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Nunes named NFCA National Freshman of the Year
Callie Nunes
Ceres High grad/Concordia University softball pitcher Callie Nunes collected two awards at the NCAA Division-II Championship banquet last week in Virginia. She was named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Freshman of the Year. Nunes was also selected to the NFCA All-America First Team. Callie compiled a 25-4 record with a 0.74 ERA, 291 strikeouts, two no-hitters and eight saves. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Ceres High grad/Concordia University star pitcher Callie Nunes earned a major postseason award this past week.

Nunes beat out a host of other finalists for the 2018 Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Freshman of the Year award at the NCAA Division-II Championship banquet on May 23 in Roanoke, Va.

Bob and Shawna Nunes, Callie’s parents, attended the ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center.

“I thought I was going to have a good year, but I did not see this coming. It's kind of shocking."
Callie Nunes

“I thought I was going to have a good year,” said Nunes, who’s also in the running for NFCA D-II National Player of the Year. “But I did not see this coming. It’s kind of shocking.”

Callie has been awarded multiple times this spring for her dominance in the circle.

She was selected to the NFCA Division-II All-America First Team last Wednesday.

She was named a First-Team, All-American by the Division-II Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA). The CCA also voted Nunes its West Region Pitcher of the Year.

She garnered D2CCA and NFCA All-West Region First-Team honors as well.

Nunes claimed the PacWest Conference’s Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards.

She also received first-team, all-league recognition.

“Honestly, what took me by surprise the most is the amount of support I’ve got from everywhere,” Callie said. “I’m so grateful. It’s very humbling.”

Callie posted a 25-4 record with a 0.74 ERA, 291 strikeouts, 18 complete games, two no-hitters and a school-record eight saves.

She allowed just 20 earned runs in 1901/3 innings and limited opponents to a .129 batting average.

Nunes finished first in the country in ERA and strikeouts during the regular season.

“Overall, I’m happy with my performance,” she said. “But I don’t play for myself. I always put my team first.”

Callie filled a major role as the Eagles went 46-14 on the year and claimed the PacWest Conference title outright with a 26-6 mark.

Concordia University won 24 of its last 25 regular-season games.

The Eagles reeled off 14 straight victories.

Concordia University secured a berth to the NCAA West Regionals. The Eagles hosted the tournament for the first time in program history.

“It would have been a dream season if we won the national championship,” Callie said. 

Nunes and the Eagles will have higher expectations for the 2019 season.

“No matter how good you are, there’s never a maximum,” Nunes said. “I’m going to keep working hard. Now, there’s a bar that’s set. My whole philosophy is to continue to get better. It’s not going to be easy.”

Callie played three seasons of varsity softball at Ceres High.

She helped propel the Bulldogs to their second section crown in 2016, ending a 21-year drought between titles. Nunes and third-seeded Ceres High compiled a 5-1 record in the Division-III playoffs.

She posted a 20-3 record with a 1.14 ERA, 239 strikeouts, two no-hitters and 10 shutouts.

Nunes amassed a 20-3 record with a 0.52 ERA, 291 strikeouts, one no-hitter and 11 shutouts in 2017.

She ranked fourth in the state in strikeouts.

The Bulldogs qualified for the postseason for the sixth straight year and captured their fourth consecutive Western Athletic Conference title.

Callie won the WAC Pitcher of the Year award for the second time.

She was selected to the Cal-HI Sports All-State Medium Schools First Team.

Nunes had a career record of 51-13 with 686 strikeouts, four no-hitters and 26 shutouts.

“I’m honored to say I went to Ceres High School and played sports there,” Nunes said. “It was truly a blessing.”