ROANOKE, VA - Rutgers softball standout catcher Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA) has been named to the BIG EAST Conference All-First Team, the conference office announced on May 8.
The junior transfer led the offense this season for the Scarlet Knights. She finished the season as the team leader in batting average (.417), slugging percentage (.704), on-base percentage (.468), runs scored (26), hits (48) and runs batted in (25). She was also tied for the lead in doubles (7) and home runs (8). Childress ended her first season with 81 total bases and a .985 fielding percentage and is currently third in the RU record book for highest batting average as well as tied at first with the single-season home run record.
Childress’ numbers also made a mark in the conference and the nation. She led the conference in both slugging percentage and on-base percentage and was second in batting average, ranking 11th in the NCAA as well. Childress ranked ninth in the league in conference action, with a .365 batting average in BIG EAST games.
Childress transferred from Florida Community Junior College, where she earned First -Team All-Conference, All-Region and All-State honors her sophomore year. She batted .431 in 2002, driving in 42 runs while stealing 12 bases. As a freshman, Childress was a First-Team All-Conference and All-Region selection, and also was the runner-up for the Florida Community College Activities Association player-of-the-year award.
A standout at Cave Springs High School in Roanoke, VA, Childress was named to the All-District First Team three consecutive seasons. She was the District MVP as well as the Region MVP her senior year, garnering First-Team All-State honors.
“Nikki has certainly impacted the program this year, ” said head coach Pat Willis. “When you bring in a player from junior college you hope that they are able to bring a lot to the team and she definitely has. She’s a great player and will be even more valuable next year.”
“I feel very honored to accept this award,” Childress said. “Coming from a small town, it means a lot to be able to step up and do what was expected of me.”
The Rutgers softball team finished its season with a 26-23 overall record, including an 8-12 mark in the BIG EAST.