Jennifer Whitehead headlined a list of seven players who were honored for outstanding campaigns as the all-Midwest Collegiate Conference softball teams were announced.
Whitehead was picked as the league’s Pitcher of the Year, while second baseman Molly Miller and left fielder Bri Zerley joined her on the first team.
Four other Statesmen players earned honorable mentions as well, including center fielder Ashlee Dennis, third baseman K.C. Routos, pitcher Carly Landand utility player Jessica Christensen.
A total of 18 players were named to the MCC’s first team, while an additional 19 collected honorable mentions.
Whitehead, who has now won the POY honor all three years of her career (fifth for William Penn since joining the MCC), led the MCC in most pitching categories. While her 15-10 record was not as strong as past seasons, she was still a tremendous staff ace for William Penn (32-21, 12-8 MCC). The junior, who owned a 1.74 earned run average, appeared in 30 games (26 starts) and recorded 24 complete games (four shutouts) in 173 1/3 innings of work. The southpaw struck out 183 batters against 49 walks, while opponents hit just .199 against her.
Entering last week’s conference tournament, she led the league in ERA, innings, appearances, starts, complete games, strikeouts and opponent batting average. She was named MCC Pitcher of the Week three times.
Miller notched her third all-MCC laurel (all first team) by pacing the William Penn offense. The senior hit .395 (68-for-172) with eight doubles, one triple, 33 runs scored and 25 RBI. She posted a .453 slugging percentage and a team-high .441 on-base clip (11 BB, 3 HBP). Miller, who had a nine-game hitting streak earlier in the year, earned one MCC POW accolade this spring.
Zerley made quite an impact in her first year sporting the Statesmen. The sophomore hit .315 (47-for-149) with 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs, a team-best 30 RBI and 25 run scored. Zerley, who had a six-game hitting streak, owned a .477 slugging percentage and a .364 on-base clip (7 BB, 6 HBP).
Dennis, now a two-time honorable mention, hit .270 (40-for-148) with four doubles, 35 runs scored and seven RBI. The sophomore, who had a five-game hitting streak, owned a .297 slugging percentage and a .329 on-base clip (11 BB, 2HBP).
Routos, also a two-time honorable mention, posted a .301 average (47-for-156) with 11 doubles, two triples, a team-best four home runs, a team-best 37 runs scored and 24 RBI. The senior, who had a five-game hitting streak, owned a .474 slugging percentage and a .384 on-base clip (20 BB, 1 HBP).
Land, who transferred to William Penn for her final year, was easily the best No. 2 pitcher on any MCC staff. The righty went 17-11 with a 1.90 ERA in 169 1/3 innings. She made 29 appearances with 27 starts (23 complete games, three shutouts), striking out 131 against 61 walks. The senior, who was a one-time MCC POW, only permitted opponents to hit .228 this year.
Christensen made loads of noise as she stepped on to the collegiate stage this spring. The freshman hit .357 (45-for-126) with a team-best 13 doubles, two home runs, 25 RBI and 19 run scored. She led all players with a .508 slugging percentage and posted a .417 on-base clip (12 BB, 1 HBP). Christensen had a nine-game hitting streak at one point this spring.
Grand View’s Dacia Miller was tabbed as the MCC Player of the Year, while Ron Ferrill of St. Ambrose received Coach of the Year honors from his peers.