Emily Benson was selected as a Second Team All-American by the NFCA and D2CCA. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
WWU's Emily Benson Earns Pair of All-America Honors
May 23, 2019
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University senior first baseman Emily Benson became the first unanimous All-American in softball program history, earning second-team honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and the Division II Collegiate Commissioners Association (D2CCA).
Benson (West Richland, WA/Kamiakin) became the first player in program history to earn distinction from both the NFCA and the D2CCA (formerly Daktronics All-America), and is the third Viking to earn All-America honors in the 27-year history of WWU Softball. Andie Greenen (C) was a second-team All-American in 1999 and Jessi Williams (OF) was a third-team selection in 2000 on the Easton All-America Team.
Benson concluded her WWU career as the most decorated player in program history, receiving the following accolades during her senior season in 2019:
NFCA All-American (second team) and First Team All-West Region
D2CCA All-American (second team) and West Region Player of the Year
Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II Top 10 Player of the Year Finalist
GNAC Player of the Year
All-GNAC First Team (unanimous)
GNAC Player of the Week (3 times)
NFCA National Player of the Week
During her senior season, Benson rewrote the WWU single-season record book establishing records for batting average (.448/56-for-125), on-base percentage (.567), slugging percentage (.896), OPS (1.463), extra-base hits (27) and home runs (14).
In four seasons at WWU (2015-17, 2019), Benson leaves the program as the all-time leader in several offensive categories, including batting average (.377), slugging (.692), on-base (.477), OPS (1.169), hits (208), extra-base hits (82), total bases (382), walks (104) and RBI (156), while playing in the second-most games (188).
A three-time First Team All-GNAC selection, Benson’s 45 career home runs tie the all-time GNAC record and ranks in the top-10 in conference history in career slugging percentage, on-base percentage, RBI, walks and total bases.
Benson was one of three GNAC players to earn All-America honors from the NFCA, joining Western Oregon’s Ayanna Arceneaux (Second Team) and Northwest Nazarene’s Kylie Orr (Third Team). Arceneaux was an honorable mention selection by the D2CCA as the only other GNAC player listed on that All-America team.
WWU finished the 2019 season with a 27-18 overall record and tied for 4th in the GNAC with a 16-12 record. The 27 wins are tied for 10th-most in program history and the team set a single-season record with 39 home runs. Five players earned All-GNAC honors, nine were selected to the conference All-Academic team and senior pitcher/third baseman Makinlee Sellevold joined Benson as an All-West Region selection.
-- WWU Softball --