4 Hilltoppers Named to All-Atlantic Region Team

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


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

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