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Junior Becca Changstrom and senior Amy Baker claimed NFCA All-Region honors for the first time on Thursday.
Courtesy: Eric Francis

Baker and Changstrom Claim NFCA All-Region Honors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Creighton softball senior Amy Baker and junior Becca Changstrom each claimed spots on 2013 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Midwest Region Teams as voted on by member coaches and announced by the organization Thursday. 

Baker earned a First Team All-Midwest Region selection, the first since former Creighton pitcher Tara Oltman claimed a first team honor in 2010. Changstrom secured a Second Team All-Midwest Region spot following classmate Alexis Cantu’s selection to the same team a season ago. The NFCA accolades are the first for both Baker and Changstrom.

Creighton was one of six schools in the region with multiple honorees. The selections mark the first time since 2010 that two Bluejays claimed NFCA All-Region honors. That season Oltman and current assistant coach Renae Sinkler were both selected. Sinkler went on to earn NFCA Third-Team All-America laurels in 2010, becoming the first Bluejay position player since 1991 to earn NFCA All-America recognition.

After a record-setting year on offense, Baker also earned recognition on the All-MVC First Team. It marked her third time on the top squad in the Valley and fourth end-of-the-year conference honor.

Baker became the career leader in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) and Creighton record books with 58 home runs and 167 RBI. A four-time All-MVC Selection, she ranks among the top 10 at CU all-time in batting average, hits, total bases and walks. Baker ended the season leading the Valley in slugging percentage at .781 as well as home runs with 17.

She also reached base in 37 consecutive games in 2013, the most by any Bluejay dating back to 1999. In the latest national rankings compiled by the NCAA Baker ranks No. 12 in the country for home runs per game (0.36) while her season home run total of 17 is tied for No. 23 in the country.

Changstrom, the 2013 MVC Pitcher of the Year, recently earned All-MVC First Team and MVC All-Tournament Team honors after she won the pitching triple crown in Valley play in 2013 with 13 wins, 133 strikeouts and a 1.34 ERA.

She posted 10 strikeouts or more on 12 different occasions this season. Changstrom ended the regular season leading the Valley in overall games for ERA (1.70), strikeouts (254), opposing batting average (.192) and wins (22). This year she joined former CU aces Oltman and Tammy Nielsen as just the third Bluejay pitcher to record 200 K’s in a single season. Changstrom’s average of 8.8 strikeouts per 7 innings stands at No. 21 in the NCAA while her strikeout total of 254 ranks No. 24 nationally.

Creighton, the 2013 MVC regular-season champion, finished the year with a record of 29-18.

The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each respective region, and all the honorees now become eligible for selection to one of three 2013 NFCA Division I All-American teams. In addition, conference pitchers and players of the year not selected to the regional teams were added for All-America consideration.

The 2013 NFCA Division I All-America teams will be announced at 4 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 29, via NFCA.org.

Midwest Region First Team
Pos.  Name  School
P Aimee Creger University of Tulsa
P Emily Lockman University of Nebraska
C Alex Hugo University of Kansas
1B Amy Baker Creighton University
2B Ashley Burkhardt Purdue University
3B Jill Barrett University of Tulsa
SS Megan Blank University of Iowa
OF Maggie Hull University of Kansas
OF Andie Varsho Purdue University
OF Allie Mathewson University of Nebraska at Omaha
UT/P Tatum Edwards University of Nebraska
DP/UT-Non-P Tarah Ettinger Oklahoma State University
     
   Second Team
Pos.  Name  School
P Whitney Johnson North Dakota State University
P Becca Changstrom Creighton University
C Haley Outon University of Houston
1B Erica Miller Iowa State University
1B Dara Toman Cleveland State University
2B Kayla Oranger University of Texas at El Paso
3B Amanda Wagner Indiana University (tie)
3B Holly Anderson University of Houston (tie)
SS Sammy Marshall Western Illinois University
OF Brooke Thomason University of Nebraska
OF Katie St. Pierre University of Houston
OF Taylor Watkins The Ohio State University
UT/P
Lacey Middlebrooks University of Tulsa
UT/Non-P Maddie Stein University of Kansas
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