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Molly O’Brien Leads Trio of Spartans Selected to NFCA All-Central Region Team

Molly O’Brien Leads Trio of Spartans Selected to NFCA All-Central Region Team

From Case Western Reserve University Athletics

Led by a second straight first-team selection for junior second baseman Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola), three from Case Western Reserve University softball have earned a spot on the 2014 National Fastpitch Coaches' Association All-Central Region Team.

O'Brien, also a first-teamer last season, advances to the NFCA All-America ballot. She is joined on the all-region squad by senior catcher Amy Taylor (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor) and senior shortstop Makenzie Lein (Petersburg, Mich./Ida) with second and third-team selections, respectively.

Also named first-team All-University Athletic Association on April 30, O'Brien batted .366 with three homers, 24 RBI, 10 doubles and 17 stolen bases. She ranked fifth in the UAA in runs scored (40) and tied for fourth in steals.

In 118 career games, O'Brien is a .372 hitter with six homers, 22 doubles, eight triples, 52 RBI and a school-record 55 stolen bases. She will enter her senior campaign ranked second in program history in runs scored (115), third in batting average and sixth in hits (154).

Taylor, another two-time first-team All-UAA honoree, lands on the all-region squad for the first time in her career. She ranked second on the squad with a .412 average and 27 RBI while collecting a school single-season record 56 hits.

A four-year starter, Taylor ranks sixth all-time in program history with a .357 batting average, and she is fourth in CWRU history in hits (163), fifth in RBI (87) and tied for sixth in games started (143). Behind the plate, she threw out a school-record 49 runners attempting to steal.

Lein, also a first-time honoree, led the team and ranked sixth in the UAA with a team-best .415 batting average to go along with three home runs, eight doubles, a team-high 32 RBI and 11 stolen bases. She was named UAA Hitter of the Week on April 7 and Capital One Academic All-District VII First Team on May 1. The Capital One Academic All-America® Team will be announced on May 20.

One of the finest shortstops to ever suit up for Case Western Reserve, Lein is a career .338 hitter with 12 home runs, 43 doubles and 98 RBI. She is the program's all-time leader in both career hits (172) and runs scored (125), and she ranks fourth in starts (160), second in doubles, fourth in homers and fourth in RBI.

With Head Coach Josie Henry at the helm, the Spartans concluded the 2014 campaign at 25-15 overall with a share of the program's first UAA Championship since 1999. The team's 25 wins rank as the fourth most in program history behind the totals from 2012 (26-15), 1999 (25-9) and 2001 (31-10).

Henry and her assistants were named the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year. The head coach is now 94-68 in her four seasons.