Churchwell Named To NCAA Division II Softball 25th Anniversary Team

Susan Churchwell helped UC Davis to its first-ever softball national championship.<br> (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 
Susan Churchwell helped UC Davis to its first-ever softball national championship.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

May 10, 2006

DAVIS, Calif. - Former UC Davis softball standout Susan Churchwell, whose three home runs on the tournament's final day helped lead the Aggies to the 2003 Division II national title, was one of 10 players named on Wednesday to the NCAA Division II Softball 25th Anniversary Team for oustanding achievements while participating in NCAA championships.

Churchwell, a pitcher and designated player who was named the Most Oustanding Player during the NCAA Division II Championships at Salem, Ore., was a first-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association first-team All-American as well that season, the second All-America honor of her career.

The anniversary team was selected by an NCAA expert panel which used historical data and results from online public voting to make its decision.

Churchwell capped a standout career in dramatic fashion for UC Davis, helping the Aggies pick up two wins on the final day to claim the program's first-ever national championship. Her two-run walk-off home run in the eighth inning against St. Mary's (Texas) delivered the Aggies a 5-3 win during the afternoon on May 18, sending them into the evening's championship against Georgia College & State University.

In the final, Churchwell slammed two more home runs for UC Davis which won 7-0. She went 4 for 4 with four RBI's against GC&SU, finishing the day 6 for 7 with three home runs and seven RBI's.

"She really deserves the honor," said former Aggie coach Kathy DeYoung, who retired from the softball program a year later to start up the women's golf team at UC Davis. "She had an amazing championship. Her offense was just phenomenal at the championship."

Churchwell joined teammate Amy Rosson, who didn't allow an earned run in 28-2/3 innings at the championships, on the all-tournament team.

"I don't think I've ever had a day like this," said Churchwell after the championship game. "Everythiing else pales in comparison."

Churchwell, who graduated in 2003 with a 3.888 GPA in economics, twice earned Academic All-America honors, was the 2002 W.P. Lindley Award winner as UC Davis' oustanding student-athlete, and in 2003 was named a top 10 finalist for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

"She embodies what we hope for in all of our student-athletes at UC Davis," said DeYoung.

UC Davis finished its championship season with a 52-15 overall record.

In 1981, the NCAA began sponsoring women's championships, which opened the door to increased athletic and academic opportunities for female athletes. Today, the NCAA sponsors 44 women's championships in 20 sports, providing more than 150,000 women with an opportunity to compete for national titles each year.

The anniversary team team is listed below:

Susan Churchwell, University of California, Davis, Pitcher
NCAA All Tournament (2003); NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player (2003); NCAA National Champion (2003); National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First-Team All American (2003); NFCA Third-Team All American (2001)

Debbie Dickmann, California State Northridge, Pitcher
NCAA All Tournament (1987, 88, 90); NCAA Champion (1987); NCAA Runner Up (1990); NFCA First-Team All American (1987, 88, 89, 90)

Julie Fromm, North Dakota State University, Pitcher
NCAA All Tournament (2000); NCAA National Champion (2000); NFCA First-Team All American (2000); NFCA Second-Team All American (1999)

Barbara Jordan, California State Northridge, Outfield
NCAA All Tournament (1984, 85, 87); NCAA Champion (1984, 85, 87); NCAA Runner Up (1986); NFCA First-Team All American (1986, 87)

Kym Kling, St. Mary's University (Texas), Pitcher
NCAA All Tournament (2002); NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player (2002); NCAA National Champion (2002); NFCA First-Team All American (2002, 03); NFCA Second-Team All American (2004)

Danielle Penner, California University of Pennsylvania, Pitcher
NCAA All Tournament (1996, 97, 98); NCAA Champion (1997, 98); NFCA First-Team All American (1997, 98); NFCA Second-Team All American (1996)

Kelly Rafter, Kennesaw State University, Pitcher
NCAA All Tournament (1995, 96); NCAA Champion (1995, 96); NFCA First-Team All American (95); NFCA Second-Team All American (1996)

Barb Santa Cruz, California State University, Bakersfield, Second Base
NCAA All Tournament (1988, 89); NCAA Champion (1988, 89, 90); NFCA First-Team All American (89, 90)

Kathy Slaten, California State Northridge, Pitcher
NCAA All Tournament (1983, 84, 85, 86); NCAA Champion (1983, 84, 85); NCAA Runner Up (1986); NFCA First-Team All American (1984, 85, 86)

Lith Webb, California University of Pennsylvania, Third Base
NCAA All Tournament (1997, 98); NCAA Champion (1997, 98); NFCA First-Team All American (95, 96, 97, 98)

Gary Torgeson, California State Northridge, Coach
NCAA champion (1983, 84, 85, 87); NCAA Runner Up (1982, 86, 90); Team at finals site (1982, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 90); Diamond Softball Coach of the Year (1983, 84, 85); NFCA Coach of the Year (1987)