STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Alabama softball team garnered six Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Region selections, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced Thursday. The Crimson Tide had five named to the first team and one to the second team in the South Region.
Alabama seniors Kelsi Dunne (Port Orange, Fla.) and Whitney Larsen (Vestavia Hills, Ala.) earned first team honors and were joined by junior Amanda Locke (Mesquite, Texas), sophomore Kayla Braud (Eugene, Ore.) and freshman Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla.). Junior Jennifer Fenton (Kennesaw, Ga.) was named to the second team.
The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each region, and all the honorees will now be eligible for selection to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first, second or third teams. In addition, conference pitchers and players of the year not selected to the regional teams were added for All-America consideration.
Just four of the 258 teams had each of their six nominees selected to an all-region team this season. No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 6 Texas and No. 24 Notre Dame all placed six student-athletes on one of their respective region's two teams.
No team placed all six of its nominees on the first team this season, although two teams led the way with five first-team selections. Alabama and No. 15 Washington each put five players on their respective first team.
Dunne enters the postseason on the heels of being named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. The senior was also named to the All-SEC first-team and the all-defensive team.
The right-hander is 24-3 with a 1.17 ERA. She has struck out 272 in 186 innings pitched. Opponents are batting just .132 against her as she had added 22 complete games, 10 shutouts and three no-hitters in 2011.
Larsen has put together a stellar senior campaign as she leads the team with 51 RBI, her second straight season with 50 or more. The shortstop adds a .336 average, 45 runs, 49 hits, 11 doubles, 12 home runs and seven stolen bases. The All-SEC first-team and all-defensive team selection is slugging .671 and holds a .471 on base percentage.
Braud joins the list after being named to the All-SEC first-team for the second straight season. The sophomore leads the team in six offensive categories, including batting average (.437), runs (63), hits (76), total bases (98), on base percentage (.522) and stolen bases (50).
Locke has been one of the top hitters for the Tide down the stretch as she earns the honor for the first time in her career. The All-SEC second-team selection is hitting .309 with nine home runs and 27 RBI. Of her 29 hits, 11 have gone for extra bases as she enters the week slugging .617 with a .449 on base percentage.
Traina garnered the honor as one of the top two-way players in the country. The freshman is batting .358 with a team-best 13 home runs. She has added 44 RBI and leads the team with a .717 slugging percentage.
In the circle the right-hander sports a 17-5 record with a 1.38 ERA. She has struck out 167 in 137 1/3 innings while opponents are hitting just .202 off the Naples, Fla., native.
Fenton earns second team honors for the first time in her career. The junior is batting .336 with 43 runs, 48 hits, six doubles, four triples and seven home runs. She has driven in 35 runs, primarily from the two-spot in the lineup and has swiped 24 bases in 24 attempts.
The NFCA Division I All-America teams will be announced at 4 p.m. CDT, on Wednesday, June 1.