KUTZTOWN, Pa. – The Kutztown University softball team had four players selected First-Team All-Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) – the most first-team honorees of any Division II school.
The quartet also earned All-PSAC recognition earlier this week.
Winona State led the way with five representatives. Topping the charts with four first-team plaudits was the Golden Bears. Kutztown was joined by Alabama-Huntsville, Augustana, Concordia Irvine, LIU Post and West Florida with four nods apiece.
The Gulf South Conference, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and South Atlantic Conference had 15 student-athletes apiece. The Lone Star Conference earned 13 honors, while the California Collegiate Athletic Association and Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference posted 12 selections. The Great Lakes Valley Conference paced the Midwest with 12 selections, while the East Coast Conference and Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference topped the East with nine each.
The 2019 NFCA Division II All-American teams will be announced on Wednesday, May 22 at the NCAA Division II National Championship Banquet in Denver, Colo. Keeny, Jennings, Jones and Lipowski will now see their names in discussion for All-America status.
It is the fourth straight year Keeny received NFCA All-Region honors, the first year she is first-team. The senior outfielder from Warminster shattered former career-highs in most offensive categories this season on her way to one of the best hitting seasons in the program’s 44-year history. Prior to the start of the NCAA Division II Championship tournament, Keeny led the nation in hits (100), while ranking fifth in batting average (.518), seventh in total bases (132), ninth in on base percentage (.561), 10th in triples (seven) and 11th in stolen bases (45).
Keeny is a four-time All-PSAC East selection and a two-time D2CCA All-Atlantic Region honoree. She was recently named 2019 PSAC East Athlete of the Year, supplementing her record-breaking batting average, hit and stolen base totals with 62 runs scored, 15 doubles, 29 RBIs, 23 walks, .684 slugging percentage and .955 fielding percentage in 56 games. Keeny is Kutztown’s career hits leader with 289 and holds a share of the program’s triples record with 14. She also ranks second in batting average (.440) and stolen bases (134), third in runs scored (172), fifth in total bases (348), seventh in walks (62) and eighth in at-bats (657).
Jennings enjoyed a breakout spring in her final season wearing Maroon and Gold. The Philadelphian established new career-highs in batting average (.416), hits (72), runs scored (50), doubles (13), triples (three), home runs (seven), RBIs (51), slugging percentage (.647), on base percentage (.458) and stolen bases (14). Jennings, who shared the outfield with Keeny, was an All-PSAC East for the first time in her career. She ranked second in the PSAC in hits, RBIs and runs scored at the conclusion of the conference tournament, and was top 10 in batting average, slugging percentage, at-bats and stolen bases.
Jones, a redshirt senior from Levittown, hit a career-best .353 with 61 hits, 12 doubles, three triples, six homers and 47 RBIs. In 55 games, the Golden Bears’ primary designated player also set new career marks in slugging percentage (.561), on base percentage (.367) and runs scored (22). Jones was a repeat All-PSAC East selection after ranking fifth in the league in RBIs and ninth in hits.
Lipowski increased her batting average by 90 points over freshman year, finishing the 2019 season with a .369 average, 65 hits, 15 doubles, five home runs and 50 RBIs. The Nanticoke native matched Keeny for third in the PSAC in doubles, while ranking fourth in RBIs and tied for fifth in hits. Lipowski was one of four KU players to start and play in all 56 games. She made 48 of those starts at first base, where she also had a superb season defensively with 215 putouts, 15 assists and a .996 fielding percentage to be named All-PSAC East for the first time.
It is the first NFCA accolade for Jennings, Jones and Lipowski.
Kutztown finished its season with a 36-20 overall record, the ninth-most wins in program history. They went 3-2 in the PSAC Tournament, defeating Edinboro, Bloomsburg and West Chester, and finished third.