Louisville, Ky. – North Carolina Tar Heels Kendra Lynch, Brittany Pickett and Taylor Wike were all named National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) All-Southeast Region on Thursday, as selected by NFCA member coaches in the region. Lynch was named to the First Team as its designated player, Pickett earned the pitcher/utility spot on the Second Team, and Wike is the shortstop on the Third Team. The trio, who all earned All-ACC honors this season as well, each garnered All-Region honors for the first time.
Kendra Lynch has had a fantastic senior year at the plate, leading the ACC with 21 home runs and 65 RBIs, producing a school-record 141 total bases while slugging .820. She ranks third in the nation in homers and total bases and seventh in RBIs, needing to drive in just two more runs to reach the UNC single-season record. The senior ranks second all-time at Carolina in career home runs (52), RBIs (165) and slugging percentage (.650) and sits in the top 10 in ACC history in all three categories.
The ACC Freshman of the Year and a top-10 Finalist for NFCA National Freshman of the Year, Brittany Pickett has had a breakout season in the circle and at the plate. The only freshman on the All-Southeast Region First or Second Team, Pickett ranks fourth in the ACC with 12 home runs—tied for the most ever by a UNC rookie—sixth in walks (31), seventh in slugging percentage (.616) and eighth in on-base percentage (.460).
Pickett emerged from Carolina's pitching staff as the go-to starter midway through the season, going 21-8 with a school-record six saves, a 2.63 ERA and 141 strikeouts over 207.2 innings. She ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in 13 pitching categories, leading the conference in saves and appearances while ranking fourth in wins and sixth in ERA. Her 21 victories rank second-most in the nation among freshmen, while her 12 home runs are ninth-best in her class nationally.
A three-time All-ACC honoree, Taylor Wike picks up All-Region honors for the first time after making the move from second base to shortstop this offseason. A key producer in the lineup, Wike is a contact hitter with a great eye at the plate. Ranking second in the ACC with 13 doubles and third in sacrifice bunts (9), she is in the top-10 with 47 runs, 42 RBIs and a career-high 18 stolen bases.
After tying the single-season record as a freshman, the junior already ranks second all time at UNC with 95 career walks and currently holds the best career on-base percentage in program history at .470. Nearly flawless on the basepaths, her stolen base percentage of .914 (32-35) is the highest in school history, while her steady play in the middle infield ranks her third all-time in double plays (39) and ninth in assists (346).
Carolina shares a region with several Southeast powerhouses, including Florida, the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament, No. 4-seed Florida State, No. 7-seed Auburn, No. 8-seed Tennessee and No. 14-seed Kentucky. A total of 23 ACC players earned NFCA All-Region status, with six Seminoles and NC State's Tyler Ross joining the Tar Heel trio in the Southeast Region, while the conference dominated the Mid-Atlantic Region with 13 selections.
The Tar Heels open the postseason on Friday, May 19, at NCAA Regionals in Oxford, Mississippi. UNC will face No. 22 Arizona State at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN in the first game of the double-elimination weekend. Southern Illinois and host Ole Miss round out the Oxford Regional, with the winner advancing to face the winner of the Los Angeles Regional (hosted by No. 5-seed UCLA). Every game of the 2017 NCAA Tournament will be broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks and can be found online on WatchESPN.
|NFCA All-Southeast Region|
|P||Jessica Burroughs||Florida State|
|1B||Alex Powers||Florida State|
|3B||Jessica Warren||Florida State|
|OF||Morgan Klaevemann||Florida State|
|DP||Kendra Lynch||North Carolina|
|C||Sydney Broderick||Florida State|
|OF||Tyler Ross||NC State|
|UT/P||Brittany Pickett||North Carolina|
|DP or UT||Brooke Vines||Tennessee|
|P||Meghan King||Florida State|
|P||Holly McKinnon||USC Upstate|
|2B||Mackenzie Boesel||South Carolina|
|SS||Taylor Wike||North Carolina|
|DP or UT||Maeve McGuire||Georgia|