Moon Township, Pa. – Senior Nicole Sleith of the Robert Morris University softball team was chosen as a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region selection as announced in a release by the organization Thursday.
Sleith earned a spot on the Second Team in the Great Lakes Region, marking the fourth consecutive year that she has been awarded NFCA honors at the regional level. She is one of just 11 players nationally, and one of three not from a Power Five conference, to claim Division I all-region honors in each of the past four seasons.
Sleith is also the lone student-athlete from the Great Lakes Region to accomplish this feat.
The all-region teams were voted on by head coaches from each respective region, and all honorees now become eligible for the 2015 NFCA Division I All-American teams.
Sleith, who took home Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year honors for the third time in four years last week, earned this distinction in a Great Lakes Region that consists of seven schools bound for the NCAA Tournament this year.
Sleith, who is the only Colonial ever to be named Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year more than once, became just the second student-athlete in league annals to win that major award on three occasions.
She accumulated 22 wins in 2015, finished the regular season with a 1.65 ERA and completed a career-high 31 of her 34 starts in her final collegiate campaign.
She broke the school's single-season strikeout record, and tied the league's single-season K mark with her 296, as she averaged more than nine strikeouts per seven innings, a career best. She not only leads the league in strikeouts but also ranks among the top 10 in Division I.
Sleith spun a career-best nine shutouts in 2015, the most by a Colonial since 1998 and one of the top 10 marks nationally. She finished the regular season with an opponent batting average under .200 for the third consecutive season. She was a workhorse within league play, throwing nearly every inning for RMU, as she tossed four shutouts while striking out 120 against just 18 walks.
She faced 20 batters with the bases loaded throughout the course of the season and struck out 10 of them. Sleith threw a four-hitter with 13 strikeouts against Sun Belt foe Texas State, allowed four hits and a lone run against Atlantic 10 regular-season champion Dayton and yielded zero earned runs in a complete-game effort against Penn State.
While each of those outings was noteworthy in its own right, Sleith put forth the most impressive performance of her career last weekend by throwing a perfect game in a postseason elimination contest. She retired each of the 21 batters she faced while tossing a no-hitter for the third consecutive season.
Sleith broke the RMU career strikeout record during a NEC sweep in April, and finished with 932, and also broke the Colonial all-time wins record by picking up her 78th within the past week. Among active Division I athletes, Sleith ranks among the top 10 in career strikeouts, shutouts (27), complete games (98) and saves (13).
Sleith's selection marks the eighth time in RMU history in which a pitcher has been named all-region. She is one of 13 distinct Colonials to earn an all-region honor in her career.
Sleith, a Yough graduate, was also recently named Capital One Academic All-District First Team for her combined athletic and academic prowess, the second straight year she took home that award, and she is on the ballot for Academic All-America honors.
(photo courtesy of Robert Morris University)