Accolades keep rolling in for Wayne State’s Butler
Detroit — Lyndsay Butler was named Pitcher of the Year. She actually did better than that.
Butler, Wayne State’s do-everything senior star, was named Player of the Year in the Midwest Region, ahead of this week’s Division II NCAA Tournament Super Regional series against Southern Indiana.
Longtime Wayne State coach Gary Bryce has long been against having his pitchers be batters, too, for fear of injury. But when Butler came along from Cambridge, Ontario, four years ago, he had no choice.
This season, Butler has batted .450 with 10 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 39 RBIs — the big stick in a Warriors lineup that’s not known much for its offense. It’s much more known for its pitching, where Butler, a right-hander, also leads the way, at 24-9 with four saves, a 0.61 ERA and 206 strikeouts.
Pitcher of the year in the Midwest Region was Jennifer Leonhardt of Southern Indiana, which Wayne State will play on the road Thursday and Friday in a best-of-three Super Regional.
The Warriors (40-14) won their regional in St. Louis over the weekend, thanks to a big offensive rally in the sixth inning of the championship game, and are looking for their fourth trip to the Division II College World Series in the last 15 years.
Butler, 22, was named NFCA Division II National Player of the Year in 2016, and this is her third consecutive season making first-team, all-Midwest Region.
Butler again is a finalist for the NFCA Player of the Year award this season; the 10 finalists will be cut to three later this week, with the winner announced May 24 at the national championships in Salem, Va.
Also voted first-team, all-Midwest Region this season were Grand Valley State second baseman Jenna Lenza, a senior, and Saginaw Valley State designated hitter Courtney Reeves, a junior.