Orion graduate Jena Malmen has received a national award as the top catcher in NJCAA?Division II.
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Diamond Sports announced the award for Malmen on Friday, Aug. 5.
Malmen is one of 10 student-athletes named 2011 Diamond Sports Catchers of the Year.
The Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year award is presented annually to the top catcher from an NFCA member institution in each of the following divisions: NCAA (Divisions I, II and III), NAIA, NJCAA (Divisions I, II and III), California Junior Colleges, Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, and high school.
A committee of head coaches determined the award winner in each division.
Malmen had a stand-out freshman campaign with Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, in 2011, the association said.
She helped lead the Eagles to a seventh-place finish at this year’s national tournament. The Orion native hit .398 for the Eagles this season, while driving in the nation’s fifth highest total of runs (74) and leading the nation in home runs with 28.
Malmen turned in a .994 fielding percentage after committing just three errors in 533 chances behind the plate.
She has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at the Big Ten’s Indiana University.