Cougars earn three top WCC awards, nine on All-WCC Teams
SAN BRUNO, Calif. – Following a fifth-straight West Coast Conference championship, BYU softball received three top awards in addition to nine All-WCC players, the conference announced Tuesday.
The WCC Freshman of the Year in 2017, Rylee Jensen earned WCC Player of the Year this season. Bridget Fleener won BYU’s second-consecutive WCC Freshman of the Year award. Kerisa Viramontes earned WCC Pitcher of the Year, along with Loyola Marymount’s Hannah Bandimere.
In addition to the top honors, four Cougars were named to the All-WCC First Team: Fleener, Jensen, Libby Sugg and Lexi Tarrow. On the All-WCC Second Team, Autumn Moffat, Alexa Strid and Viramontes received nods. Briielle Breland and Madison Merrell were on the All-WCC Honorable Mention list.
Jensen is the fourth-straight Cougar to earn the WCC’s top honor after teammate Caitlyn Alldredge was selected last year, Ashley Thompson in 2016 and Gordy Bravo in 2015. In league contests, Jensen led the conference in runs scored (18), walks (11) and on-base percentage (.608) en route to claiming the conference’s top honor. Additionally, the sophomore outfielder finished second in the league in batting average at .474 with her 18 hits tops for the Cougars and good for third in the league for the championship team.
Viramontes makes it four-consecutive seasons that a BYU Cougar has won the Pitcher of the Year honor after former teammate McKenna Bull took home the honors from 2015-17. The sophomore was the league-leader in conference games with nine wins and two shutouts. She finished second in complete games (5) and strikeouts (43) while earning a 1.37 ERA, good for third in the league after pitching 46 innings.
Fleener is the second-straight Cougar to be named the WCC Freshman of the Year after a season that saw her lead the league in batting average (.500) and slugging percentage (.765). The utility player becomes the third freshman to lead the West Coast Conference in batting average, following fellow Cougars Rylee Jensen (2017, .452) and Lauren Bell (2014, .395). In addition, she is just the third overall student-athlete to finish a league season with a batting average at or above .500.
All five major awards – along with the All-West Coast Conference Teams – were voted on by the league's six head coaches. A total of 22 student-athletes make up the first and second teams, including eight outfielders by position, seven infielders, five pitchers and two catchers.
Head to the WCC website to read the entire release.
|WCC Player of the Year||Rylee Jensen, BYU|
|WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year||Kerisa Viramontes, BYU & Hannah Bandimere, LMU|
|WCC Defensive Player of the Year||Maddison Flores, LMU|
|WCC Freshman of the Year||Bridget Fleener, BYU|
|WCC Coach of the Year||Sami Strinz-Ward, LMU|
|Hannah Russell||So.||C||Santa Clara|
|Taylor Spence||Jr.||OF||San Diego|
|Aubree Kim||So.||P||Santa Clara|
|Hailey Sparacino||Sr.||SS||Saint Mary's|
|Kimiko Zapanta||Fr.||OF||Saint Mary's|
Briielle Breland, BYU; Madison Casiano, San Diego; Lindsay Clare, San Diego; Ellie Fisher, Santa Clara; Molly Grumbo, Loyola Marymount; Delaney Heller, San Diego; Kailey Hill, San Diego; Abbey Mariani, Saint Mary’s; Madison Merrell, BYU; Eleni Spirakis, Santa Clara; Linnay Wilson, Loyola Marymount; Delanie Wisz, Loyola Marymount