FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton sophomore third baseman Missy Taukeiaho was named to the 2014 NFCA Division I All-American Third Team on Wednesday. Taukeiaho becomes the 29th Titan to be named to an NFCA All-America Team and the first since Kiki Munoz earned second team honors in 2008.
"Missy is by far one of the most talented players I have ever had the privilege of coaching. She is undoubtedly an offensive threat every time she enters the batters box. Her instincts and defensive talents make her one of the most all-around players you'll see across the entire country," said Head Coach Kelly Ford. "Cal State Fullerton softball is lucky to have her as she has changed the culture completely ever since she put on the uniform. It has been a long time coming since a Titan has garnered such an honor and I'm very proud and ecstatic that Missy has placed herself in a league of her own, this national recognition is well deserved."
In all 54 players from 32 different institutions were selected to one of three 2014 NFCA Division I All-American teams. This year a change was made in the NFCA's Division I awards process as three all-region teams, instead of the traditional two, were selected in each of 10 different regions. That provided more opportunities for student-athletes to receive honors as well as have a chance to earn potential All-American status from the Association.
The University of Washington transfer single handedly rewrote both the program and conference record books in four separate categories en route to being the first Titan to earn Big West Player of the Year honors since Ashley Van Boxmeer in 2006.
Batting from the leadoff position in all 55 games this year, Taukeiaho scored 62 times, inking her into the all-time record books for most in a single-season. Power wasn't the least bit lacking from batting in the one-hole, as she blasted 19 home runs, notching her into the No. 2 spot on the single-season charts. In addition, she finished No. 6 in RBI (51) and No. 9 in batting average with a .429 clip to eventually land herself on the NFCA All-West Region First Team.
Being an offensive machine, Taukeiaho manufactured 21 multi-hit contests and 12 multi-RBI games, pacing the Titans to their first .300 team average since the 2000 campaign.
The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native captured three Player of the Week accolades over the season (weeks of Feb. 3-10, Mar. 24-31 and Apr. 14-21), good for third most all-time in Big West Conference history. She led the league in home runs, runs scored, RBI, walks (40), on-base percentage (.547) and slugging percentage (.851).
In conference play, Taukeiaho launched eight of her 19 long balls complimented by her league-high .508 average, propelling the Titans to victories in seven of their last eight games en route to being a member of the All-Big West First Team. She also swiped eight bags over the season with a perfect (8-for-8) succession rate.
Batting from the right-side, Taukeiaho posted a team-high 10-game hitting streak between Mar. 26-Apr. 12 (.543, 19-for-35, four home runs, 14 RBI's, 15 runs scored, six doubles, seven walks). She clubbed her first career home run (2-for-3, two RBI's, one run scored) as a Titan in a win over then No. 2 Oklahoma, 3-1, marking the first program win over a second-ranked opponent since 2008.
Over the 2013-14 season, Taukeiaho helped guide the Titans to a 33-21-1 overall record and fourth place finish in the Big West. The 33 wins marked the most wins in a single season for the Titans since 2007 while finishing with the second-best RPI (53) behind conference champions Long Beach State.
The five conferences that are participating at this year's Women's College World Series were well represented as an impressive 39 of the 54 total selections, including 16 of the 18 student-athletes on the first team, were garnered by either the Southeastern Conference (14), the Pac-12 Conference (13), the Atlantic Coast Conference (five), the Big 12 Conference (four) or the Sun Belt Conference (three).
Oregon, Auburn, Washington and Notre Dame each led the country with three total selections to the prestigious squads, while Florida State joined Oregon, Alabama and UCLA in leading the nation with two student-athletes tabbed to the NFCA All-American First Team. Taukeiaho was the only player selected from the Big West while giving the conference an All-American honoree for the third year in a row and the 14th time in the last 16 seasons.