St. Paul – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has announced its 2013 Softball Post-Season Awards following a spring season that featured cancellations, postponements, and inclement weather to an extent never seen before. Taking home All-Conference honors for the Gustavus softball team was junior Brittany Brenke (Le Sueur, Minn.), sophomores Carly Klass (Richfield, Minn.) and Sarah Rozell (Lakeville, Minn.).
As an example of the parity in the conference this season, each school had at least one All-MIAC First Team selection, led by the Tommies and Royals with four selections each. Gustavus and Hamline each had three players honored. Saint Mary’s, Saint Benedict and St. Olaf each had two selections, and one player apiece from St. Catherine, Carleton, Macalester, Augsburg and Concordia were honored. The team was also extremely balanced from an age standpoint with seven seniors, seven juniors, seven sophomores and four first-year players selected.
Head Coach Jeff Annis’s lead-off hitter this season, Brittany Brenke earns All-Conference honors for the first time after receiving honorable mention marks last season. In Gustavus’s 15 games against league opponents, Brenke hit a team best .463 after going 19-for-41. She posted two doubles, three RBI, and nine runs along with an on-base percentage of .511. At one point this season, Brenke recorded an eight-game hitting-streak and was held hitless in only two conference games. The local Le Sueur product hit .368 overall and had a team-best 32 hits, 16 runs scored, and 11 sacrifice bunts.
In her second full time season at third base, Carly Klass garners All-MIAC recognition for the first time in her career as well. Klass hit .375, going 15-for-40 within conference play. She registered two doubles, seven RBI, and seven runs. Overall, Klass turned in eight multiple-hit games and batted .337 (28-83). She finished second on the team in runs batted in with 15. In the field, the Richfield native had the second-most assists on the team with 66 and finished the year with a .904 fielding percentage.
An All-Conference recipient as a rookie, Sarah Rozell earns a spot on the All-Conference Team for the second time in her young career. Rozell made her mark on the rubber this season, leading Gustavus’s pitching staff with an overall record of 8-8 and an ERA of 3.01 after logging a team-high 102.1 innings. Against league foes, the sophomore went 4-3 and had the fifth-best ERA in the MIAC at 2.28. She finished the conference season with 34 strikeouts compared to just three walks to go along with an opponent batting average of .279. In her 18 total appearances, Rozell struck out 72 batters and walked 17 for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.24.
A two-time All-Conference performer, Kate Rentschler (Sr., Lakefield, Minn.) earns a spot on the All-Conference Honorable Mention Team. Within conference play, Rentschler hit .359 (14-39) and finished with an ERA of 3.36 after throwing a team-high 50 innings. Rentschler was most recently honored as a CoSIDA Academic All-District recipient and a member of the 2013 MIAC Softball All-Tournament Team. She went 9-for-16 over the weekend and posted three walks, two doubles, four RBI and three runs.
The Gustavus softball team finished the year 15-19 overall and 9-9 in the MIAC. The Gusties were placed in Pool D along with Saint Mary’s and Carleton after finishing fifth in the league. Gustavus defeated Carleton 7-6 and Saint Mary’s 8-4 to win Pool D and advance to the four team double elimination tournament. On Saturday, Gustavus fell 8-0 to St. Thomas then bounced back with an 11-2 win over St. Olaf. The Gusties were eliminated from the post-season by Bethel on Sunday morning by the score of 5-2.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the seventh annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for softball. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition. Gustavus’s representative on this season’s All-Sportsmanship Team is junior Bethany Flohrs (Ormsby, Minn.).