Four Colorado Mesa softball players earn All-America honors
If Ben Garcia was happy about the All-American recognition his Colorado Mesa softball University team received last year, he was four times happier this season.
Mesa’s Brooke Hodgson was an All-American selection by two organizations, and three other Mesa players were honored when the awards were announced Thursday. CMU had one first-team recipient in 2016: Makayla Kovac, who was the 2016 RMAC offensive player of the year and finished her career as the conference’s all-time leader in home runs with 62.
In addition to Hodgson’s selection, freshman first baseman AnnMarie Torres was a third-team selection by the national Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Mesa also had a pair of honorable-mention selections in pitcher McKenzie Surface and outfielder Kellie Mrofcza.
“For our girls to be able to have that kind of recognition is absolutely great for our players and for the program as a whole,” said Garcia, who just finished his third season as the Mavericks’ coach.
Hodgson, a junior center fielder, earned first-team honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association and was a second-team selection by the NFCA. She finished fifth nationally in home runs (19), third in RBI (70) and ninth in total bases (149).
“I think if we’d gone a little deeper in the postseason, Brooke would have seen a little more recognition,” Garcia said.
Being an All-American outfielder was something Hodgson was hoping for when she started her career at Mesa.
As a freshman Hodgson was one of the Mavs’ top pitchers but still had a .364 batting average with a team-high 69 hits.
“I’ve always loved the outfield, but we got some great pitching recruits that allowed me to take a step back from that role,” Hodgson said. “It’s just really exciting that I’ve been put in a place where I’ve very comfortable playing.”
Torres hit nine home runs and batted .412. She also had a .995 fielding percentage with a .489 on-base percentage, both tops on the team. Her seven sacrifice flies led Division II, and her team-high 21 doubles ranked fifth nationally.
She admitted the honor came as a huge surprise but was quick to credit her teammates.
“There’s always someone right behind you every day at practice ready to take your spot,” Torres said. “You really can’t help but be on your game at practice.”
Surface ranked 11th in the nation with victories and her nine shutouts ranked her 17th. Mrofcza hit .364 with a team-best 30 walks.