St. Olaf's Graf and St. Catherine duo headline 2017 MIAC Softball Awards

St. Olaf's Graf and St. Catherine duo headline 2017 MIAC Softball Awards

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The 2017 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) softball season was full of surprises, parity and plenty of unforgettable games and moments. Wednesday, the top performers from the season were honored with the announcement of the 2017 MIAC Softball Awards.

St. Olaf's first year pitcher Julie Graff (Sammamish, Wash. / Eastlake) was not only named the Rookie-of-the-Year, but also the Pitcher-of-the-Year in recognition for her outstanding season. St. Catherine duo sophomore Jenna George (Ellsworth, Wis.) was honored with the Player-of-the-Year award and her coach, Colleen Powers was honored by her peers with the Coach-of-the-Year award. The conference also announced the 2017 MIAC All-Conference Team, the All-Conference Honorable Mention Team and the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.

Julie Graff made her MIAC debut with an outstanding season receiving both the 2017 Rookie-of-the-Year and Pitcher-of-the-Year. Julie Graf had one of the best seasons in St. Olaf's history. As a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-Region selection, she posted a 0.73 ERA to go with school records for strikeouts (272), wins (22) and complete games (21). She was 22-5 and allowed one or less earned run in all but five of her 31 appearances. She was the MIAC's Pitcher of the Week four times and had two five-game stretches where she did not allow a run. She also led the MIAC in most statistical categories, including strikeouts by more than one hundred. 

Graf kept St. Olaf in the hunt for a playoff spot down the stretch as she pitched in each of the team's final 14 conference games. Her best day was a double shutout of Gustavus on April 23 when she allowed just three hits in 14 innings, walking three while striking out a combined 28. 

George earned the MIAC's highest honor after a career season both in the field and at the plate. The sophomore third baseman led the team and the MIAC in multiple offensive categories during the regular season, including slugging percentage (.851), on base percentage RBI (50), and home runs (10) and finished the season ranked second in the MIAC in overall batting average (.465). George was dangerously good in conference play, as she led the MIAC in slugging percentage (.891), total bases (57), home runs (7) and RBI (33) versus conference opponents.

George received multiple accolades during the 2017 softball season thanks to her outstanding play. She was named MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week three times during the regular season, HERO's Division III Player-of-the-Week, and was the first player from St. Kate's nominated for the NFCA Division III Player-of-the-Year award. George also made the 2017 MIAC All-Tournament team after going 3-7 at the plate with three runs, two RBI and three walks. George also cemented her place in the Wildcat record books, as she broke three school records and tied one in just her second season with the program. George broke St. Kate's school record for single season slugging percentage (.851), RBI (50), and walks (24) and tied the school record for single season home runs (10).

Powers earned her second consecutive Coach-of-the-Year honor after leading the Wildcats to their best finish in the MIAC standings in program history. With Powers at the helm, the Wildcats posted a 28-11 overall record during the regular season and went 17-5 in MIAC play to finish in second place in the conference standings. She also guided the Wildcats to their first ever MIAC Playoff and NCAA Regional Championships despite losing 2016 MIAC Softball Player-of-the-Year Robyn Rohr to graduation. 

Powers also reached several milestones during the 2017 season, as she earned the 100th victory of her career with St. Kate's 3-1 win over Hamline in the MIAC Playoffs. Since taking over the program in 2014, Powers has only posted one losing record and has turned the Wildcats into not only one of the top programs in the MIAC but the nation as well.  In four years, Powers has a career record of 106-58 and a 52-34 record in MIAC play. 

The conference honored a 36-player All-Conference Team and a 12-player All-Conference Honorable Mention Team. As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 11th-annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for baseball. 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.


2017 MIAC SOFTBALL AWARDS

Player-of-the-Year - Jenna George, St. Catherine (So., Ellsworth, Wis.) 
Pitcher-of-the-Year - Julie Graf, St. Olaf (Fy., Sammamish, Wash. / Eastlake)
Rookie-of-the-Year - Julie Graf, St. Olaf (Fy.,Sammamish, Wash. / Eastlake) 
Coach-of-the-Year - Colleen Powers, St. Catherine (4th season)


2017 MIAC SOFTBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

Name School Year   Position   Hometown / High School
Melissa Barry St. Thomas So. UT Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview
Krista Flugstad
St. Catherine Jr.  P/INF  Bloomington, Minn. / Jefferson
Julia Carpenter Macalester Fy.  OF Stevensville, Mich. / Lakeshore
Jenna George St. Catherine So.  IF/C Ellsworth, Wis. 
Chelsea Koehn Hamline Sr.  IF/OF Clyde, Mich. / Port Huron North
Mary-Clare Couillard  Hamline Sr. IF Fridley, Minn. / St. Anthony Village
Kate Deming St. Benedict So. OF Bloomington, Minn. / Thomas Jefferson
Juile Graf St. Olaf Fy.  P/OF Sammamish, Wash. / Eastlake
Chase Shortly St. Thomas So. C/IF Forest Lake, Minn. 
Anna Lauko Carleton So.  OF Whitefish Bay, Wis. 
Samantha Anderson Augsburg So.  P/INF Coon Rapids, Minn. 
Megan Bush St. Thomas Sr.  OF Chicago, Ill. / Mother McAuley
Emily Carr St. Olaf So. C/OF Bloomington, Minn. / Jefferson
Kylie Macziewski St. Catherine Jr.  IF Bloomington, Minn. / Jefferson
Anna Hinderaker St. Catherine So.  OF Rosemount, Minn. 
Casey Anderson Hamline Sr.  P/IF Robbinsdale, Minn. / Cooper
Mariah Uphoff Bethel Fy.  OF Lakeville, Minn. / Lakeville South
Sara Wennerstrand St. Benedict Jr.  IF Baxter, Minn. / Brainerd
Hanna Heacox Gustavus Sr.  P Stillwater, Minn. 
Sam Kile Carleton So.  P/IF Elk Grove, Calif. / Consumnes Oaks
Megan Tonianto St. Benedict Jr.  IF Woodbury, Minn. / Hill-Murray
Amber Montero St. Catherine Fy.  UT Circle Pines, Minn. / Centennial
Brenna Walek St. Thomas Sr. DH/1B Maple Grove, Minn. / Robbinsdale Cooper
Emilie Antony St. Benedict So. OF Forest Lake, Minn. 
Aubree Douglas Hamline So.  C San Jacinto, Calif.
Ashley Betzold Saint Mary's Sr.  P/INF Farmington, Minn. 
Kathi Opsahl Saint Mary's Sr.  OF Elk River, Minn. 
Jessica Bentley St. Olaf Jr.  P/OF Minneapolis, Minn. / Edina
Wendy Roberts Bethel Jr.  INF Grantsburg, Wis.
Jena Willis Gustavus Sr.  UT Kalispell, Mt. / Glacier
Kaela Jackson Macalester Fy. UT/C Seattle, Wash. / James A. Garfield
Madison Little  Concordia Sr.  OF Fargo, N.D. / Fargo Shanley
Morghan Bean Macalester Jr. P/UT Muscatine, Iowa
Dana Connelly St. Thomas So. OF Mendota Heights, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall
Katie Eppard Carleton Jr.  OF/C Pleasanton, Calif. / Amador Valley
Elise Barnes St. Thomas Fy. IF South St. Paul, Minn. 

2017 MIAC SOFTBALL ALL-CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION

Name Schools Year   Position   Hometown / High School
Emily Carlson   Gustavus Fy.    C Burnsville, Minn. 
Corrie Lucchesi Carleton Jr.  IF Chicago, Ill. / Lane Tech
Anna Nichols Bethel Sr.  P/1B Minnetonka, Minn. 
SarahDeMars Hamline Sr.  P/IF St. Anthony, Minn. / St. Anthony Village
Carly Dropik Augsburg So. OF Alexandria, Minn. 
Claire Boatman St. Benedict So.  IF Savage, Minn. / Burnsville
Katie Parker Augsburg Jr.  OF Lakeville, Minn. / Lakeville North
Abbie Annen Hamline Jr.  C Shakopee, Minn. 
Brittney Birkhauser Saint Mary's Jr.  IF Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. / Assumption
Nikki Caicedo Macalester Sr. C Clinton Township, Mich. / Chippewa Valley
Brianna Cline Augsburg Sr. OF/INF St. Clair, Minn. 
Kiela DeVlaeminck St. Benedict Jr.  P Waconia, Minn. 

2017 SOFTBALL ALL-MIAC SPORTSMANSHIP TEAM

Augsburg - Haley Larson (Sr., Shakopee, Minn. / Prior Lake)
Bethel - Megan Bode (Jr., Rogers, Minn.)
Carleton - Mia Orans (Sr., San Francisco, Calif. / Piedmont)
Concordia - Maddie Little (Sr., Fargo, N.D. / Fargo Shanley)
Gustavus - Emily Carlson (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.)
Hamline - Roxanne Reinfeld (So., Coon, Rapids, Minn. / Legacy)
Macalester -Natalie Platt (Jr., Boulder, Colo.)
Saint Benedict - Linsey Sanchez (So., Omaha, Neb. / Marian)
St. Catherine - Anna Hinderaker (So., Rosemount, Minn.)
Saint Mary's - Amber Trendle (So., Chicago, Ill. / De La Salle)
St. Olaf - Kate Arneson (So., Northfield, Minn.)
St. Thomas - Brooke Pantila (Sr., Woodburry, Minn.)


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