Kara Nelson
Kara Nelson


Moline, Ill.

High School:




Annual Alumni Game Sets Stage for Fall Schedule

The Redbirds played in the annual alumni game Sunday, preparing them for an eight-game fall schedule.


Canopy, Kay Tabbed NFCA All- Region First Team Selections

The Redbirds placed two players on the first team for the first time since 2010


Kay Named MVC Player of the Year, Six Redbirds Earn All-Valley Accolades

Elizabeth Kay is the MVC Player of the Year, while Laura Canopy, Jhavon Hamilton, Taylor Baxter, Nichelle Harrison and Lauren Kellar are All-Valley selections


Potential MVC Title, Seeding at Stake as Redbirds Visit Evansville

ISU enters the season's final weekend third place in the MVC, but just a half-game out of first


Home Finale for Redbird Softball vs. Bradley, Thursday

ISU hosts the Braves for a 5 p.m., first pitch

► 2010 NFCA All-America Third Team
► 2008, 2009 ASA Initial Top-50 Watch List for National Player of the Year
► 2008, 2011 All-MVC Preseason First Team
► 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 All-MVC First Team
► 2007, 2008, 2010 NFCA All-Great Lakes Region First Team
► 2011 NFCA All-Mideast Region Second Team
► 2007, 2008, 2011 MVC All-Tournament Team
► 2008, 2010 MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team
► 2007 Easton All-America First Team
► 2011 Easton All-America Second Team
► 2007 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Second Team
► 2007 and 2011 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year

2011: Named to the Easton All-American Second Team...earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Mideast Region Second Team honors...selected as the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and named to the All-MVC First Team...named one of 30 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award...named to the All-MVC Tournament Team...started all 55 games at second base...led the conference in batting average (.417), hits (80) and total bases (112)...scored a team high 41 runs and led the Redbirds with a .462 on-base percentage...her 80 hits ranked second in the ISU record books for hits in a single season, behind only the 90 she recorded as a freshman...finished a perfect 6-for-6 on the base paths...became ISU's all-time hits leader after going 3-for-5 with a double vs. Maryland at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla. (Mar. 4)...put together a 25-game hit streak that began Mar. 19 and ended May 7...finished the 2011 postseason 8-for-14 with a double, a triple and a run scored (May 13-21)...recorded her 300th-career hit in the final game of her career in the NCAA Tournament at Missouri (May 21)...became the first player in the history of Redbird softball to be drafted in a professional softball draft when she was selected by the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch First Year Player Draft...held ISU career records for hits (301), doubles (49), runs scored (189), games started (223), total bases (435), at bats (750) and batting average (.401) and single-season records for hits (90), runs scored (56) and at bats (217) at the end of her playing career.

2010: Earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) 2010 All-American Third Team, along with Abby Olson ... it was the first time in Redbird history that two athletes were named NFCA All-Americans ... named to the All-MVC First Team for the third-consecutive season ... member of the 2010 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Mideast Region First Team ... named a MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team ... earned Valley Player of the Week honor (3/29) ... started all 52 games at second base ... led the Redbirds and the Valley in hits (68) and runs (49) ... led the team with a batting average of .395 ... recorded over 50 hits in the 2010 season, which marked the 48th time in Illinois State softball history that a Redbird has recorded 50-or-more hits in a single season and the third-straight year that Nelson has accomplished the feat ... was perfect at the plate against Wichita State in the March 27 doubleheader going 6-for-6 with two doubles and a walk-off single to right field during the second contest of the day ... recorded a slugging percentage of .605 and had an on-base percentage of .475 ... was a perfect 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts ... tallied 105 putouts and 88 assists and had a .955 fielding percentage ... held a team-high 15 doubles ... hit three triples and five home runs during the 2010 season.

2009: Named to the initial ASA Player of the Year watch list...granted a Medical Hardship by the NCAA after an injury to her hand.

2008: Named to the All-MVC First Team for the second-straight season ... member of the 2008 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Great Lakes Region First Team ... named to the preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team at third base ... named to the initial Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Top-50 Watch List for the Seventh Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award ... became just the second Redbird in program history to record multiple .400-or-better seasons at the plate in a career, as she hit a team-high .401 on the season, one year after leading ISU with a .415 average as a freshman ... finished the season on a career-high 16-game hitting streak (still active entering the 2009 season), the longest hitting streak by any Redbird in 2008 ... during her 16-game hitting streak, she recorded a .444 batting average, which included 16 runs scored, 24 hits, three doubles, three triples, three home runs, 11 RBI and a .778 slugging percentage ... recorded her 50th hit of the season against Indiana State (April 23), which marked the 47th time in Illinois State softball history that a Redbird has recorded 50-or-more hits in a single-season and the second-straight year that Nelson has accomplished the feat ... led the team in triples with seven on the season ... those seven triples were more than four Missouri Valley Conference teams had as an entire team in 2008 ... led off a game by reaching base in five-straight contests, from Feb. 24-29 ... went 3-for-4 with a single, triple and a home run against Buffalo (Feb. 24), while she also stole two bases in the game ... hit .615 (8-for-13) at the Littlewood Classic (Feb. 22-24), where she recorded seven RBI, four runs scored, a 1.077 slugging percentage, four stolen bases and a .688 on-base percentage.

2007: Named to the 2007 Easton All-America First Team ... selected to the 2007 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America Second Team ... became the first-ever freshman to earn the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year award after she led the league the majority of the season in at-bats, runs, hits, and batting average ... selected to the All-MVC First Team ... named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association/Louisville Slugger All-Great Lakes Region First Team ... led ISU and set team freshman record for single-season batting average (.415) ... also led the Redbirds in at-bats (217), runs (59), hits (90) and triples (4) ... had two eight-game hitting streaks throughout the season ... the only Redbird on the 2007 roster to collect more than 50 runs and 50 hits ... boasted 27 multiple-hit games ... AFNI Athletics Honor Roll member.

Moline HS: Member of the 2006 IHSA Class AA State Championship Team ... helped her team to a second-place finish in the 2005 IHSA Class AA State Tournament ... as a junior, led the conference with a .388 average and 33 stolen bases; also led the conference in hits ... earned all-conference and all-metro honors in 2005 ... 2005 IHSA Class AA State All-Tournament Team honoree ... earned all-state honorable mention plaudits as a junior ... helped guide her team to conference softball crowns in 2004 and 2005 ... two-year starter in softball and volleyball; started as a senior on the basketball team ... helped her team to three-straight conference titles in volleyball ... two-time all-conference and all-metro selection in volleyball ... as a junior, led the conference in digs ... in 2005, her volleyball team won the regional and sectional titles en route to setting the school record for wins in a season ... two-time team captain for volleyball ... National Honor Society member ... Spanish National Honor Society member. Personal: Born June 20, 1988 ... Parents: Jeff and Kim Nelson ... Sibling: Lindsey (13) ... Major: business administration.