After completion of the Missouri Valley Conference regular season play the University of Northern Iowa softball team had four student-athletes named to the first and second team all-Missouri Valley Conference teams.
Sophomore pitcher Jamie Fisher, senior shortstop Mackenzie Daigh and senior third basemen Whitney Plein each earned first-team selections while junior catcher Samantha Reimer received second-team honors.
Fisher also earned the “MVC Pitcher of The Year” award while the UNI coaching staff took home the “Coaching Staff of The Year” honors.
Reigning newcomer of the year; Jamie Fisher wrapped up the regular season with a 20-3 mark in the 2012 campaign following her 31 appearances. Tossing a complete 183 innings; Fisher allowed just 118 hits, thirty five earned runs, and struck out 203 opponents putting together a 1.34 ERA on the season. Fisher currently leads the MVC in runs, earned runs, and ERA. The sophomore from Conrad, Iowa, (BCLUW HS) has now joined the first team squad for the second year in a row.
Mackenzie Daigh joins her fourth MVC all-conference squad with first team honors for the second year in a row. Earning the “MVC Newcomer of the Year” award as a freshman; the senior shortstop from Bucyrus, Kan., has now been apart of the all-MVC squad all four years as a Panther earning second team honors in 2009 and 2010 before joining the first team squads in 2011 and 2012. Daigh was a threat at the plate all season putting together a .385 batting average, 47 runs, 70 hits, 18 doubles, and 28 RBI. Daigh led the league in hits, doubles, total bases, and tied for the lead in triples.
Senior Whitney Plein joins her first all-MVC squad with first-team honors. Starting all 53 games for the Panthers, Plein has been no easy task at the plate putting together a .331 batting average with 36 runs, 46 hits, 33 RBI, eight doubles, and nine home runs. Currently leading the Panthers in home runs with nine; Plein sits tied third in the MVC league. Plein has been a threat on base as well stealing 18 bases on 21 attempts the senior from Burlington, Iowa, ranks fifth in the Valley in stolen bases.
Samantha Reimer also earned her first all-MVC team selection this season with second team honors as a catcher. The junior from Dubuque, Iowa, started 32 of the 35 games she appeared in as a Panther this season. Putting together a .263 batting average, a .375 slugging percentage, and a .394 on base percentage; Samantha connected for 21 hits, 20 RBI, and 11 runs. Reimer led the Panthers in putouts with 227 to go along with 10 assists.
The Panthers coaching staff accepted the “Coaching Staff of the Year” award for the second time in four years; the first coming in 2009. The 2012 season has been quite a year for the UNI softball program reaching several accomplishments and records for the program. This year’s coaching staff has led the Panthers to their first outright MVC title in program history. During the ride the Panthers built up a winnning streak that extended to 15 games, which is the longest winning streak in UNI's Division I history (beginning in 1983). With a two more wins on the season the Panthers can tie the school record for wins in a season with 40. UNI's 21 league wins also set a school record, bettering last year's mark of 16 MVC wins.
UNI will resume play on Friday afternoon at Noon in the semifinals of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships hosted at Charlotte West Stadium in Carbondale,Ill. The Panthers opponent is currently TBD, however all games will be broadcast on Valley Live throughout the tournament.