After a sensational senior season that saw plenty of highlights and broken records, College of Staten Island softball standout Jacqueline Cautela has been nominated as the national NCAA Division III HERO of the Year by HeroSports.com. Formerly BennettRank.com, Hero Sports is a ranking agency that ranks all teams in all sports across all NCAA Divisions, as well as awards citations on a weekly and yearly basis. They feature content designed to serve the underserved, and focus heavily on Division III athletics.
The nomination is a huge honor for Cautela and CSI. Of the eight national finalists, Cautela is one of only three softball players, joining Wesley’s Nina Marcano and East Texas Baptist’s Jayme Perez. Cautela is the first ever CSI player to be nominated for the national honor.
Cautela broke career records this season for wins and strikeouts, thanks to a 15-3 campaign where she boasted a 0.98 ERA, the second-lowest mark in single season history. She led the Dolphins with 121 innings tossed, allowing just 17 earned runs while fanning 82 batters. Opponents batted a paltry .175 against her, and Cautela saved plenty of damage for the dish too, boasting a .355 stick with a team-best 52 runs scored and 24 walks, lifting her on-base percentage to a hefty .448. Cautela added 17 extra-base hits including a team-best three triples and another three home runs.
HeroSports.com will be releasing its winner tomorrow via Twitter. A complete list of the eight finalists are viewable here.