SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- Loyola Marymount head coach Sami Strinz-Ward was named West Coast Conference Softball Coach of the Year while eight of her Lions were also honored, taking three of the five major conference awards, as the league announced the 2018 Softball All-WCC awards on Tuesday.
Strinz-Ward led LMU to a 28-23-1 overall record and 11-3 mark in WCC play, while bringing the Lions back to postseason action for the first time since 2007, as the team will compete in the NISC this week in Greely, Colo. Loyola Marymount finished second in conference, with its 11 wins marking the team's highest conference win total in WCC history. Strinz-Ward's Lions won four of their five three-game league series, including three straight sweeps. LMU softball won 10 consecutive games this season, marking the team's longest winning streak since the 2007 season. LMU ranked second in the WCC in both team pitching (.301 combined ERA) and team fielding (.966) percentages this season. The Lions also ranked second in doubles (63) and home runs (34) in 2018. Strinz-Ward was named the WCC's Co-Coach of the Year in her first season at the helm of her alma mater in 2016.
Junior Hannah Bandimere was named Co-Pitcher of the Year along with BYU's Kerisa Viramontes. Bandimere led the league with an ERA of 1.90 while compiling a record of 20-11 and becomes the first Lion to be named Pitcher of the Year. She tallied 112 strikeouts in 35 appearances and 191.2 innings pitched in the circle, while allowing just 52 earned runs. She earned All-WCC Second Team honors as a freshman in 2016 and all-conference honorable mention last season as a sophomore. Bandimere was also named to the All-WCC First Team along with teammate and Lions outfielder Alicia Brown.
Freshman secondbaseman Maddison Flores also earned a WCC specialty award, being named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year. She is the first Lion to be named Defensive Player of the Year and is also the first freshman to win the award in WCC history. Flores did not commit a single error at second base throughout conference play, tallying a perfect fielding percentage throughout the 14-game schedule. She also recorded 23 put outs and 33 assists in WCC action. Overall in her freshman campaign, she racked up 106 assists with 88 put outs and had an overall fielding percentage of .970. On the offensive side, Flores finished the season with 28 hits including one home run, three doubles and two triples with seven RBI. In addition to her major WCC award, she was also named to the All-WCC Second Team.
Brown finished the 2018 regular season with 34 hits including 10 doubles (tied for seventh in WCC) seven home runs (tied for fifth in WCC), eight sacrifice bunts (fifth in WCC). She secured 35 total bases, which ranked second in the WCC. Brown has worked her way up to second place on LMU's all-time list for doubles with 45 in her career. She also ranks eighth in team history in slugging percentage (.520), ninth in home runs (25), ninth in RBI (110), and 10th in total bases (293).
Joining Flores on the All-WCC Second Team is freshman thirdbaseman Andrea Gonzalez and senior outfielder Sabrina Tebou. Gonzalez finished her first collegiate season with a team-high 47 hits including seven doubles and three home runs while tallying 18 RBI. At third base, she finished the regular season with 74 assists and 64 put outs. In conference play, her .932 fielding percentage ranked second in the WCC. She was named the conference's Player of the Week on April 30 after leading the Lions to a 3-0 road sweep of San Diego with a batting average of .636 with seven hits and five RBI. She scored three runs and slugged .818 while not striking out once in the series.
In her senior season, Tebou tallied career highs in all major statistical categories on the offensive side, including 35 hits, six home runs, seven doubles and 17 RBI. In conference play, she was tied for seventh in runs scored with 10 and tied for fifth in walks with seven. Tebou made a significant impact on the team's defensive success as well, recording 53 putouts with a .964 fielding percentage at center field.
Loyola Marymount also had three freshmen earn All-WCC Honorable Mention -- Molly Grumbo, Linnay Wilson and Delanie Wisz. On the season, Grumbo led the team with a .319 batting average (10th in WCC) and .444 slugging percentage. The freshman catcher also ranked ninth in the conference in fielding percentage (.896) and seventh in putouts (203). She had 43 hits on the season with 19 RBI, eight doubles and three home runs.
Freshman pitcher Linnay Wilson earned honorable mention after leading the WCC in strikeouts (131) and ranking fourth in opposing batting average (.250). Wilson earned WCC Pitcher of the Week three times during her freshman campaign including two weeks in a row on April 30 and 23, as well as on February 26.
Freshman firstbaseman Delanie Wisz rounds out the all-conference awards for LMU, also earning honorable mention. Wisz was named the WCC's Player of the Week twice this season on April 16 and March 19. She hit a team-high eight home runs this season, which was the fourth-highest total in the conference. She also ranked among the league's best in slugging percentage (fifth, .527), RBI (10th, 27), doubles, (tied for seventh, 10) and sacrifice bunts (tied for sixth, seven). She posted 44 total hits on the year with a team-best 27 RBI and 26 runs scored. On the defensive side at first base, she finished the regular season with 398 put outs including 18 assists with a fielding percentage of .981.
Here is a recap of LMU's 2018 All-WCC Awards:
Loyola Marymount continues its season this week, facing off against Northern Colorado on their home field in Greely, Colo., on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT to open their play in the NISC.
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