Lady ‘Cats place five on All-MEC Softball First Team


BRIDGEPORT — West Liberty's Kat Donzella, Makenzie Amend and Herb Minch, along with West Virginia State's Autumn Thompson, earned top honors from the Mountain East Conference on Thursday as the league announced its annual awards and all-conference teams.

Donzella was named Player of the Year, Amend was tabbed as the Pitcher of the Year, Minch was voted as the Coach of the Year and Thompson was selected as the Freshman of the Year.

Donzella, a junior from Wheeling, W.Va., led the league with a .467 batting average this season. She ranked first in the league in hits (63), home runs (9) and total bases (107), second in runs (40) and fourth in RBI (30).

Amend, a junior from Wheeling, W.Va., went 9-1 with a 1.41 ERA in the circle for the Hilltoppers this season. She had the lowest ERA in the conference allowing just 12 earned runs in 76.2 innings worked. Her 128 strikeouts rank third in the conference.

Thompson, a native of Seth, W.Va., was a dual-threat in her first season with the Yellow Jackets. In addition to being 11-3 with a 2.98 ERA as a pitcher, she also hit .434 at the plate for WVSU. She hit seven doubles, scored 12 times and also drove in 12.

Minch is the MEC Coach of the Year again after receiving the honor in 2019. He helped lead West Liberty to 30-14 overall record, including a 23-9 mark in the MEC. Minch directed the Hilltoppers to a second consecutive North Division title.

In addition to the award winners, the MEC also announced its all-conference teams. The all-conference teams and individual awards are selected by a vote of the league's coaches.

West Virginia Wesleyan placed five players on the Mountain East Conference First Team.

Lauryn King, Kiley Turner, Grace Smith, Kennedy Cowart and Abigail O'Shields were all named All-MEC First Team.

King, a senior from Chester Va., leads Wesleyan in RBI (26) and slugging percentage (.554) while she is tied for the team-high in home runs (5), hits (37) and total bases (56). King hit a 3-run homer and grand slam en route to a nine RBI performance against Davis & Elkins on Tuesday (April 26) in game two. 9 RBI is currently the best for a single game in NCAA Division-II this season and tied for the single game high across all NCAA levels in 2021.

Turner, a junior from Leesburg, Va., was voted to the All-MEC First Team in the utility category as she's been the Bobcat catcher and designated player this season. Turner batted .320 with four home runs and 21 RBI. Turner hit a pair of home runs in a doubleheader on April 23 against No. 25 Charleston including the go-ahead solo shot to left in game two.

Smith, a sophomore from Charleston, W.Va., has started every game at second base for WVWC this year. She is hitting .371 with five doubles and 12 RBI. Smith hit a walk-off single against Notre Dame (Ohio) on Saturday (April 3).

Cowart, a senior from Houston, Texas, leads the Bobcats in batting average (.389) while being tied with King in hits (37). She has driven in 12 RBI and knocked around five doubles.

O'Shields is 13-4 overall in the circle with a 2.38 ERA and 14 complete games to her credit. The Dagsboro, Del., native has struck out 83 batters and is coming off an MEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honor after winning five games in one week. O'Shields spun a no-hitter in a five-inning, 9-0 victory over Glenville State on March 27.

In addition to the award winners, the MEC also announced its all-conference teams. The all-conference teams and individual awards are selected by a vote of the league's coaches.

All-MEC First Team

Pos. Name School Cl.

C Kat Donzella West Liberty Jr.

1B Kennedy Cowart W.Va. Wesleyan Sr.

2B Kendal Marshall Charleston Jr.

2B Grace Smith W.Va. Wesleyan So.

SS Jenna Witt Concord Sr.

3B Karli Pinkerton Charleston Sr.

DP/Util Kiley Turner W.Va. Wesleyan Jr.

OF Katie Beeman West Liberty Jr.

OF Lauryn King W.Va. Wesleyan Sr.

OF Hannah Rose Charleston Fr. .

OF Laura Thompson Concord Jr.

P Makenzie Amend West Liberty Jr. .

P Dani Bauer Charleston So.

P Annie Paterson West Liberty So.

P Abigail O'Shields W.Va. Wesleyan So. .

All-MEC Second Team

Pos. Name School Cl.

C Andie Baughman Fairmont State Sr.

C Madee Rafuson W.Va. State Sr. 

1B Emma Ruth W.Va. State Jr.

2B Catherine Pelfrey Glenville State Jr.

SS Lilly Saucedo Davis & Elkins Fr.

SS Courtney Worcester Fairmont State Sr.

3B Emily Riggs Fairmont State Fr.

3B Sarah Thompson Concord Jr.

DP/Util Courtney Moyer Fairmont State Fr.

OF Haley McDaniel Fairmont State Jr.

OF Paige Scruggs W.Va. State Sr.

OF Kat Treff Frostburg State Sr.

P Caitlyn Kassay Fairmont State So.

P Shawna Leonard Frostburg State So.

P Autumn Thompson W.Va. State Fr.

Top Honors

Player of the Year: Kat Donzella (West Liberty)

Pitcher of the Year: Makenzie Amend (West Liberty)

Freshman of the Year: Autumn Thompson (W.Va. State)

Coach of the Year: Herb Minch (West Liberty)

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