Blair college softball players earn all-conference honors

Nielsen lands on All-Big East 1st team


A pair of NCAA Division I college softball players from Blair recently earned all-conference honors.
Cayla Nielsen of the Creighton Bluejays secured All-Big East First Team recognition May 7, while the South Dakota Coyotes' Tatum Villotta claimed second team All-Summit League honors the same day.
Nielsen, a former Blair Bear and fifth-year senior, is the 30th Bluejay to earn multiple all-conference honors, according to a school release. The Creighton standout hit at a .348 average overall, while batting .385 during the conference slate. She was third in the league with 30 hits, and tied for eighth in RBIs with 19, while totaling 62 and 30 across all games — conference and otherwise — respectively.
Nielsen had 16 doubles entering last weekend's Big East Tournament, too, which was the fourth-most in any single season for a Bluejay. She broke a 20-year-old school record for career runs scored earlier during the spring, notching her 133rd against DePaul.
Villotta, meanwhile, is a Blair native who graduated from Omaha Marian. The junior earned second-team all-conference honors with a .274 batting average, 17 hits, five runs scored and six RBIs during league play.
Altogether during the 2024 season, though, the Coyote contributed 52 hits, 22 runs scored and a .289 batting average.
Villotta, who's sisters Tory and Tessa played softball at BHS, is a two-time All-Summit League performer with college eligibility remaining.

College Softball