Academic All-District Honors for Hilltopper Duo
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – The West Liberty University softball program scored a rare “double” on Thursday when Hilltopper seniors Makenzie Amend and Kat Donzella were honored as first-team selections on the 2021 NCAA Division II Academic All-District® Softball Team.
Selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the 2021 Academic All-District® Teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined achievements on the field and in the classroom.
Post-season honors are nothing new for the former high school teammates from Wheeling, W.Va. as each played a major role in leading Coach Herb Minch’s Hilltoppers to their second straight Mountain East Conference championship and NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament berth this spring.
Amend earned D2CCA All-America honors after being voted the MEC and Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year. The hard-throwing righthander became the first West Liberty pitcher to reach the 500-strikeout career milestone and finished the season ranked among the Top 10 nationally in strikeouts per game and fewest hits allowed. She made history by throwing the first no-hitter in MEC Tournament history and teamed up with Riley Bennington to spin a no-hit gem in the Atlantic Region Tournament opener.
An honors graduate in Criminal Justice, Amend has maintained a perfect 4.00 GPA in graduate school as she pursues her master’s degree in Criminology.
Donzella also put together one of the top seasons in Mountain East Conference softball history. The MEC Player of the Year was an NFCA All-American and All-Region selection after putting up some astronomical numbers. Donzella finished the season ranked among the Top 5 nationally in total hits, total bases and doubles after leading the MEC in hits, runs, doubles, extra-base hits, total bases, batting average, on-base average and slugging percentage.
Off the field, Donzella was the banner carrier at Commencement for the College of Liberal Arts after graduating with the highest GPA in the College. Now pursuing a graduate degree in Criminology on the hilltop, Donzella has maintained a perfect 4.00 GPA.
The 2021 Academic All-District® Softball Team includes student-athletes from the Mountain East Conference (MEC), Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).
As a first-team Academic All-District® selection, Amend and Donzella are now candidates for the 2021 NCAA Division II Academic All-America® Softball Team. Academic All-America® balloting gets under way later this month.
CoSIDA 2021 ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
NCAA Division II
Pos Player School GPA Yr Academic Major
P MAKENZIE AMEND WEST LIBERTY 3.61/4.00 GR. CRIMINAL JUSTICE (UG) / CRIMINOLOGY (G)
P Marah Range East Stroudsburg 3.88 Sr. Sociology
C KAT DONZELLA WEST LIBERTY 3.72/4.00 GR. CRIMINAL JUSTICE (UG) / CRIMINOLOGY (G)
IF Kaitlyn Beers Indiana (Pa.) 3.80/3.66 Gr Criminology (G)
IF Bri Garber West Chester 3.88 Sr. Accounting / Finance
IF Hannah Marsteller Shippensburg 3.67 Jr. Biology
IF Nicole Purtell Shepherd 3.90 Jr. Business Administration / Sociology
OF Sarah Koscho Mercyhurst 3.70 Sr. Accounting / Human Resource Management
OF Jenna Osikowicz Seton Hill 3.54 Sr. Business Admin. / Marketing & Human Resources
OF Laura Thompson Concord 3.86 Jr. Biology
DP Kaity Stocker Gannon 3.84 Sr. Criminal Justice