Five Jayhawks Earn NFCA All-Region Honors
LOUISVILLE, KY. – Less than 24 hours after the Big 12 All-Conference selections were announced, Kansas softball learned that five Jayhawks garnered more postseason accolades when the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced its all-region teams Thursday.
Seniors Alicia Pille and Maddie Stein were named to the NFCA Midwest All-Region Second Team, while juniors Chaley Brickey and Briana Evans and freshman Daniella Chavez collected third team honors. Both Stein and Brickey were named a NFCA All-Region selection for the second time in their Kansas careers.
Pille has made 38 appearances and 30 starts in the circle during her senior season, compiling a 23-6 record. Her 23 wins marks the first time since 2001 that a Jayhawk pitcher has reached the 20-win plateau. Pille also moved to fourth on KU’s all-time strikeout list with 657 K’s in her career. She is just the fourth KU pitcher to record more than 650 career strikeouts. Pille leads the Big 12 with 21 complete games, is second in victories with 23 and third in strikeouts with 184.
A two-time All-Big 12 and NFCA All-Region selection, Stein is one of six Jayhawks hitting over .300, registering a .368 batting average. During her senior campaign, Stein has belted six home runs, including two grand slams, one of which was in walk-off fashion. The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma native currently has 150 career runs batted in topping Kansas’ all-time RBI mark. Stein has started every game of the 2015 season and leads the team with 303 putouts, while posting a .997 fielding percentage.
Brickey, a three-time All-Big 12 selection, is batting a team-best .393 during her junior campaign. She has recorded 13 home runs and 55 RBIs, which are the second-best totals on KU’s roster in 2015. Brickey continues to leave her mark on Kansas’ record book and after drawing 100 career walks, making the Haltom City, Texas native just 10 walks away from a new all-time program record. One of the Big 12’s best infielders, Brickey has started all 51 games at shortstop recording a .970 fielding percentage with a team-best-tying 85 assists.
Chavez became KU’s second Big 12 Freshman of the Year honoree and first since Kara Pierce in 2001 while also earning her first All-Big 12 First Team distinction. The Crowley, Texas native leads the Jayhawks in RBIs (65) and home runs (15), while hitting .353 and posting a .693 slugging percentage. Chavez’s 65 RBIs marks a new KU single-season record and her 15 homers tied the Kansas freshman record.
Evans, a first-year starter for KU after transferring from Ball State, garnered her first NFCA All-Region honor. The centerfielder has started every game so far for the Jayhawks this season, going .319 at the plate with 52 hits and nine RBIs. Evans leads the squad with 11 stolen bases.
Kansas opens NCAA Tournament competition against Louisville on Friday, May 15 at 4 p.m., in a game which will air on ESPN3. The Jayhawks’ remaining games at the Columbia (Mo.) Regional will be broadcast on either ESPN3 or the SEC Network+. Additionally, every Kansas softball game will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network, freely accessible at KUAthletics.com or via the Kansas Jayhawks mobile app.
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