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Seven From WCC Named NFCA Softball All-Region

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association has announced the 2016 NFCA Division I All-Region teams, and seven West Coast Conference student-athletes make appearances on the list, highlighted by a trio of second teamers in McKenna Bull and Ashley Thompson of BYU and Meghan von Behren of Loyola Marymount.

The seven student-athletes selected marks the most WCC players to earn NFCA All-Region honors since the league began sponsoring softball in 2014. The previous high mark was set in 2014 when five WCC student-athletes earned NFCA All-Region honors.

As voted on by coaches from each respective region, 385 student athletes from 157 programs have received 2016 NFCA Division I All-Region accolades. The awards honor softball student athletes from the Association’s 10 regions with first, second team and selections.

Joining second team selections Bull, Thompson and von Behren were a quartet of third team selections in Amanda Dirks (LMU), Mary Grabowski (San Diego), Rachel Sellers (Pacific) and Taylor Spence (San Diego).

Bull, the WCC Pitcher of the Year, led BYU the circle, pitching 252.1 innings with a 2.36 ERA. She is currently in seventh in the nation for strikeouts with 276 and is tied for fifth in shutouts with 10. Throughout the season, Bull has broken multiple BYU pitching season and career records. She is now the career leader in saves and shutouts, while also snatching the top spot in season strikeouts and shutouts. This year, she has thrown a no-hitter twice and has nine games with double-digit strikeouts.

First baseman Thompson was named the WCC Player of the Year on Tuesday. She leads the team in batting average (.408), runs (43), hits (64), doubles (12) and stolen bases (12). Additionally, she is second in RBI (49) and home runs (13). Her best stretch of the season came against Saint Mary’s when she went 7 for 7 in the two games. She had three home runs and seven RBIs in the doubleheader. She also had a 30-game on-base streak this year, which is the second-longest streak in BYU history.

LMU's von Behren was also named second team All-Region after leading the WCC with her .421 batting average, 75 total hits and 17 stolen bases. Her 75 hits, 40 runs scored, 11 home runs, .680 slugging percentage, .459 on-base percentage and 17 stolen bases in 2016 all rank in LMU's top-10 all time for a single season.

Dirks, an All-WCC Second Team selection, led LMU with 12 home runs, including four in league games. Both marks ranked third in the West Coast Conference this season. She batted .329 for the season, and her 49 hits included 10 doubles to go with a team-high 37 RBI and a .638 slugging percentage.

Grabowski posted a .521 average in WCC games for San Diego, which was tops in the conference, and ended the season on a 14 game hitting streak, the longest in USD history. She was named WCC Player of Week twice during conference play and was an All-WCC First Team selection.

Sellers was a contributor in nearly every offensive category for Pacific, leading the squad in slugging with a .577 mark. Sellers clubbed 29 RBI to pace the squad and knocked six homers and 11 doubles. Her 75 total bases were also the team lead. Sellers threw out nine would-be base stealers, proving to be a force behind the dish in her sophomore campaign. Sellers took home All-WCC Player of the Week honors on three occasions. 

Spence finished the season with a .391 average, the second highest ever for a freshman at San Diego. A singles machine, Spence led the team in hits (63), stolen bases (16), and sacrifice bunts (10). She was an All-WCC Second Team selection.

2016 NFCA All-Pacific Region
Second Team
McKenna Bull, P, BYU
Ashley Thompson, 1B, BYU

2016 NFCA All-West Region
Second Team
Meghan von Behren, OF, Loyola Marymount

Third Team
Amanda Dirks, OF, Loyola Marymount
Mary Grabowski, C, San Diego
Rachel Sellers, C, Pacific
Taylor Spence, OF San Diego

WEST COAST CONFERENCE ALL-REGION HISTORY
2016
2nd Team: McKenna Bull, BYU; Ashley Thompson, BYU; Meghan von Behren, Loyola Marymount
3rd Team: Amanda Dirks, Loyola Marymount; Mary Grabowski, San Diego; Rachel Sellesr, Pacific; Taylor Spence, San Diego

2015
3rd Team: Gordy Bravo, BYU; Sydney Broderick, BYU; McKenna Bull, BYU

2014
2nd Team: Cassidy Coleman, San Diego; Taylor Petty, Pacific
3rd Team: Sydney Broderick, BYU; McKenna Bull, BYU; Sarah Lira, Saint Mary's