Sammey Bunch named MVC POTW

Freshman shortstop Sammey Bunch, #12.

Northern Iowan Athletics

Freshman shortstop Sammey Bunch, #12.

DYLAN PADY, Sports Editor | [email protected]

Panther shortstop Sammey Bunch was named the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) player of the week on Monday. This is the first time Bunch has received this honor and it serves as a great start to her freshman season of softball at UNI.

In her 2017 debut, Bunch is one of only three players on the team who has started in every game this season (31). In her efforts on the diamond, Bunch has been up to bat 88 times,  recorded 26 runs and made contact at least 30 times.

This feat gives Bunch a .340 batting average, which happens to be the best average on the team; second only to Ashley Chesser who has a higher average but fewer at bats.

Serving as an offensive cannon behind the plate for UNI, Bunch has recorded nine doubles this season, three triples and four home runs. Bunch has a .400 on-base percentage, second on the team to  Anna Varriano, who leads with .460.

For her own individual game highs, Bunch is tied with Varriano for most runs scored during a game (3) and has hit the most doubles during a single game (2). Bunch scored three runs against Oklahoma State at the beginning of March and just recently recorded her two doubles in their contest against Evansville on April 1.

In their three-game series against Evansville, Bunch had 10 RBI’s to help UNI ensure the series sweep. Additionally, Northern Iowa was ahead 12-4 before Bunch stepped up and closed the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-run, walk-off home run. The Panthers are just one weekend into their long stretch of home games.

First, they knocked out Evansville and swept them in the series. This weekend they will face Southern Illinois in three games. Afterwards, they will play the University of Iowa just once before finishing things up against Bradley University.

After UNI finishes up at home, their first away game will involve a trip to Des Moines where the Panthers will go head-to-head against the Drake Bulldogs on April 18. Their series against the Bulldogs only consists of two games, both on that Tuesday.

Afterwards, the team will travel to Chicago and take on Loyola University in a three game series before coming back home to play Wichita State in their final home series of the regular season.

Of their 31 games played this season, the Panthers are currently 18-13 in the regular season. Within the MVC, UNI stands at 6-3 with three conference wins at home, three on the road and their only three losses coming from games spent on the road.