2 WKU softball players chosen for all-region teams

Kendall Smith slides into home during game against Florida Atlantic on Sunday, March 31, 2019. WKU won the game with a final score of 10-2.

Drake Kizer

Two WKU softball players have received All-Region Team honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, the organization announced Thursday.

Freshman outfielder/pitcher Kennedy Sullivan earned Second-Team status in the utility/pitcher slot, while sophomore catcher Kendall Smith collected Third-Team recognition behind the plate.

WKU garnered two NFCA all-region selections for the third time in program history, collecting its 10th and 11th NFCA honorees in Sullivan and Smith.

“What a great, well-deserving honor and recognition for both athletes,” head coach Amy Tudor said in a press release. “Both were big contributors at the plate as well as in the circle and behind the plate. They are great to coach and an integral part of our success. I am very proud of them.”

Sullivan became the second-ever WKU softball rookie to earn all-region honors, also collecting an All-Freshman Team nod from Conference USA for her efforts this season.

The Georgetown, Kentucky, native was dominant in the circle, finishing with a 16-4 record across 124.2 innings pitched. She posted a 3.14 ERA while tossing 165 strikeouts and holding opposing batters to an average of .200. The freshman phenom also threw a no-hitter in her seventh start.

At the plate, Sullivan slashed .281/.297.452 while posting 38 hits, 11 doubles and four homers.

Smith was honored as a First-Team All-C-USA selection after slashing .321/.423/.650 and tallying a 1.073 OPS. The Bowling Green native collected seven two-hit games and three three-hit outings in addition to nine two-RBI, three three-RBI and two four-RBI showings.

Smith also delivered 19 RBIs and a .362 batting average in two-out situations.

The pair of standout underclassmen guided WKU to one of its best seasons ever, as the Hilltoppers posted a 37-13 record. Although WKU’s year came to an end in its first Conference USA Tournament game, the squad’s final winning percentage of .740 was still the best mark in program history.

In total, 392 student-athletes from 163 programs received 2019 NFCA all-region accolades. As all-region honorees, both Sullivan and Smith are now eligible for selection to the NFCA Division I All-American squads, which are set to be revealed on May 29.

Sports Editor Drake Kizer can be reached at 270-745-2653 and [email protected]. Follow Drake on Twitter at @drakekizer_.