ERIE, Pa. – Junior AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) was named the 2018 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Softball Pitcher of the Year while freshman Mackenzie McIntire (Stoneboro, PA/Lakeview) was selected Newcomer of the Year, headlining the All-AMCC team announced on Tuesday.
Nichols and McIntire were also chosen to the All-Conference first team along with Kristen Kargol (Saegertown, PA/Cambridge Springs), while Alexa Bupp (Warren, PA/Warren) and Carson Hauser (Westfield, NY/Westfield Academy) were named to the second team. Bupp also tabbed third-team honors at pitcher.
Nichols, who was voted AMCC Preseason Pitcher of the Year, proved in the circle this season why she deserved the accolades. The starter led the AMCC with a 0.97 earned-run average (ERA) in 10 appearances, while ranking second in strikeouts (46). Nichols gave up the least amount of hits compared to innings pitched (50.2) and allowed just seven earned runs. She posted an 8-1 record and threw two complete games. Overall, she ranked first in the AMCC with a 0.82 ERA and was second with a 19-4 mark.
McIntire becomes the programs eighth Newcomer of the Year after leading the conference in five categories; batting average (.492), hits (30), doubles (10), RBIs (17) and slugging percentage (.705) in 18 AMCC contests. For the overall season, she ranked second in hits with 59 and batting average (.399), and first in doubles (15) and RBIs (38). McIntire also had 21 multiple hit and 11 multiple RBI games.
Kargol was selected to the All-AMCC first team for the second straight year. The junior started every conference game, batting .407 and smacking 22 hits. Kargol tallied six extra-base hits to go with 10 RBIs. Overall this season, she ranked second in the AMCC in RBIs (31) and tied for first with five home runs. Kargol's longest hitting streak this season was 12 games, while recording 11 multiple hit contests for the Lions. At first base, she ranked second in the AMCC in putouts (270) and registered a .976 fielding percentage.
Hauser repeats on the All-AMCC second team. She started in all 18 conference games in center field, ranking third with 29 hits and runs scored with 21. Hauser was second with 14 stolen bases and registered a .439 batting average. Overall, she led the conference and broke the program's single-season hit record with 64 hits. Hauser also hit a team-leading .405 and stole a team-best 25 bases. She also had 19 multiple hit games and is currently on a 10-game hitting streak. She is also on a 12-game reaching base streak.
Bupp was named to the All-Conference team twice. She was a second-team choice at short stop and third team for pitching. The senior, the reigning Player of the Year, started all 18 AMCC games and made 16 appearances in the circle. She tallied 13 hits, two doubles and a triple. Bupp also drove in eight runs and scored 13. She also struck out 45 batters in 31 innings pitched, allowing seven earned runs. Overall, she tallied 41 hits, including 12 doubles. Bupp also set the career record for saves with 14, while breaking the career doubles mark at 46.