Provo, Utah Today's first-round NCAA Tournament softball game between Kansas and Brigham Young universities will feature reigning conference players of the year - KU's Serena Settlemier (Big 12) and BYU's Ianeta Le'i (Mountain West).
Le'i, a senior first baseman from Hawaii, was a repeat winner after leading the Cougars in home runs with 18 and in RBIs with 75, a total that tops this week's NCAA chart.
Settlemier led the Big 12 with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs. She also owns the league's third-lowest earned-run average (1.20) while compiling a 17-6 record.
Kansas (34-24) was the sixth seed in the Big 12 Conference tournament, but won the championship by disposing of three higher seeds. Brigham Young (38-18) advanced to the MWC final, but bowed to San Diego State, 11-7.
BYU touched Christina Ross, the MWC pitcher of the year, for 10 hits and six runs in 51â3 innings in the MWC finale, but the Aztecs had more firepower.
Ross, a sophomore left-hander, transferred to San Diego State from Kansas. As a KU freshman in 2005, Ross posted a 12-9 record with a 2.48 ERA. In her first season with the Aztecs, the southpaw from Santa Clarita, Calif., is 16-8 with a 1.77 ERA.
Summer Tobias, a senior who spent her first two seasons at Nebraska, is BYU's top pitcher this spring with a 21-9 record and 2.49 ERA.
Le'i and Tobias were joined on the All-MWC first team by shortstop Jodi Norton, designated player Andrea Ramirez and outfielder Jennifer Whiteley.