SAN BRUNO, Calif.- The West Coast Conference announced Thursday that Brigham Young University junior Gordy Bravo was selected as the Player of the Year in the sport of softball. Additionally, sophomore teammate McKenna Bull has been named Pitcher of the Year, while Kailey Hill was tabbed Freshman of the Year, and Saint Mary's College junior Loralie Fitzpatrick garnered Defensive Player of the Year. Cougars head coach Gordon Eakin was voted by his peers as WCC Coach of the Year. A total of 40 student-athletes were also recognized as All-Conference honorees.
In the league's second season of play, Bravo is the first Cougar to earn the WCC's top honor, as University of the Pacific alum Taylor Petty received the honor last year. In league contests, Bravo led this season in hits (24), runs scored (20), and is in a three-way tie for total plate appearances (61). Meanwhile, she was second in the conference for on base percentage (.569) and total bases (33). Bravo also ended the season third in the loop in batting average (.490). The outfielder was named WCC Player of the Week twice this season on Feb. 23 and May 4. Nationally, she ranks in the top 50 in two categories including batting average (.463, 11th) and on base percentage (.529, 47th). The Corona, California, native started all 51 games of the season for BYU with 162 at bats. She tallied 15 extra-base hits, including nine doubles, four home runs, two triples, and was successful in 8-of-9 stolen base attempts. The righty also earned a spot on the All-WCC First Team.
Pitcher McKenna Bull had an impressive year in the circle for the Cougars posting a 34-7 showing while boasting a 1.96 ERA. Most notably, Bull set the BYU record for most wins in a single season, and on the national stage, the righty leads all DI pitchers in victories (34.0) and is No. 38th in earned run average. Meanwhile, the All-WCC First Team honoree ranks No. 20 in strikeouts (238) and 17th in shutouts (8). Bull also leads the league in opposing batting average (.171), batters struck out (64), games started (12), and wins (11). She finished second in the circle in innings pitched (72.1), batters struck out looking (12), and earned run average (1.55). This season, the Ogden, Utah, native was named WCC Pitcher of the Week four times, including being recognized three consecutive weeks with the weekly honor.
Kailey Hill is the first newcomer to glean WCC Freshman of the Year for San Diego as Jennifer Ellenbeck earned the distinction in 2007 when the Toreros competed in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. Hill cracked the conference top 10 in four statistical categories, including slugging percentage (.750), batting average (.432), total bases (33), and hits (19). Overall, the rookie hit .432 in 44 at bats in league contests, starting all 15 games. She scored seven runs, tallied 19 hits with three doubles, while also driving in nine runs. The Ramona, California, product accumulated 33 total bases with a .458 on-base percentage as well as a .750 slugging percentage. For her efforts, Hill earned a spot on the All-WCC First Team.
Loralie Fitzpatrick is the first Gael to earn WCC Defensive Player of the Year, which this season is the first time the award is bestowed. Fitzpatrick has 35 assists and 25 putouts on the year at shortstop with a fielding percentage of .968. At the plate, she holds a .404 batting average, a .745 slugging percentage and a .509 on-base percentage with 19 hits on the year, which are tied for the most on the team. The Roseville, Calif., native drew 10 walks, notched six runs batted, and smacked four long balls during league games.
This is Eakin's second honor as WCC Coach of the Year, as he was also voted to receive the recognition in 2014 in his 12th year at the helm. The Cougars skipper has led his team to a 39-12 overall record, the only league team to break the 30-win barrier in the 2015 regular season. He also led the group to a 13-2 WCC mark, securing the Cougars' second regular-season title as well as a nod into the NCAA Tournament in the Eugene Region this weekend. Earlier in the season, BYU owned a league-best, 10-game winning streak and is currently ranked No. 60 nationally - out of 295 Division I programs under Eakin's tutelage.
BYU received the WCC automatic bid into the NCAA tournament and will face host University of Oregon in the first round in Eugene, Oregon. The Cougars (39-12, 13-2 WCC) will play the overall No. 2 seed and Pac-12 champion Ducks Thursday at 5 p.m. PT.
Both of the All-WCC teams are made up of 11 players each, including 10 infielders by position (SS, 1B, 2B, 3B), eight outfielders, three pitchers, and one catcher, while the Honorable Mention squad is field of 18 players.
A complete list of All-WCC performers and major postseason award winners can be found below.
All-West Coast Conference Softball First Team
|Alicia Brown||FR||3B||Loyola Marymount|
|Rachael Farrington||SO||P||Loyola Marymount|
|Loralie Fitzpatrick||JR||SS||Saint Mary's|
|Kailey Hill||FR||OF||San Diego|
|Cassandra Padilla||JR||SS||Santa Clara|
|Amanda Dirks||SO||OF||Loyola Marymount|
|Ellie Fisher||FR||OF||Santa Clara|
|Shannon Low||JR||OF||Saint Mary's|
|Caitlin Rooney||SR||1B||San Diego|
|Hailey Sparacino||FR||3B||Saint Mary's|
|Paige von Sprecken||FR||P||San Diego|
All-West Coast Conference Honorable Mention
Meghan von Behren, Loyola Marymount; Breezy Bernard, Santa Clara; Geenamarie Bonilla, Santa Clara; Dani Bonnet, Pacific; Stephanie Crist, Loyola Marymount; Alex Finie, Loyola Marymount; Ciara Gonzales, Santa Clara; Caitlin Harman, Loyola Marymount; Andrea Hazel, Saint Mary's; Chloe Kaneko, San Diego; Morgan Kurtz, San Diego; Stephanie Maciel, Loyola Marymount; Katie Moss, Saint Mary's; Danielle Mavridis, San Diego; Jordan Newell, Santa Clara; Rachel Sellers, Pacific; Tatum Shultz, San Diego; Marissa Young, Pacific
2015 West Coast Conference Softball Individual Honors
Player of the Year: Gordy Bravo, BYU
Pitcher of the Year: McKenna Bull, BYU
Freshman of the Year: Kailey Hill, San Diego
Defensive Player of the Year: Loralie Fitzpatrick, Saint Mary's
Coach of the Year: Gordon Eakin, BYU