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DES MOINES — Three University of Northern Iowa players earned all-Missouri Valley Conference recognition Wednesday on the eve of the conference tournament.

Senior outfielder Brittney Roby and sophomore shortstop Sammey Bunch landed spots on the all-MVC first team while sophomore outfielder Olivia Brooks was a second-team selection.

Roby, from Knoxville, ranks as the second-toughest hitter to strike out in the nation with just three whiffs in 177 at-bats this season. She is batting .384 and leads the Panthers in hits (68), doubles (11), stolen bases (11) and multi-hit games (22).

Bunch, who also was named to the MVC’s All-Defense team, is batting .351 with team bests in runs (30), triples (2), home runs (5) and extra-base hits (17).

Brooks hit .456 for the season and .512 in MVC play (21-for- 41).

League champion Drake swept the top honors as Mandi Roemmich was named Most Valuable Player, Nicole Newman Most Valuable Pitcher and Rich Calvert and his assistants Coaching Staff of the Year.

All-MVC softball

FIRST TEAM

C — Katelyn Massa, soph. (S. Ill.), Darian Frost, jr. (Mo. St.)

1B — Sarah Maddox, soph. (Drake), Allison Apke, soph. (Brad)

2B — Leslie Sims, soph. (Ind. St.), Maddy Vermejan, soph. (S. Ill.)

3B — Taryn Pena, jr. (Drake)

SS — Mandi Roemmich, soph. (Drake), Sammey Bunch, soph. (UNI)

OF — Bella Peterson, fr. (Ind. St.), Riley Hale, jr. (Ill. St.), Brittney Roby, sr. (UNI), Shannon McGee, soph. (Loyola).

P — Nicole Newman, jr. (Drake), Brianna Jones, jr. (S. Ill.)

UT — Eryn Gould, fr. (Evansville), Morgan Florey, jr. (Evansville).

Player of year — Roemmich (Drake)

Pitcher of year — Newman (Drake)

Defensive player of year — Vermejan (S. Ill.)

Freshman of year — Gould (Evansville)

Newcomer of year — Kelsie Packard, jr. (Valparaiso)

Coaching staff of year — Rich Calvert (Drake)

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