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Softball Announces Team Award Winners
Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - UW-Eau Claire head softball coach Leslie Huntington recently announced the team award winners for the 2008 season.
Infielder Casey Leisgang (Sr.-Seymour, Wis.) received the team's Most Outstanding Performer and Big Stick awards. Leisgang ended her career as a Blugold capturing four UW-Eau Claire and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) career records. In her career, which lasted from 2005 to 2008, Leisgang had 38 home runs, 184 runs, 226 hits and was walked 88 times. This season Leisgang also broke school records for a season with 61 runs, 11 home runs (tied her own record of 11 from 2006), a batting average of .477 and 131 assists. For her efforts this year, she received National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) second team All-American honors, was a first team All-WIAC selection and also received NFCA National Player of the Week honors, becoming the first Blugold to receive the honor during head coach Leslie Huntington's seven years with the team. Leisgang also competed as part of a regional All-Star team against Team USA during its KFC Bound 4 Beijing National Tour.
The Golden Glove Award went to infielder Jill Janke (Sr.-Black River Falls, Wis.). This season Janke led the team with 43 RBIs, 415 putouts, which was also a school record for a season, and tied Leisgang for most at-bats with 153. Janke ended her career with records of most putouts (1,519), best fielding percentage (.991) and most hit-by-pitches (12). Janke was also selected as an All-WIAC first team member, was named a CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District 5 Third Team College Division selection and was also on the regional All-Star team with Leisgang against Team USA.
Pitcher Jenny Ross (Fr.-Mendota Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley) was named Rookie of the Year. Ross appeared in 38 games this season, starting 28 of them. She pitched 17 complete games and accumulated 27 wins, a school record for a season. Ross pitched the first perfect game in program history and was also named WIAC Pitcher of the Week twice during the season. Ross had an ERA of 1.29, 154 strikeouts and also had two saves this year.
The Most Improved Award was presented to Katie Stalker (So.-Madison, Wis./La Follette). Last season Stalker did not start a game, while she started 31 this year. She also only had two at-bats a season ago but accumulated 77 this year. She had 27 runs, 23 hits and one RBI this season. Stalker, Ross, Janke and Leisgang were also all selected to the All-Tournament team following the 2008 NCAA Division III National Championship.
Janke, Tessa Pecha (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./North) and Emily Pierce (Fr.-Holmen, Wis.) received the Blugold Award. Pecha played in 29 games and batted .267, while scoring 9 runs. Pierce appeared in 16 games and scored five runs.
This season the Blugolds captured their first NCAA Division III National Championship in program history. After finishing third in the WIAC regular season and the WIAC Tournament, Eau Claire was granted an at-large berth to the NCAA postseason tournament. The Blugolds then went 4-0 in regionals and 4-0 in the national championship, defeating UW-Whitewater in nine innings with a walk-off home run by Janke to win the national title. Overall the Blugolds finished the season with a mark of 36-11.
- KM -