All-Region Honors for Hilltopper Softball Stars

All-Region Honors for Hilltopper Softball Stars

   LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Three West Liberty University softball players were named to the NCAA Division II All-Atlantic Region Team on Wednesday afternoon when the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced its 2021 All-Region selections.

   Senior pitcher Makenzie Amend, junior catcher Kat Donzella and sophomore pitcher Annie Paterson were the Hilltoppers’ three All-Region selections, tying Coach Herb Minch’s Mountain East Conference champion Hilltoppers (35-15) with Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference powers Seton Hill and Shepherd for the most All-Region selections in the region. Amend was a first-team All-Region pick with Donzella and Paterson earning second-team honors.

   Amend, the 2021 MEC Pitcher of the Year, carries a 10-2 record and an Atlantic Region-best 1.15 ERA into next week’s Atlantic Region Tournament. She opened last week’s MEC Tournament with the first no-hitter in tournament history and came back to earn the win in Sunday’s championship game. Amend has fanned 149 batters and allowed just 48 hits in 91.0 innings this season. The school’s career record holder with 494 strikeouts, she ranks No. 3 nationally in strikeouts/7 innings (11.5) and No. 7 in hits/7 innings (3.69).

   The 2021 MEC Player of the Year, Donzella was also voted MEC Tournament MVP after helping lead WLU to its second straight title. Donzella is hitting .461 with a .786 slugging percentage and .525 on-base average. She has 71 hits including 18 doubles, a triple and 10 home runs with 34 RBIs. Donzella led the MEC in batting average, slugging percentage on-base average, runs, hits, doubles, home runs and total bases despite having been moved to leadoff the last half of the year due to teams pitching around her. An elite defensive catcher, she also led the MEC with 11 caught stealing and committed just two errors in 478 total chances.

   Paterson, a first-team All-MEC selection, was the left-handed half of West Liberty’s lethal 1-2 pitching combo. The hard-throwing sophomore led the MEC with 153 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings and ranked No. 2 in the league (behind Amend) with a 1.17 ERA. Paterson was also a potent force with the bat, ranking among the team’s top three in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base average. She slammed a game-winning home run in the 9th inning of the MEC Tournament’s championship semifinal on Sunday to punch WLU’s ticket to the winner-take-all championship game.

   Last week’s MEC Tournament championship vaulted the Black and Gold into this week’s NCAA Division II Atlantic Region rankings at No. 5 while locking up a return trip to the Atlantic Region Tournament, scheduled for May 19-21 at Kutztown (Pa.) University. Pairings and game times for the double-elimination event will be announced on Monday.


NCAA Division II

NFCA 2021 All-Atlantic Region Team



Pos: Name                                     School

P: Logan Hartman                         Seton Hill


P: Dani Bauer                                 Charleston

C: Faith Willenbrock                     Millersville

1B: Hannah Marsteller                 Shippensburg

2B: Bri Garber                                West Chester

3B: Nicole Purtell                          Shepherd

SS: Jenna Witt                                Concord

OF: Jenna Osikowicz                     Seton Hill

OF: Taylor Myers                           Shippensburg

OF: Maria Taliani                           Gannon

UT/P: Lauren Dellett                    Seton Hill

UT/Non-P: Cameron Davis          Shepherd


Pos: Name                                     School

P: Shawna Leonard                       Frostburg State


P: Bridget Bailey                            Kutztown

C: KAT DONZELLA                         WEST LIBERTY

1B: Jenna Lipowski                       Kutztown

2B: Kaitlyn Beers                           Indiana

3B: Reilly Vicendese                     East Stroudsburg

SS: Sammi Starr                             Bloomsburg

OF: Hannah Rose                          Charleston

OF: Isabella Forte                          Shepherd

OF: Madison Melvin                     West Chester

UT/P: Laura Thompson                Concord

UT/Non-P: Maddie Fry                 Mercyhurst

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