FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Shortstop Braxton Burnside, pitcher Mary Haff and first baseman Danielle Gibson took home National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American honors to cap off a record-setting postseason awards haul for Arkansas softball. Burnside and Haff became the first student-athletes in program history to garner first team honors, while Gibson earned second team recognition. Before this season, Miranda Dixon (2010, Third Team) and Autumn Storms (2019, Second Team) were the only All-Americans in program history.
Burnside smashed a single-season school record 24 home runs, which ranked second in the country and tied for third in SEC history. She was named to the All-SEC and NFCA All-Region First Teams, a USA Softball Player of the Year Top 10 Finalist and a two-time SEC Player of the Week. The Paragould, Ark. native slashed .347/.497/.889 with her slugging percentage ranking 13th nationally and her 51 RBI tied for the team lead. Burnside and Northern Iowa shortstop Sammey Bunch were the country’s only two players to score and drive in at least 50 runs while walking more than 35 times. Four times this season Burnside socked two home runs in a game. She hit five home runs over a three-game stretch in late February. From Feb. 22 through April 25 the graduate student reached base in 37 straight games.
Haff compiled the most decorated season by a pitcher in school history, grabbing SEC Pitcher of the Year honors – the first for the program – All-SEC and NFCA All-Region First Team recognition and joined Burnside on USA Softball’s Top 10 Finalist list. She also earned two SEC Pitcher of the Week awards. The Winter Haven, Fla. hurler ranked fifth nationally in wins and saves, logging a 23-5 record with five saves and a 1.61 ERA over 170.0 innings pitched. Haff fanned 175 hitters compared to 35 walks issued and limited the opposition to a .192 batting average. She was even better as a reliever, posting a 0.83 ERA (42.2 IP/5 ER) and allowing only three of 19 inherited runners to score. Against Texas Tech, Haff was one error away from a perfect game and tossed the second no-hitter of her career. The right-hander’s 74 career wins are the most in school history.
Gibson grabbed All-SEC Second Team, SEC All-Defensive Team, NFCA All-Region First Team and SEC Player of the Week honors. Gibson paced the SEC co-regular season champion Razorbacks in batting average and finished second in slugging percentage behind Burnside by slashing .369/.413/.771 with 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 51 RBI. The Murrieta, Calif. product was the only player nationally to post at least 15 doubles and homers this season. Against South Carolina, she went 5-for-5 with two doubles and a walk, tying the nation’s lead for hits in a single game. Gibson posted a team-best 18 multi-hit games.
Only regular season statistics counted during the voting process.