorded 135 assists while turning 22 double plays finishing with a .975 career fielding percentage.
Campbell’s home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage are new career records within the Scots’ softball record book. Taylor is a three-time All-USA South performer and the 2018 USA South Rookie of the Year. Her All-American mention is the second in MC’s softball history and the 84th in the Maryville College athletics program.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to represent our softball program with this award,” Campbell said. “I’m still in so much shock, and it doesn’t seem real. I wouldn’t have this opportunity if it wasn’t for my teammates always holding me accountable and Coach Kelley and Coach Robinson for always pushing me to do my best. There is no way I could have done this without them.”
Taylor graduated from Maryville College in May as an environmental studies major earning a minor in sustainability.
“What an amazing honor for Taylor Campbell. There is no one more deserving of this recognition than her,” said Maryville College coach Leah Kelley. “Not just because of her very impressive stats but, because every day she has represented our program at a high standard both on and off the field.
“Taylor is the player I modeled our standard around, the player I want players to try and play like, practice like, cheer like, study like, and represent Maryville College like. I’m so very proud of her.”