LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Senior outfielder Amanda Bickford, sophomore pitcher Morgan Perry and sophomore designated player Erin Thompson of the Saint Anselm College softball team were each named First Team All-East Region selections by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) as the organization announced its all-region honorees on Wednesday.
Bickford was an NFCA First Team All-East Region choice for the second-straight season, becoming the first Saint Anselm student-athlete since Lisa Petell (1996 and 1997) to earn the accolade in consecutive seasons. Perry and Thompson picked up the first all-region recognition of their careers in their sophomore campaigns.
Saint Anselm was one of six programs in the country, and the only one in the East Region, to have three student-athletes receive first team all-region accolades, along with Chico State, West Chester, Grand Valley State, Colorado Mesa and West Virginia Wesleyan.
Also a First Team All-NE10 selection for the second season running, Bickford is Saint Anselm's all-time leader in career hits with 221 and is hitting .388 to date over her four season on the Hilltop. In her senior season, Bickford has also set the school's single-season hit record with 72 and she boasts the second-best batting average in the NE10 at .407. The four-time All-NE10 choice has set career highs in nearly every offensive category this season, including runs (37), hits (72), doubles (11), RBI (17), batting average (.407), on-base percentage (.429) and slugging percentage (.480), and also has six assists from center field.
Perry has enjoyed a breakout sophomore season for the Hawks, ranking in the NE10's top six in wins (third, 19), ERA (fourth, 1.84), strikeouts per seven innings (fifth, 7.13) and strikeouts (sixth, 132) on her way to Second Team All-NE10 honors. The three-time NE10 Pitcher of the Week's record of 19-4 leaves her one victory shy of Petell's single-season school win record (20-4, 1999). The sophomore has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 19 of her 24 starts this season, including seven shutouts.
Like Perry, Thompson has stepped up in her sophomore campaign, earning First Team All-NE10 honors after being a Third Team selection a year ago. The sophomore sits tied for second in the conference in runs (41), fifth in batting average (.378) and tied for ninth in both hits (54) and stolen bases (12). She has been even better in NE10 games, ranking in the league's top five in batting average (.404), runs (26) and hits (36) in conference play. The owner of Saint Anselm's only four-hit game of the season, Thompson has hit safely in 21 of the team's last 23 games dating back to Mar. 28.
Saint Anselm, which received nine votes in this week's NFCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, is hosting a four-team pod as part of the NCAA East Regional this Thursday through Saturday, May 10-12. The second-seeded Hawks get the regional underway on Thursday against seventh-seeded Merrimack College at noon at South Athletic Fields.