A total of eight softball players from the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) have been named to the 2016 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Midwest Region team. Three players each from both Fontbonne University and Westminster College received the honors this year while Greenville College had two players pick up accolades.
From Fontbonne University outfielder Samantha Brown, pitcher Madison Leonard, and infielder Emelia Modglin were named to the All-Region Third team while from Westminster College infielder Erica Burney (First Team), catcher Alyssa Johnson (Third Team), and outfielder Amber Tepen (Second Team) received recognition as did Greenville's Brynn McKie and Tiffany Samsoe who each picked up First Team honors.
Brown led the Griffins with a .423 batting average, .712 slugging percentage and .512 on-base percentage. She hit five home runs and walked 18 times, leading her team in both categories. She also tallied 44 hits, 21 RBI's and 11 doubles on the year and was named second-team all-SLIAC.
Burney, a junior first baseman from Ste. Genevieve, Mo., is the first player in Blue Jay history to be named to the NFCA All-Region First Team. Earlier this season, Burney became the first SLIAC Player of the Year in program history, and was also named to the SLIAC All-Conference First Team. She broke the career home run record in just one season with 11 and broke four season records, including batting average, home runs, RBI and hits. She also tied the season doubles record with 15. She batted .540 on the year with a .927 slugging percentage and 67 hits, including 26 extra base hits.
Johnson, a junior catcher from Midlothian, Ill., becomes the second player in Westminster history to be named to the NFCA All-Region Third Team. Johnson held a .994 fielding percentage with 149 putouts, 14 assists and just one error throughout 36 games behind the plate. At the plate, she batted .417 with 43 hits, six doubles and four home runs. She drove in 23 runs and scored 25.
Leonard finished the season with a 19-8 record in the circle and 226 strikeouts averaging, 10.18 strikeouts per game, with a 2.34 earned run average. She recorded her first career no-hitter earlier this spring against Spalding University. Leonard picked up First Team All-Conference honors for the fourth time in her career and was the 2016 SLIAC Pitcher of the Year, her second time achieving the honor. Her 226 single-season strikeouts ties her school-record set last year.
McKie, a senior outfielder, led off the Panther lineup; hitting .473 with one home run and 19 runs batted in. She led the SLIAC in triples and stolen bases while totaling team highs in runs scored (48), hits (71), and walks (19). McKie also picked up First Team All-Conference honors this year while helping the Panthers to their first ever SLIAC Tournament title.
Modglin, a freshman, hit .416 (second on the team) with an impressive .646 slugging percentage in her inaugural collegiate season that included a team-leading 47 hits, 35 RBI's, 14 doubles. She also hit four home runs and was named the SLIAC Newcomer of the Year and earned first-team All-Conference accolades.
Samsoe, a junior infielder, was a powerful bat for the Panthers this year as she guided the team to their first ever trip to the NCAA Division III national tournament. Samsoe hit .446 with seven home runs and 44 runs batted in, ranking in the top five in the conference in all three categories. Samsoe added a team high 21 doubles and finished with 66 hits and a .730 slugging percentage while earning First Team All-Conference honors.
Tepen, a sophomore left fielder from St. Charles, Mo., is the first player from Westminster to be named to the NFCA All-Region Second Team. She broke the season runs record with 42. She batted .458 on the season with a .720 slugging percentage and a .535 on base percentage, and finished the season with 54 hits including 13 doubles and six home runs and 42 RBI.
The NFCA announced the 364 players chosen for the 2016 NFCA Division III All-Region softball teams. The squad is comprised of three teams, first, second and third, in each of the country's eight NCAA regions. First team All-Region choices are eligible for selection to the NFCA All-America team, which will be announced the evening of May 25 online at NFCA.org and in person at the NCAA Division III Championship banquet in Salem, Va. For a full list of the 2016 NFCA All-Region teams click HERE