Wheeler Named NFCA NJCAA All-American; Wheeler and Simon named to NFCA NJCAA South Region Team

Jun 1, 2024Gail Crutchfield
Laura Leigh Wheeler

Laura Leigh Wheeler hits a double to left field during the first inning of the Wallace State Lions matchup against Salt Lake Community College during their 9-6 win at the NJCAA Division I Softball World Series.

Laura Leigh Wheeler

Hanceville, AL — Wallace State’s Laura Leigh Wheeler is one of 38 student-athletes from 24 programs named National Junior College Athletic Association Division I All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. She and Wallace State pitcher Katie Simon have also been named to the NFCA NJCAA Division I South Region Team.

Wheeler, a sophomore infielder from Sulligent, was named an NFCA NJCAA Division I All-American Second Team as well NFCA NJCAA Division I South Region First Team member. Wheeler scored 58 runs and had 61 hits in 50 games for the Lions this season. She doubled 22 times, hit 17 home runs and 59 RBI. Her batting average for the year was .389, with a slugging percentage of .892.

Katie Simon

Pitcher Katie Simon reacts after the Lions 9-6 win over Salt Lake Community College at the NJCAA Division I Softball World Series.

Katie SimonSimon, a sophomore pitcher from Athens, was named to the NFCA NJCAA Division I South Region Second Team. Simon had an 11-5 record for the season and was named the MVP of the NJCAA Region 22/Alabama Community College Conference (ACCA) after the Lions’ championship win. She struck out 108 batters for the season and has an ERA of 3.34.

The awards came at the end of a successful season for the Lions, who finished 10th in the nation after making their 16th appearance at the NJCAA DI Softball World Series. The Lions finished the season 36-14.

“I am extremely proud of these players and our entire team. It was an honor to have led the Lions throughout this spring season,” said interim coach Lauren Stewart. “This team of 16 players faced multiple challenges and performed exceptionally well to achieve the college’s 16th ACCC title and a top-10 finish. I could not be more proud of the fight they showed until our very last out. Team 43 has earned every bit of the success we’ve had this year and I am thankful to have been a part of it.”

The Lions advanced to the third round of play in the World Series after defeating Salt Lake Community College 9-6 on May 20 at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, AL, setting up their match-up against last year’s runner-up, Northwest Florida State. The Lions lost that game 11-3 before taking a their final loss of the tournament 7-1 against Florida SouthWestern State.


About Wallace State

Wallace State Community College (Ala.), a member of the Alabama Community College System, is a comprehensive community college in north central Alabama offering more than 200 options in academic, health and technical programs of study leading to an associate degree, certificate or transfer, as well as workforce-credit training and adult education. An Achieving the Dream Leader College, nationally-recognized by the Aspen Institute among the Top 20 institutions according to student outcomes, ranked by Southern Business and Development among the Top 3 institutions in the South for workforce development, named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing and the National Security Administration, rated the Top Online Community College in Alabama, a Military Friendly Institution and an All-Steinway School, Wallace State is an outstanding place for students to pursue their education and career goals. Classes are offered online and on campus, day, evening and on weekends, with numerous start dates each year. Visit Wallace State’s beautiful main campus located on 300-acres in Hanceville, Ala., our satellite location in downtown Oneonta, Ala., find us online at www.wallacestate.edu, or call 256.352.8

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