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Emily Benson is a top 25 finalist for the NCAA Division II Schutt Sports/NFCA Player & Pitcher of the Year award. PHOTO: WWU Athletics

WWU’S Emily Benson Named to Top 25 for DII Player of the Year

April 26, 2018 

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University senior first baseman Emily Benson has been named to the 2019 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II Player & Pitcher of the Year Top 25.


Benson (West Richland, WA/Kamiakin) is having a record-breaking senior season for the Vikings (25-16, 14-10 GNAC) in 2019. She is batting .466 (54-for-116) with 26 extra-base hits, including a league-leading and WWU single-season record 15 home runs. She also has recorded a 1.510 OPS, leading the GNAC in slugging percentage (.940), on-base percentage (.570) and RBI (44).


Amongst NCAA Division II leaders, Benson is ranked in the national top 10 in slugging percentage (7th), home runs (10th), home runs per game (10th, .34), on-base percentage (10th), batting average (14th) and RBI (48th). 


In her four-year WWU career (2015-19), Benson has combined for a .379 batting average (206-for-543) with 34 doubles, 45 home runs and 156 RBI. She is WWU’s all-time leader in home runs, batting average, on-base percentage (.476), slugging percentage (.698), walks (98) and hits. She needs one home run to break the all-time GNAC record for career home runs, a record she currently shares with Jessica Hallmark (Western Oregon, 2008-11).


Benson is the only GNAC player on the list of top 25 players in the nation, and joins West Region players Callie Nunes (P, Concordia Irvine) and Brylynn Vallejos (OF, San Francisco State).


The Schutt Sports/NFCA Player and Pitcher of the Year watch list will be paired down to 10 players on May 14. The Player and Pitcher of the Year will be announced after the NCAA II Championships on May 30. The top 25 list is represented by 23 different programs and 18 different conferences across NCAA Division II.



  • Emily Benson, Western Washington, Senior, First Base

  • Shelby Booker, Alabama-Huntsville, Sophomore, Third Base

  • Rosa'Lynn Burton, Wilmington, Junior, Outfield

  • Georgia Capell, Tarleton State, Sophomore, Outfield

  • Jordan Davis, Rollins, Senior, Outfield

  • Makaleigh Dooley, Tampa, Senior, Pitcher

  • JoBi Heath, Central Oklahoma, Senior, Third Base

  • Teala Howard, West Florida, Freshman, Utility

  • Sara Keeny, Kutztown, Senior, Outfield

  • Jordyn Kleman, Winona State, Junior, Pitcher

  • Jennifer Leonhardt, Southern Indiana, Junior, Pitcher

  • Allison Lipovsky, Grand Valley State, Senior, pitcher

  • Peyton Mills, Harding, Senior, Outfield

  • Kylee Moore, West Texas A&M, Senior, First Base

  • Callie Nunes, Concordia Irvine, Sophomore, pitcher

  • MaKray Odom, Trevecca Nazarene, Junior, Shortstop

  • Emily Otto, Texas A&M-Commerce, Sophomore, Pitcher

  • Christa Reisinger, Truman State, Senior, Outfield

  • Rhiannon Sassman, West Florida, Senior, Third Base

  • Julia Seader, Long Island - Post, Senior, Catcher

  • Kylee Smith, North Georgia, Junior, Pitcher

  • AnnMarie Torres, Colorado Mesa, Junior, First Base

  • Brylynn Vallejos, San Francisco State, Freshman, outfield

  • Lani Van Zyl, Winona State, Senior, Shortstop

  • Natalie Willis, Newberry College, Senior, Shortstop


Here is a look at Emily Benson’s career statistics in her four-year WWU career:

-- WWU Softball --

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