The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference released its 2009 Post-Season Softball Awards on Wednesday and the league champion Gusties garnered the majority of the awards. Senior shortstop Rachael Click was named the MIAC Player of the Year, Jeff Annis was named Coach of the Year, and first year second baseman Lisa Klass was named Rookie of the Year. Four players received All-Conference honors including Click, Klass, senior outfielder Emily Klein, and pitcher Erin Truebenbach.
In addition, junior pitcher Betsie Collins and sophomore first baseman Emily Wendorff received honorable mention All-Conference honors and junior outfielder Sheila Arnold was named to All-Sportsmanship Team.
The Gusties won the MIAC Regular Season title with a record of 21-1 and then finished second in the MIAC Post-Season Tournament. Gustavus went on to win the NCAA Regional Tournament in Indianola, Iowa last weekend, and are taking part in the NCAA Championship Finals in Montclair, New Jersey this weekend. The Gusties have compiled an overall record of 39-7.
Rachael Click is the second player in the history of the program to be named MIAC Player of the Year following Molly Biehn who received the honor in 2003. Click, a four-time All-Conference performer, led the league in the majority of the offensive categories including batting average (.529), slugging (1.216), on-base percentage (.594), RBI (27), home runs (10), and total bases (62). She set the school record for home runs in a season with 16 and became only the third player in MIAC history to hit 30 home runs (35) in a career. Click is only the third player in the program’s history to earn All-Conference honors four times in her career.
Emily Klein, a centerfielder from Red Wing, Minn., hit .369 for the Gusties and led the team in runs scored with 48. She stole 25 bases in 26 attempts and moved into first place on the Gustavus career steals list with 77. Klein was second on the team in home runs with 10 and third in RBI with 38. She was named MIAC Player of the Week on March 30 and April 6. Klein was also an All-Conference selection last year (2008).
Lisa Klass, a Richfield, Minn. native, was the only first year player selected to the All-Conference team. She compiled a .417 batting average and scored 31 runs while starting 46 games for the Gusties. Klass ranks second on the team with 39 RBI and second in doubles with 13. She is the Gustavus player in the last four years to earn MIAC Rookie of the Year honors following Rachael Click who was honored in 2006.
Erin Truebenbach, a Mankato, Minn. native, was the anchor of a strong Gustavus pitching staff as she compiled a record of 15-3 overall with 15 complete games. She compiled a 1.53 ERA, while striking out 127 batters in 119 innings of work. She was the MIAC Pitcher of the Week on April 20.
Head Coach Jeff Annis continued to build the Gustavus softball team into one of the finest program’s in the country. He has now directed the Gusties to four consecutive 30-win seasons and has compiled a career mark of 132-34. His squad compiled a league mark of 21-1 in 2009, leading the conference in pitching (0.99 ERA), tying for first in fielding (.974) and finishing second in hitting (.354).
Betsie Collins, a junior pitcher from Waseca, Minn., and Emily Wendorff, a sophomore from Prior Lake, Minn., both received honorable mention honors. Collins was compiled an overall pitching record of 12-3 with a 1.76 ERA in 91 innings. Wendorff started 43 of the team’s 46 games at first base and hit for a .331 average. She hit six home home runs, scored 33 runs, and drove in 26 runs.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the third 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. Junior outfielder Sheila Arnold (Grand Rapids, Minn.) was selected by her teammates for the Sportsmanship Awared.