Incoming Nebraska freshmen Payton Huscroft and Rylie Unzicker both earned high school all-region accolades from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) on Friday, June 30. Unzicker was named to the South Central Region first team as an outfielder, while Huscroft made the second team as a first baseman.
Huscroft and Unzicker were high school teammates at Millard South, helping the Patriots to three state titles in their four-year prep careers. Both players are now eligible to for NFCA High School All-America honors, which will be announced on July 7.
Unzicker's honor capped an impressive awards haul in the month of June. She became the first Nebraska high school player selected to participate in the 2017 Premier Girls Fastpitch High School All-American Game on June 1 and was named the Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year on June 5. Unzicker was then named a first-team All-American by FloSoftball, a second-team All-American by Fastpitch News and a third-team All-American by USA Today before earning her NFCA honor on the final day of the month.
Unzicker is looking to repeat as an NFCA High School All-American, as she was a second-team selection last season. In her final season at Millard South, Unzicker hit .500 and set school records with 18 home runs and 57 runs scored. She was named a captain of both the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska team and the Lincoln Journal Star Super-State team following her senior season. Unzicker's stellar senior season capped an outstanding prep career for the outfielder, who was a four-time first-team All-Nebraska and Super-State honoree. Unzicker posted a .524 career batting average with 187 hits, 48 doubles, 38 home runs, 130 RBIs and 185 runs. Her 185 runs were a Class A record, as was her .524 average, which ranked fifth overall in state history. In addition to her state records, Unzicker established Millard South records in hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, runs scored and batting average.
Huscroft posted a career year as a senior, setting school records with a .598 batting average and 17 doubles. She also added eight home runs, 31 runs and 36 RBIs with a .636 on-base percentage. Huscroft spent the end of the season as the Patriots' starting catcher, a position she had never played before after previously serving as Millard South's starting first baseman. Huscroft earned first-team All-Nebraska and Super-State recognition as a senior. In her career, Huscroft posted a .420 batting average with 32 doubles and 16 home runs.