CEDAR FALLS — Twenty-two conference wins and the top-seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament has helped the Northern Iowa softball team four conference honors and six All-Missouri Valley Conference selections, Wednesday.
Catcher Emmy Wells earned MVC Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-MVC and All-Defensive Team honors.
The sophomore from Valparaiso, Indiana recorded a .319 batting average, 19 home runs and 51 RBIs on offense. Defensively, she recorded a .988 fielding percentage with 373 putouts.
Wells is the first player to earn both Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season.
Freshman utility player Mya Dodge earned Freshman of the Year and First Team All-MVC honors in her first season at UNI.
A true freshman out of Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Dodge led the Panthers in batting average with a .367 mark and stolen bases with 20. She also added 13 home runs and 32 RBIs.
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The UNI coaching staff consisting of head coach Ryan Jacobs and assistant coaches Monica Wright and Garrett Furnal earned Staff of the Year.
The coaching staff guided the Panthers to a 31-13 overall record and a league leading 22-2 conference record.
In addition to Wells and Dodge, second basewoman Taylor Hogan and pitcher Kailyn Packard earned a spot on the First Team All-MVC roster.
A dual sport athlete at UNI, Hogan hit .312 with 23 RBIs and four home runs on the season.
The 2021 MVC Pitcher of the Year, Packard picked up where she left off last season. The junior amassed 196 strikeouts across 164 innings. Packard also paced the conference with a 1.66 ERA.
“KP has done exactly what she did last year,” Jacobs said. “She is a high level competitor with an arsenal of pitches.”
Outfielder Madison Parks and pitcher Samantha Heyer landed on the Second Team All-MVC rosters for their play in the 2022 season.
Parks recorded a batting average of .319, 38 hits and 7 homeruns while adding 51 putouts and a .964 fielding percentage.
Heyer finished the season 10-3 with a career low 1.89 ERA. She recorded 142 strikeouts across 92.2 innings.
“Sammy Heyer is a product of hard work,” Jacobs said. “She spent all of last summer using the frustration of how she performed last year to fuel her desire to get better…She is a huge reason why we are in the number one seed.”