2 Cavaliers receive All-American honors in softball
Kankakee Community College (KCC) softball players Brittany Hay and Kyleigh Payne have received National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American honors.
Hay, who played shortstop for the Cavaliers, made the first team, while Payne, who handled first base, was named to the second team. They wrapped up their KCC careers by leading the Cavaliers to third place in this year’s national tournament, one year after they helped KCC win the national title.
“Both of these players had excellent two-year careers,” KCC softball coach Dennis Clark said. “I always hate to see players of this caliber go. But it’s the nature of the game. They are both talented and that is leading to opportunities for next season, when they’ll go on to the next level.”
Hay finished in the top five nationally in several categories. She was second overall with 213 total bases and 110 runs; fourth in home runs with 23 and runs batted in with 90; and fifth in at-bats (210), hits (108), triples (nine) and slugging percentage (1.014).
Defensively, Hay tied for fifth in the NJCAA Division II by participating in 16 double plays and twice receiving the Most Outstanding Defensive player at the national tournament.
Hay, an alumna of Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School in Georgetown, has completed an Associate in Arts transfer degree at KCC and will attend the University of Evansville in Indiana on a full athletic scholarship.
Payne, who was named to the all-tournament team, also shined at the plate and with the glove for the Cavaliers. She earned the 2016 NJCAA Division II Softball Marucci Elite Hitter Award for her batting average (.476) and was second nationally with 96 RBIs. She also finished in the top 10 in hits (98), plate appearances (242), doubles (25), total bases (185) and sacrifice flies (six).
In the field, Payne made 381 put-outs and participated in 21 double plays, both of which ranked second; and 401 chances, which ranked third.
A Bourbonnais native who graduated from Bishop McNamara Catholic High School in Kankakee, Payne will graduate after the summer term with an Associate in Arts transfer degree from KCC. She is weighing full-scholarship offers from three colleges.
Also for the Cavaliers, infielder/outfielder Bailee Porter received the NJCAA Exemplary Academic Achievement Award. Porter, also a Bourbonnais native and Bishop McNamara Catholic alumna, has a grade-point average between 3.60-3.79 on a 4.0 scale.
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