EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Softball senior pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt has been named to the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II Player & Pitcher of the Year Watch List for the 2020 season. She was a Top 25 finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II Player & Pitcher of the Year award in 2019.
In 2019, Leonhardt was both the Great Lakes Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year and GLVC Scholar Athlete of the Year as well as a first-team Academic All-American.
Leonhardt earned second-team All-America honors by both the NFCA and Division II Conference Commissioners’ Association after going 21-9 in the pitcher’s circle with four saves, a 1.29 ERA, 243 strikeouts and a .187 opponent batting average. She tossed two complete-game shutouts in the NCAA II Midwest Region #1 Tournament, bringing her single-season total to a school-record tying 13 as well as her career mark to a school-record tying 33. She also broke the school records for strikeouts (705) and wins (76).
Her efforts on the field helped lead the Eagles to a 35-21 overall record and a 19-7 mark in GLVC play. USI advanced to the NCAA II Midwest Region Tournament for the fifth-straight year and sixth time in seven seasons.
Two years ago, Leonhardt was the NCAA II Softball Championship Most Outstanding Player after a dominating post-season that saw her post a 12-1 record with a 1.35 ERA, a .152 opponent batting average and 96 strikeouts. Her effort was instrumental in leading the Screaming Eagles to their first-ever national championship.
In the NCAA II Softball Championship alone, Leonhardt was 5-0 with a 1.44 ERA, a.091 opponent batting average and 40 strikeouts in 34 innings of work.
Leonhardt is one of four GLVC Players to be recognized on the watch list and one of eight from the Midwest Region. This is the third straight year that Leonhardt has been on the preseason watch list.
The Eagles begin the year Friday at 11 a.m. (CDT) when they take on Southern Wesleyan University at the University of North Georgia’s Cottrell Foundation Loyal Blue Classic in Dahlonega, Georgia.