Seven Sailfish Players Earn NCCAA All-Region Recognition

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Chris Donovan (Pictured) Collected Her First NCCAA All-Region Selection in 2011 While Also Being Named the NCCAA Region Pitcher of the Year. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Chris Donovan (Pictured) Collected Her First NCCAA All-Region Selection in 2011 While Also Being Named the NCCAA Region Pitcher of the Year. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

GREENVILLE, S.C.- After competing at the NCCAA Regional Tournament a few weeks ago, the Palm Beach Atlantic University softball team had honor of having seven of its student-athletes honored with spots on the NCCAA All-Region team as voted on by the coaches. The seven selections mark the most in school history including a third straight season in which a PBA pitcher has garnered All-Region Pitcher of the Year with junior Chris Donovan taking home the honor this season.

Donovan was joined on the All-Region team by fellow juniors Erica Walters and Mari Stokes as well as senior Caitlin Bouschet, sophomore Miranda Welch, and freshmen Mackenzie Johnson and Lauren Powell.

Former PBA standout Ashley Jones had been named the All-Region Pitcher of the Year the previous two seasons before graduating last season. Now it is Donovan who has established herself as one of the top pitchers in the NCCAA as she finished the 2011 season by going 17-6 with a 1.93 earned-run average. The Gainesville, Florida native tossed 138 innings in 27 total games while striking out 83 batters and walking 60.

Stokes makes her third appearance in as many seasons on the All-Region listing as she batted .338 and played in all 46 games at second-base. A local product from Port St. Lucie, Florida, Stokes finished with 27 runs scored and a team-high 49 hits while roping 10 doubles, four triples, and two homeruns with a total of 21 runs batted in. A stellar defender and baserunner as well, Stokes stole seven bases while making only four errors in the field.

Walters spent her third season behind the plate for head coach Kimmy Bloemers and not only put up very solid defensive numbers once again but also produced by far her best offensive season. Starting 44 games, Walters led the team with a .355 batting average in 110 at-bats while producing 11 doubles, one triple, and two homeruns. The Callahan, Florida player produced 24 runs batted in while adding in 23 walks and a .527 slugging percentage.

The starting PBA shortstop for four seasons and a member of the NCCAA All-Region each of those seasons, Bouschet closed out her impressive career with a solid senior campaign that saw the Palm Beach Central High School product hit .322 in 46 games while leading the team in runs (42), doubles (11), homeruns (7), and runs batted in (37). She would also have an on-base percentage of .455 and a staggering .636 slugging percentage.

Joining Bouschet on the left-side of the PBA infield was third-baseman Miranda Welch who produced another consistent season manning the hot-corner. The Sarasota, Florida native finished with a .301 batting average in 40 games and 113 at-bats while collecting four doubles amongst her 34 hits.

Johnson and Powell both proved worthy of their playing time as true freshman as Johnson finished second on the team in hitting at .348 while adding in eight doubles, two homers, and 20 runs driven in. Johnson spent a majority of the season playing first-base and made only two errors. Powell gave the Fish a versatile and productive player wherever she saw time. She played the outfield, behind-the-plate, and as a designated player while finishing with a .330 batting average in 42 games. She scored 17 runs and posted 36 total hits including four doubles and a triple while managing a .360 on-base-percentage for the season.

With the season now complete the Fish will begin preparations for the 2012 season as they hope to continue to rank among the top programs in the NCAA South Region.

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