Sophomore Olivia Fluehr of the Rock Valley Community College Golden Eagles (IL) has been named the 2017 Dudley® NJCAA DIII Softball Player of the Year. Fluehr helped guide Rock Valley to its fourth consecutive national championship in 2017.
A force at the plate, Fluehr led all Division III batters with 82 hits and 91 RBI. More than half of Fluehr’s hits on the year went for extra bases, including a NJCAA-best 34 doubles. The sophomore tallied 10 home runs in 2017 with a .922 slugging percentage.
“The National Player of the Year award is such an amazing accomplishment,” Fluehr expressed following the announcement. “I’m very honored to have been selected. I can honestly say that none of this would have happened without the help of my coaches. We have an amazing coaching staff at RVC and the fact that I had the opportunity to be coached by them is amazing. Coach Monroe has helped me grow not only as a player, but as a person and I couldn’t thank him enough. I have learned so much in my last two years and I’m a totally different player then when I was coming in as a freshman.”
Fluehr’s commitment to her hard work paid off in her final season as a Golden Eagle. “Coming to Rock Valley, I knew I had to set goals for myself and of course one of them was achieving National Player of the Year. I knew it was going to be hard, especially when I was going up against other amazing and talented players. I kept telling myself just to work hard and play your game and that’s what I did. I also knew I was going to be pushed by my teammates throughout the journey and that’s all I needed. They are a huge part of my accomplishments and I’m very thankful for them.”
Fluehr, who also starred in the circle for the Golden Eagles, was named the Most Valuable Player and the Most Outstanding Pitcher of the NJCAA DIII Softball Championship for the second consecutive season. Fluehr is a two-time NJCAA DIII First Team All-American and two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American.
To compliment her abilities at the plate, the Loves Park, IL native posted a 21-1 record in the circle, striking out 114 batters to go along with a NJCAA-best 0.96 earned run average.
Rock Valley head coach Darin Monroe noted Fluehr’s ability to dominate in every facet of the game for the past two seasons. “Olivia had a great career both offensively and in the circle,” Monroe exclaimed. “She was the biggest piece to our lineup, as she was clutch when we needed her the most. In the circle, her and Kelsie (Packard) fed off one another and became one of the most dominant pitching duos our level has ever seen.”
Along with Fluehr’s postseason honor, fellow teammate Kelsie Packard was named the NJCAA DIII Softball Pitcher of the Year. Fluehr and Packard combined to win 47 games with just one loss on the year as the Golden Eagles finished the season with a 57-2 overall record.
Fluehr joins fellow teammate Kelsie Packard to garner individual NJCAA accolades after Packard was named the 2017 Dudley® NJCAA DIII Pitcher of the Year.
Fluehr graduated from Rock Valley with an Associate of Arts degree and will head to the University of Missouri-Kansas City next year to enroll in the Liberal Arts program with an emphasis in business.
“I’m very excited for my next journey and can’t wait to be a part of the UMKC ‘Roo’ family.”
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