ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend softball team was selected to defend their back-to-back Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) titles according to the league coaches, while Shannon McDonnell (Fayston, VT/Farwood Union) was picked Preseason Player of the Year and AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) was named Preseason Co-Pitcher of the Year.
The Lions were chosen first, followed by Penn State Altoona in second place and D'Youville in third.
McDonnell is earning this honor for the second straight season. In 2016, she was a First-Team
All-AMCC selection and ranked second in conference play with 21 RBIs. She hit .431 to rank her fourth on the team, while registering 25 hits, 15 runs, four doubles and three triples in AMCC games. McDonnell also went 5-for-5 in stolen bases and led with a .981 fielding percentage. She led the team with eight multiple-hit and eight multiple-RBI games. Overall, she recorded 43 hits, 31 RBIs, 12 extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs.
Nichols was named the 2016 AMCC Newcomer of the Year, while earning a pair of spots on the All-Conference second team as a pitcher and a catcher. She played in every conference game, tallying 17 RBIs on 21 hits. Nichols smacked five doubles, two triples and only struck out twice. As a pitcher, she went 5-1 in the circle and threw five complete games, only allowing two earned runs for a 0.36 ERA. She struck out 39 batters, tying her for eighth in AMCC.
Behrend went 3-7 in Florida over spring break and return to action on Monday, March 27 at Thiel. The doubleheader is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start.