Rawlings Gold Glove Award® Platform Expands to Additional Levels of College Softball
Iconic Defensive Award Will Recognize Student-Athletes in All Levels of College and Junior College Competition
ST. LOUIS – Dec. 5, 2022 – Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., the creator of the Gold Glove Award celebrating defensive excellence in baseball and softball since 1957, announced today that the award program will be expanded to include multiple levels of college softball.
At the end of the 2022 softball season, Rawlings presented Gold Glove Awards to NCAA® Division I softball athletes for the first time in the award’s 65-year history. Next season, Rawlings will also present awards to athletes playing in NCAA Division II and III, NAIA, NJCAA Division I, II and III, California Community College Athletic Association and Northwest Athletic Conference.
Rawlings will recognize nine student athletes – one at each defensive position – in each level of play. The awards will be presented by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association® (NFCA) on an annual basis, with recipients being announced at each respective divisional championship culminating with the Division I recipients at the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
“We believe in honoring the women who are growing the game of softball through their excellent defensive play and work ethic,” said Julie Tobyansen, Softball Sport Marketing Manager for Rawlings. “We want to recognize the talented women playing at all collegiate levels who are worthy and deserving of the honor associated with being a Rawlings Gold Glover.”
The NFCA will select recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, presented by the NFCA, throughout the special awards selection process at the end of May. Any student-athlete competing in the current championship year who has been nominated for All-Region status and whose head coach is a member in good standing with the NFCA is eligible for consideration. The selection committee will use advanced fielding analytics, fielding statistics, strength of schedule and video highlights to closely examine finalists and select the winners at each defensive position across all levels of play.
"The introduction of the prestigious Rawlings Gold Glove award into collegiate softball through the Division I rank was a huge success last year,” said Carol Bruggeman, Executive Director for the NFCA. “Thank you to Mark Kraemer and the Rawlings team for making the commitment to now include all collegiate divisions! Inclusion is a core principle of the NFCA. From our initial conversations with Rawlings the goal was to be able to honor collegiate student-athletes from all divisions and we are so appreciative of Rawlings investment to make this happen. Defense should be rewarded. The most talented defensive student-athletes at all collegiate levels each year will now earn the nation's most recognized and coveted defensive award."
As Rawlings and the NFCA expand the collegiate Gold Glove Award program, they will also continue to search for new ways to grow the game and recognize defensive excellence as a cornerstone of college softball.
Established in 1887, Rawlings is an innovative leading global brand and manufacturer of premium baseball and softball equipment, including gloves, balls, and protective headwear. Rawlings' unparalleled quality, innovative engineering and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more professional athletes, national governing bodies and sports leagues choose Rawlings.
Rawlings is the Official Baseball, Helmet, Face Guard and Glove of Major League Baseball, the Official Baseball of Minor League Baseball and the Official Baseball and Softball of the NCAA and the NAIA. The company is headquartered in St. Louis.
About National Fastpitch Coaches Association
Established in 1983, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches from all competitive levels of play, including collegiate, high school, travel ball, youth, professional, and international coaches along with umpires, companies and fans of fastpitch softball. Growing from 40 members in 1983 to nearly 6,000 today, the NFCA boasts members from all 50 states and several international countries. The national office's home base is in Louisville, Ky. For more information, please visit nfca.org.
Previous Rawlings’ Softball Gold Glove Award Winners
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award for softball was given annually to one player in the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPF) from 2016-2019. Similar to the award selection process in baseball, coaches and managers within the NPF organization voted for the winner, excluding any players from their respective teams.
Courtney Wallace, Pitcher, University of Nebraska
Jordyn Rudd, Catcher, Northwestern University
Victoria Sebastian, 1st Base, Villanova University
Hannah Adams, 2nd Base, University of Florida
Sydney Sherrill, 3rd Base, Florida State University
Jenna Laird, Shortstop, University of Missouri, Columbia
Casidy Chaumont, Left Field, University of Missouri, Columbia
Ciara Briggs, Center Field, Louisiana State University
Kristina Burkhardt, Right Field, University of Michigan
2019 - Jesse Warren (USSSA Pride)
2018 - Jade Rhodes (Cleveland Comets)
2017 - Chelsea Goodacre (USSSA Pride)
2016 - A.J. Andrews (Akron Racers)