Posted: Jun 12, 2020
FORT MYERS, Fla.- We wrap up our four part series today on the Florida SouthWestern State Teams of the Decade as we look at 10 of the best Buccaneers Softball talents of all-time. Reemerging in 2016, the FSW Softball Team has been one of the elite programs in the country for the past five seasons. The Bucs have won four straight Suncoast Conference Championships and a pair of State Championships, while making three trips to the NJCAA National Tournament.
There is no way that the team, voted on by staff, media, and fans, could possibly encompass all of the great players that have gone through the program in just five short years, but this is a fun, lighthearted way to celebrate a few of the best. How good has FSW Softball been? So good that a number of All-Americans didn't even make this list!
We start in the circle where FSW has been simply dominant since coming back onto the scene. How good? There wasn't room on the All-Decade team for Haley Ellefson, who went 25-1 in her two seasons for the Bucs, Giovanna Watts who won 46 games in her career, and Sarah Lawton who posted a 1.26 career ERA.
Our first All-Decade Team member is starting pitcher Courtney Gettins. Gettins was the first pitcher to put FSW on the map. She won 73 games for the Bucs in her two seasons, 27 more than any other pitcher in program history, leading FSW to a pair of NJCAA National Tournaments. Gettins logged 523 1/3 innings during her Buccaneer career, 223 more than anyone to follow her thus far. She started 75 games during her career and completed 68 of them, more than double the number of complete games than anyone else in program history. As a freshman in 2016, she was named the NJCAA National Pitcher of the Year after going 34-1 with 229 strikeouts and a 1.50 ERA. As a sophomore she was named the FCSAA State Pitcher of the Year and was named a 1st Team NJCAA All-American for the second straight season, winning 39 games in the circle, while striking out 289, and posting a 1.43 ERA. Gettins transfered to the Univeristy of Alabama after her two seasons at FSW, helping the Crimson Tide reach the College World Series in 2019.
If Gettins happened to need any relief out of the bullpen, the All-Decade Team has Kelsi Collins waiting in the wings as the squad's relief pitcher. Collins finished her career at FSW 40-2, placing her third on the all-time wins list and second on the Bucs' all-time winning percentage list. Her 270 1/3 innings and 1.39 ERA both rank third in program history while her 304 strikeouts are second behind Gettins' unreachable mark. As a freshman Collins was named the NJCAA Region VIII Tournament Most Valuable Player and a 2nd Team All-State selection while her sophomore year she was named both the FCSAA State and NJCAA National Pitcher of the Year. Her 25 wins and 187 strikeouts in 2019 are third most in a single season in program history while her 1.15 ERA is the second lowest mark for a Bucs' hurler.
Catching Gettins and Collins on our All-Decade Team is slugger Molly Roark. Roark is FSW's all-time home run leader with 21 and is second in RBIs with 109. She was a .356 career hitter and put together a career .994 OPS. Roark's 2016 season included 14 home runs which ranks second in a single season in program history, 64 RBIs which ranks third, and 16 doubles which sits fourth. For her efforts she was named an FCSAA 1st Team All-State selection and an NFCA All-American. After another big sophomore season, she was again named 1st Team All-State and was a 2nd Team NJCAA All-American. After FSW Roark continued her career at Fordham University where she hit 16 home runs and drove in 50 as a senior in 2019.
At first base, Natavia Ellis got the nod on the All-Decade squad. Ellis' .426 career batting average ranks third in program history while her 90 RBIs rank fourth most despite playing only half a sophomore season due to COVID-19. In 77 career games, Ellis had 89 hits, including 34 for extra bases. She was off to a torrid start to this season, hitting .548 with 12 doubles, six home runs, and 42 RBIs in just 24 games before the stoppage. Her 1.655 OPS through half the season is a single season program record. She had RBIs in 20 of 24 games on the year and had multiple RBIs in 11 different contests.
Joining Ellis on the right side of the diamond at second base is Marta Fuentes. Fuentes was the catalyst at the top of the Buccaneer lineup in 2016 & 2017, helping lead them to a pair of NJCAA National Tournament appearances. Her 186 career hits and 136 runs scored are both program records while her 114 stolen bases rank second. Fuentes' 99 hits as a sophomore are a program record while her 87 as a freshman rank fourth. She holds the number two and three spots on the single season runs scored list and the number three and four spots on the stolen base charts. Fuentes was a two time All-American for the Bucs, earning 2nd Team NJCAA honors as a freshman and 1st Team NJCAA and 2nd Team NJCAA accolades as a sophomore. After FSW, Fuentes played two seasons at George Washington University, helping lead the Colonials to their first A-10 Championship as a senior in 2019.
Fuentes' double play combo mate at shortstop is Lindsey Corbin. Corbin hit an even .400 in her two seasons with the Bucs, roping 17 doubles and nine home runs, while driving in 68. She was a terror on the basepaths, successfully swiping 26 bases while being caught just twice. She was also a ball magnet at the plate, getting hit by a program record 28 pitches with FSW. Corbin was a 1st Team All-Conference and 2nd Team All-State choice as a freshman and was well on her way to that or better as a sophomore when her season was prematurely ended due to COVID-19.
At the hot corner is Brazilian Rebeca Laudino. Laudino played all over the infield for the Bucs during her career and was equally as smooth at second, shortstop, and third base where she lands here. She put up video game numbers at the plate, setting an all-time FSW record with a .529 career batting average, nearly 100 points higher than the next closest on the list. She had 139 hits in 81 career games and stole 68 bases in 72 opportunities. She had the exact same .581 on base percentage in both seasons and had a career OPS of 1.258. She was named the Suncoast Conference Player of the Year and a 1st Team NJCAA All-American as a freshman, setting program records with a .527 batting average and 80 runs scored, while racking up 98 hits which ranked second all-time. She began her FSW career by hitting in 49 straight games, setting the longest hitting streak in collegiate softball history at any level. She finished her career by hitting safely in 76 of 81 career games. Laudino has signed at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette to finish her career.
In left field is speedster Riley Russell. Russell stole a program record 121 bases and was caught just six times in her two seasons with the Bucs. She racked up 133 hits and hit .393 while also reaching base 62 times via base on balls to leave Fort Myers with a career .495 on base percentage. Her 68 stolen bases in 2018 are a program record while her 53 as a freshman rank fifth most in a single season. She was a two time All-Conference selection for the Bucs and was an All-American in 2018 as a sophomore, named a 1st Team pick by the NFCA and a 2nd Team choice by the NJCAA. Russell went on to star at Stetson University where she ranked second in the ASUN in stolen bases over the past two seasons with 44.
In center field is Criza Bulanadi, another founding member of FSW Softball. Bulanadi teamed up with Fuentes atop the Bucs' lineup to make an unstoppable dynamic duo in 2016 and 2017. Her 150 career hits rank fourth in program history while her 120 runs scored rank second only to Fuentes. She stole 105 career bases which ranks third in Bucs' history including a perfect 61 for 61 mark as a freshman which ranks second in single season program history. She was a two time 1st Team All-Conference performer before moving on to George Washington where she started 78 games in two seasons for the Colonials and with Fuentes, helped them to their first A-10 Championship in 2019.
Rounding out the outfield in right field is Christian Quinn. Quinn ranks near the top of a number of different all-time top 10s for the Bucs. Her .431 career average, 166 hits, and 24 doubles all rank second while her 17 triples is far and away the most in program history. Her .456 average as a freshman in 2017 was the highest single season mark for a Buc to that point while her 10 triples that season still stand as a program best. She was twice named a 1st Team All-Conference selection and was an All-State pick in both years while also being named an NFCA All-American in both seasons with FSW. After graduating from FSW she has played in 51 games for Mississippi State University over the past two years.
Bringing the thunder from the designated player position is Owen Bowers. Bowers hit .406 over the past two seasons, clubbing 23 doubles and 18 home runs while driving in 94 runs. Her 18 bombs rank second in program history while her 94 RBIs are tied with Quinn for third despite playing in just half a season as a sophomore due to COVID-19. She was named a 1st Team All-American by both the NJCAA and the NFCA as a freshman in 2019, setting program records with 18 doubles, 17 home runs, and 79 RBIs while hitting .410 and also stealing 14 bases.
This concludes our four part series on the Florida SouthWestern Athletics Teams of the Decade. To read about any of the other three teams, log on to FSWBucs.com or check out the Bucs on social media @FSWBucs.