BYU softball players win top WCC awards

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McKenna Bull earlier this season. Bull was just named WCC Pitcher of the Year. (Universe Archives)
McKenna Bull delivers a pitch earlier this season. Bull was just named WCC Pitcher of the Year. (Universe Archives)

BYU softball players Ashley Thompson, Mckenna Bull and Lauren Bell were named Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year today by the West Coast Conference while head coach Gordon Eakin received Co-Coach of the Year.

Bull received Pitcher of the Year for the second year in a row. This is also the second straight year that a BYU player was named Player of the Year after Gordy Bravo won in 2015. Eakin was honored for the third time in a row with Coach of the Year.

The Cougars also continued to sweep the field in WCC honors with five players on the All-WCC First Team. Out of 12 total players on the team, Bell, Bravo, Bull, Alexa Strid and Thompson took five of those spots, more than any other school. Libby Sugg was named to the All-WCC Second Team.

First baseman Thompson leads the WCC in slugging percentage (.971) with 49 total bases, 22 RBI, 24 hits and seven home runs. This season she started every conference game and received two WCC Player of the Week honors.

Bull tallied 69 strikeouts this season in conference play with a 1.96 ERA and 9-1 record. She surpassed her own record (256) for single season strikeouts. In addition, she tied for the second-most pitched innings in a single game when she pitched 12 innings to clinch the WCC title.

Bell had a .985 fielding percentage with a .308 average and earned WCC Player of the Week honors after hitting a three-run homer at Pacific.

Centerfielder Bravo has won a conference title in each of her four years at BYU. She led the team this season to their third WCC title with an RBI in the twelfth inning of the game against San Diego, giving BYU a 1-0 victory. She was just named to the All-WCC First Team for her second straight year.

During WCC play, Strid earned 10 RBI, 22 hits and 10 runs with a .489 batting average.

Sugg, though a freshman, earned her spot on the All-WCC Second Team after starting every game this season.  She had three home runs, three doubles and 12 RBI in WCC play.

Eakin was named Co-Coach of the Year along with San Diego’s Melissa McElvain and Loyola Marymount’s Sami Striz-Ward. He led the Cougars to their third straight WCC title with a 12-3 record in conference play.

BYU will represent the WCC this week at the Columbia Regional in the NCAA tournament.

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