BE grad Gravens earns NAIA All-America honors

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 Story courtesy of Midway College Sports Information Department.

MIDWAY, KY. – In just one season in a Midway University softball uniform Kelsey Gravens has accomplished a lot, but her latest accomplishment might just be the cherry on top as she has earned All-American honors from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

      The 2017 Softball All-American teams were announced the day after the conclusion of the 2017 NAIA Softball World Series and were selected by the NAIA All-America committee. The All-America teams are comprised of First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention selections.

       When the All-America teams were released, Gravens anxiously scrolled through the list hoping to fid her name. She didn’t have to scroll long as she found her name under the Second Team and it was at that time, she realized that she accomplished one of her biggest goals in her collegiate career.

The junior from Mount Washington Kentucky and former Bullitt East standout, earns her first career All-American honor after playing her first two years of collegiate softball at St. Catharine Colle. Gravens and others were forced to find a new hme after St. Cartharine closed its doors in June 2016.

      The NAIA All-American honor tops off a long list of accomplishments for the 2014 Bullitt East High School graduate.

In her junior campaign, she was named First Team All-Region by the National Fast-pitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and she was named River States Conference Softball Newcomer of the Year as well as earning All-RSC First Team honros as well as earning NAIA National Softball Player of the Week honors on April 4th and she was twice named RSC Softball Player of the Week on March 20th and April 3rd.

      Gravens was not only Midway’s best hitter throughout the season, but she was one of the most durable. The catcher was one of only two players who started all 47 games for Midway on the season.

      For the season, Gravens hit .438, while slugging .876 with an on-base percentage of .486. She went 67-of-153  at the plate with 20 doubles, a triple and 15 home runs, while driving in 49 and scoring 45 runs. She also collected 134 total bases and swiped six bases.

       The junior ranks in the top four in 15 different statistical categories in the RSC. Gravens also led the conference in seven of those categories. She ranks fourth in runs (45), third in RBI (49) and second inbatting average (.438) runs per game (.96) hits per game (1.43) hits (67), runs batted in per game (1.04) and on-base percentage (.486).

       Gravens also led the conference in slugging percentage (.876), doubles per game (.43), doubles (20), home runs per game (.32), home runs (15), total bases per game (2.85) and total bases (134).

       During the season she ranked in 12 different statistical categories nationally. She is 44th in runs score per game, 39th in runs batted in, 38th in hits per game, 34th in runs batted in per game, 31st in batting average, 16th in doubles, 14th in total bases, 10th in home runs, eighth in doubles per game, seventh in home runs per game, sixth in slugging perentage and fifth in total bases per game.

       Gravens helped lead the Eagles to a 29-18 record overall. The team also went 12-6 in the RSC which was good enough for a second place finish in the final standings.

       Gravens was one of six players who made the move from St. Catharine to Midway after that school closed. Midway picked up a number of players from St. Catharine in both baseball and softball including several former Bullitt County high school players.

       Former North Bullitt player Carly Benz, was one of the six players who moved to Midway along with Gravens from St. Catharine. The junior led the team with 15 stolen bases as she batted .370 and a .587 slugging percentage. Playing in every game for the Lady Eagles, Benz drove in 34 runners and finished with 51 hits.

       The Lady Eagles, coached by Tripp Swisher, also had junior Jeri Bogard of Mt. Washington on the roster this past season.