COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An unprecedented five members of the Northeastern A&M Lady Norse softball team were selected recently to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Fast Pitch All-American team.

“I'm so proud of these young ladies because, not only did they finish fourth in the national tournament, but they topped off a great season with some individual recognition, Lady Norse head coach Eric Iverson said. “The most we've ever had in my 12 years as head coach was three in 2000.

Under Iverson's supervision, the Lady Norse won the Region II championship and advanced to the loser's bracket semifinals of the Division I fast pitch national tournament in Plant City, Fla.

NEO, which finished 54-7, was eliminated with a 4-0 loss to North Idaho College.

Sophomore pitcher Candice Handley, of Broken Arrow, represented the Lady Norse on the NJCAA all-American first team.

Handley finished ranked 24th in the nation with a 1.03 earned run average in 203 1/3 innings of work. Handley struck out 200 while allowing only 49 walks and 157 hits.

She ranked fifth on the team with a .402 batting average in the leadoff spot with 34 runs batted in.

Broken Arrow freshman infielder Shae Peterson earned second team all-American recognition.

Peterson ranked 26th in the nation with 59 RBI. She led the Lady Norse with 81 hits in 200 at-bats for a .405 average with 12 home runs.

Sophomore catcher Shareena Pulse, sophomore infielder Maria Bernal and Miami freshman Becca Carden were selected to the third team.

Pulse, of Skiatook, ranked 15th in the nation with a team-leading 15 home runs and 17th with 64 RBIs.

She tied for the team lead with a .412 average in 187 at-bats.

Bernal, of Tulsa, collected 69 hits in 169 at-bats for a .408 average.

She ranked second on the team with nine stolen bases while collecting 35 RBIs and three home runs.

Carden, an outfielder, led the Lady Norse with 14 stolen bases while tying Pulse for the team lead with a .412 batting average.

She ranked third on the team with 49 RBIs and seven home runs.