Sammey Bunch is the player of the year of the Missouri Valley Conference, it was announced Wednesday.
It's the third time in as many years Bunch (Fatima High School), a Northern Iowa junior, has been named an All-MVC first-team honoree.
Bunch ended the regular season as the conference leader in home runs (16) and slugging percentage (.837). She is tied for 25th and 18th, respectively, in NCAA Division I in those categories.
Other categories Bunch led the MVC in include total bases (123) and on-base percentage (.511). The 123 total bases is tied for 26th nationally and the on-base percentage ranks 33rd.
Bunch enters the MVC Tournament, which began Wednesday at Bradley in Peoria, Ill., hitting 59-for-147 (.401) with 48 RBI, 25 walks and just 12 strikeouts in 48 games.
Northern Iowa (26-22, 16-10 MVC), the No. 3 seed in the tournament, will face either sixth-seeded Illinois State or No. 10 seed Valparaiso at 6:30 p.m. today in the quarterfinals.
The winner of that game will face No. 2 seed Southern Illinois at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
The championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.