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At the Mike: NFCA rights the NJCAA wrong with Harper and All-American honors
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At the Mike

Erica Harper just wrapped up one of the most electric seasons in Barton Community College softball history. School records in home runs, RBI, batting average, runs scored and hits. She was voted as the Jayhawk West Most Valuable Player.

She led the nation with 26 home runs and finished second in RBI with 94. All this in 56 games. Her slugging percentage was 11th best in the country and she struck out just 10 times in 197 at bats.

Those are easily All-American numbers right? At least some kind of mention for All-American right?

Nope. At least not according to the NJCAA All-American voters.

Harper was not a first team selection. Well, not a big surprise. Those honors usually go to the traditional softball powers. Second team? Nope. How about third team – the final group mentioned? Nope.

Sixteen outfielders in all – none of them named Erica Harper.

Monica Islava of Butler earned third teams honors in the infield but the person voted over her for MVP of the West garnered nothing. I understand it is a different list picking infield and outfield, but, still, tough one to swallow.

At least the National Fastpitch Coaches Association recognized the Emporia State signee. She garnered third team honors with them to help ease some of the disappointment.

I would like to wish Steve Forbes the best of luck as he finally gets the chance to show what he can do at the NCAA Division I level for the East Tennessee State Buccaneers.

Forbes has been successful at every stop as an assistant and head coach and he now gets the opportunity he has been chasing as a DI head coach.

Forbes first head coaching job was at Barton where he compiled a 68-28 record during his three seasons as head coach of the Cougars. He then began his quest for an NCAA D-I job as an assistant when he left Barton in 1998 to follow then Hutchinson head coach Steve Farrar to Idaho. He spent two season there then three at Louisiana Tech.

After one year at Illinois State he hooked up with Billy Gillespie for two seasons at Texas A&M. He joined Bruce Pearl’s staff at Tennessee in 2007 as his top assistant and appeared primed to become a head coach at that point. But due to the scandal at Tennessee Forbes had to wait.

When he left Tennessee in 2011 he went back to the JuCo’s taking the reins at Northwest Florida where he promptly posted a 61-6 record in two seasons going to the NJCAA title game both years.

The past two season he has been on Wichita State’s bench for two of the most successful season in Shocker basketball history.

Rest assured, he will do well in Johnson City, Tenn.