LAWRENCE, Kan. – Senior left fielder Maggie Hull and sophomore utility player Maddie Stein represented Kansas softball as All-Midwest Region honorees, announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) on Thursday.
Hull earned first team recognition, while Stein was awarded second team. The award marks the third-consecutive year Hull has claimed All-Region honors and the second-straight season she’s been a first team member. KU has not had a player named to the All-Region team for three-straight seasons since All-American Camille Spitaleri did so from 1990-92. This is the first All-Region honor for Stein.
“It’s exciting to see these two being recognized by the NFCA,” head coach Megan Smith said. “Maggie Hull and Maddie Stein are unbelievable hitters, but they are also two of our captains that have really taken it upon themselves to make this program even better. Seeing Kansas players on a national list does exactly that and it’s a credit to their dedication and hard work. We’re very proud of them.”
Combined with the All-Big 12 award winners announced on Tuesday, five different Jayhawks have garnered a total of six individual postseason awards. Due to their regional accolades, Hull and Stein are both eligible for All-America consideration.
“It means a lot personally, but it means even more just to have Kansas up there,” Hull said. “The more that we have Kansas up there nationally, the more that people will start to see Kansas as a top, elite team. So moving forward, this will be part of the legacy I leave to help Kansas get national attention every year and will hopefully help get us into an NCAA Regional next year.”
In 210-consecutive starts for the Jayhawks, Hull broke the Kansas batting average record for the second-straight season, hitting .456 in 2013 – the third-best single-season mark in Big 12 history. That only highlighted what was an already impressive career as Hull completed her time at Kansas as the program’s leader in career batting average at .368, which sits one spot away from the Big 12’s all-time top-10 list.
At the conclusion of the 2013 regular season, Hull covered nearly every offensive category in the Big 12 rankings: batting average (.456, 1st), hits (73, 1st), doubles (18, 1st), triples (4, 2nd), total bases (120, 4th), on-base percentage (.532, 4th), slugging percentage (.750, 5th), runs scored (45, T-8th) and RBIs (45, 9th).
Not just a power at the plate, Hull was the only Jayhawk to take the field in all 50 games this season and not record an error. The senior outfielder caught 71 of 71 chances hit at her in left this season. Aside from her NFCA honors, Hull also earned All-Big 12 accolades for the third-straight season, the first Jayhawk to post that feat since All-American Shelly Musser earned four-straight nods from 1999-2002.
Following graduation, Hull will head to Chicago to begin her National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) career as a member of the Chicago Bandits. Hull was drafted 11th overall in April, the highest draft selection of a KU softball player in program history.
Although this marks her first NFCA award, Stein is no stranger to accolades as the sophomore utility player was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team as a freshman last season.
“I’m definitely excited,” Stein said of the award. “I had a lot of expectations set for myself after a pretty good freshman year. I don’t feel like I reached all of them as much as I wanted to, but it still feels great to see my hard work – and the work of our entire team – getting recognized.”
Stein’s numbers were once again outstanding in her second season as a Jayhawk. Her team-leading 49 RBIs ranked sixth in the Big 12, while hitting .337 for the season with 10 doubles. Additionally, Stein’s offensive focus stayed the same no matter what position she took on the field. The El Reno, Okla., native routinely switched back and forth from designated player to catcher, where she caught three base runners stealing in 2013.
The team bestowed one of its highest honors on Stein prior to the start of the 2013 season when she was named a team captain as only a sophomore.
2013 Kansas Softball Awards
NFCA All-Midwest Region
Maggie Hull, First Team
Maddie Stein, Second Team
Big 12 Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year
All-Big 12 Second Team
All-Big 12 Defensive Team