4 Hilltoppers Named to All-Atlantic Region Team
Makenzie Amend earns Regional Pitcher of the Year award
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – Four West Liberty University softball standouts were named to the 2021 NCAA Division II All-Atlantic Region Team and senior ace Makenzie Amend was voted Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday when the Division II Conference Commissioners' Association (D2CCA) released its All-Atlantic Region Team.
Coach Herb Minch’s two-time defending Mountain East Conference champion Hilltoppers were the only Atlantic Region team with three first-team picks. Senior outfielder Katie Beeman and sophomore utility/pitcher Annie Paterson joined Amend on that unit with senior catcher Kat Donzella a repeat All-Region selection on the second unit.
Amend, the 2021 MEC Pitcher of the Year from Wheeling, W.Va., celebrated her Regional Pitcher of the Year selection on Wednesday by teaming with Riley Bennington on a no-hitter in WLU’s 7-0 romp past East Stroudsburg in an Atlantic Region Tournament opener. Amend’s 10 strikeouts pushed her past the 500-strikeout milestone for her career while her six innings of no-hit shutout softball pushed her season stats even further up the national leaderboard. Now 11-2 in the circle with a 1.08 ERA, Amend has whiffed 159 batters in 97 innings while giving up only 48 hits and holding opposing hitters to a .140 batting average. She ranks No. 3 nationally in strikeouts/7 innings (11.47) and hits/7 innings (3.46).
Paterson, a first-team All-MEC selection from Salem, Ohio, teamed with Amend to give West Liberty a lethal 1-2 pitching combo while swinging a big bat in the middle of the WLU lineup. 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, who got the Black and Gold off to a flying start on Wednesday with a two-run double in the top of the first, is hitting .351 with a .511 slugging percentage.
Beeman, a two-time All-MEC outfielder from Ridgeley, W.Va., also made her presence felt on Wednesday with a solo blast over the right field wall in the sixth for her seventh home run of the year. An outstanding defensive centerfielder who has started every game this season, Beeman is hitting .363 with a .563 slugging percentage and .401 on-base average to go along with a team-high 39 RBIs.
Donzella, the 2021 MEC Player of the Year and MEC Tournament MVP from Wheeling, W.Va., led the conference in nearly every offensive category while establishing herself as one of the premier defensive catchers in the region. Those skills were on display Wednesday when she gunned down East Stroudsburg’s only baserunner of the game trying to steal second in the bottom of the fourth. Donzella is hitting an eye-popping .459 with a .777 slugging percentage and .522 on-base average. She has scored an MEC-best 46 runs while driving in 34 more with 72 hits, highlighted by 18 doubles, a triple and 10 home runs.
Shippensburg first baseman Hannah Marsteller was voted Atlantic Region Player of the Year.
The D2CCA is in its fifth year of sponsoring the All-Region awards, which are conducted annually by the region's sports information directors. The Atlantic Region includes teams from the Mountain East Conference (MEC), the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) along with independents Bluefield State and Salem.
Following Wednesday’s regional tournament win, the Hilltoppers (36-15) are set to take on host and No. 1 seed Kutztown (32-13) Thursday at 10 a.m. in a second-round game.
NCAA Division II
D2CCA 2021 All-Atlantic Region Team
Pitcher of the Year:MAKENZIE AMEND, WEST LIBERTY
Player of the Year: Hannah Marsteller, Shippensburg
Position Player School
PITCHER MAKENZIE AMEND WEST LIBERTY
Pitcher Logan Hartman Seton Hill
Pitcher Marah Range East Stroudsburg
Catcher Faith Willenbrock Millersville
First Base Hannah Marsteller Shippensburg
Second Base Bri Garber West Chester
Shortstop Jenna Witt Concord
Third Base Nicole Purtell Shepherd
OUTFIELD KATIE BEEMAN WEST LIBERTY
Outfield Taylor Myers Shippensburg
Outfield Jenna Osikowicz Seton Hill
DP Cameron Davis Shepherd
Util Madison Fry Mercyhurst
UTIL/P ANNIE PATERSON WEST LIBERTY
Position Player School
Pitcher Bridget Bailey Kutztown
Pitcher Dani Bauer Charleston
Pitcher Abigail O’Shields W.Va. Wesleyan
CATCHER KAT DONZELLA WEST LIBERTY
First Base Jenna Lipowski Kutztown
Second Base Kaitlyn Beers IUP
Shortstop Sammi Starr Bloomsburg
Third Base Reilly Vicendese East Stroudsburg
Outfield Brianna Hughes Kutztown
Outfield Maria Taliani Gannon
Outfield Laura Thompson Concord
DP Kaity Stocker Gannon
Util Brooke Cline Clarion
Util/P Lauren Dellett Seton Hill