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June 1, 2011

2011 Season - 2011 SOFTBALL REVIEW

The Augustana Vikings finished the 2011 season with a 19-19 overall record.

Youthful Vikings finish the year 19-19 overall and 5-9 in CCIW play; Seniors finish their careers among Augustana’s all-time statistical leaders; Melissa Nelson and Krista Watson named All-CCIW; Jenna Nelson NFCA All-Region 

With a lineup that most often included five freshmen and an additional two players in their first year in the Augustana program, coach Kris Kistler’s Augustana softball team finished the 2011 season with an overall record of 19-19 and a CCIW mark of 5-9. While this was the first of Kistler’s 12 Viking teams not to achieve a winning record, the abilities of this year’s youngsters point to a bright future. In addition, three of this year’s Viking seniors finished their careers ranking prominently in several statistical categories. Senior outfielder Melissa Nelson (West Aurora HS, Aurora, Ill.) and freshman shortstop Krista Watson (Coal City HS, Coal City, Ill.) earned first team All-CCIW honors, while sophomore designated player Jenna Nelson (Orion HS, Orion, Ill.) was an NFCA first team All-Region selection.

The Vikings won their first three games of the season in Florida before dropping their next three and were never more than three games over or two under .500 the entire season. Three of Augustana’s five wins in CCIW play came against teams that qualified for the conference tournament, including a sweep of Wheaton in which Kistler got complete game shutouts from both halves of her 1-2 freshman pitching combo of Sarah Hintz (Leroy HS, Leroy, Ill.) and Ashley Yaros (Stagg HS, Palos Hills, Ill.).

Hintz, who was 8-7 on the year, led the team in ERA (2.17), appearances (25), starts (18), complete games (seven), innings pitched (116) and strikeouts (78). She shared the team’s MVP award with Melissa Nelson. Yaros went 9-5to lead the staff in wins and compiled a 3.32 earned run average. Hintz and Yaros each spun a pair of shutouts this season. Another freshman, Courtney Ledezma (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.), worked her way back from injury to be the Vikings’ top reliever by season’s end. She was 0-2 in 13 appearances, but had an ERA of just 1.34.

Offensively, Watson missed winning the team’s triple crown by one batting average point. She hit .377 with nine home runs and 25 runs batted in and won the Vikings’ Best Offensive Player award. Her nine home runs are tied for the fourth highest single-season total in school history. She also led the team in runs scored (29), total bases (74) and slugging percentage (.698) and her 40 hits tied junior first baseman Christina Trojanowksi (Evergreen Park HS, Evergreen Park, Ill.) (.325-0-10) for the team lead. Watson was a first team All-CCIW selection after leading the league in home runs (five), total bases (33) and slugging percentage (.767).

Sophomore Jenna Nelson, another player in her first season with Augustana, led the Vikings with a .378 batting average and a .425 on-base percentage. She was second with eight doubles, tied for second with three home runs and ranked third on the club with 37 hits, 22 RBI and a .551 slugging percentage. The National Fast Pitch Coaches Association made her a first team All-Great Lakes Region selection.

Other freshman regulars for Kistler this season included centerfielder Lauren Schneiderbauer (Sterling HS, Sterling, Ill.) (.262-3-12, team-high eight stolen bases), second baseman Kelsey Winter (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.) (.277-0-6)—who was selected the Vikings’ Most Improved Player—and catcher Randi Applehans (Mountain Vista HS, Highlands Ranch, Colo.) (.224-0-6). Junior outfielder Jillian Gibbs (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) hit .287 with one homer and 16 RBI in her first season at Augustana as well. She led the CCIW with eight sacrifices bunts.

Seniors Melissa Nelson, Stephanie Sarb (Lisle HS, Lisle, Ill.) andSheldon Ritzheimer (Wesclin HS, Trenton, Ill.) each left her mark on the Augustana record book. Nelson finished the year with a .336 average, three homers and 20 RBI to share team MVP honors with Hintz. She led the team with nine doubles and four triples—the seventh-best single season total in school history—and ranks in the Augustana career top ten in seven offensive categories as well. Her 33 doubles are third all-time. She’s fourth in career RBI (96), fifth in home runs (14) and at-bats (497), tied for seventh in triples (eight) and ninth in hits (156), and her 89 runs also rank ninth on the career list. Sarb, who anchored the hot corner for Augustana, hit .305 with two homers and 24 RBI this year and wraps up her career fourth on Augustana’s all-time home run list with 15 and eighth in RBI with 77. In addition, she made just four errors in 108 chances at third base this year, fashioning a .963 fielding percentage and winning the team’s Best Defensive Player award. Ritzheimer finished ninth in career pitching wins with 24, seventh in strikeouts at 197 and 10th in innings pitched with 228.

Kistler, the winningest coach in Augustana softball history, finishes her 12th season at the helm of the Vikings with a record of 342-175-2 (.661). Her overall collegiate record, including one year at SUNY-Plattsburgh is 351-185-2 (.654).

2011 CCIW SOFTBALL STANDINGS

TEAM

CCIW-W

CCIW-L

CCIW PCT

Overall W

Overall L

Overall T

Overall PCT

Millikin

11

3

.786

23

15

 

.605

Carthage

10

4

.714

23

17

 

.575

North Central

9

5

.643

26

14

 

.650

Wheaton

7

7

.500

23

17

1

.573

Elmhurst

7

7

.500

15

23

 

.395

Illinois Wesleyan

6

8

.429

21

15

 

.583

AUGUSTANA

5

9

.357

19

19

 

.500

North Park

1

13

.071

17

19

 

.472

CCIW TOURNAMENT

Thursday, May 5, 2011
#3 North Central 11, #2 Carthage 3
#4 Wheaton 5, #1 Millikin 3
Carthage 4, Millikin 0

Friday, May 6, 2011
North Central 8, Wheaton 3
Carthage 5, Wheaton 3
North Central 4, Carthage 1

North Central wins tournament

2011 AUGUSTANA SUPERLATIVES

NFCA ALL-GREAT LAKES REGION: Jenna Nelson, DP, 1st team.

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE: 1st team –Melissa Nelson, OF & Krista Watson, SS.

CCIW INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS: Slugging Percentage – Krista Watson (.767)... Home Runs – Krista Watson (5)...Total Bases – Krista Watson (33)...Sacrifice Bunts – Jillian Gibbs (8)...Games Finished – Courtney Ledezma (8)...Relief Appearances – Courtney Ledezma (9).

CCIW TEAM STATISTICAL LEADERS: Slugging Percentage (.411)...Home Runs (12).

AUGUSTANA TEAM AWARDS

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Melissa Nelson & Sarah Hintz

BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Krista Watson

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Stephanie Sarb

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Kelsey Winter

VIKING AWARD: Emilee Goad & Sarah Hintz

TOP 10 CAREER ADDITIONS: At-bats – Melissa Nelson, 5th with 497...Runs Scored – Melissa Nelson, 9th with 89...Hits – Melissa Nelson, 9th-T with 156...Doubles – Melissa Nelson, 3rd with 33...Triples – Melissa Nelson, 7th-T with 8...Home Runs – Stephanie Sarb, 4th with 15 and Melissa Nelson, 5th with 14...RBI – Melissa Nelson, 4th with 96 and Stephanie Sarb, 8th with 77...Wins – Sheldon Ritzheimer, 9th with 24...Innings Pitched – Sheldon Ritzheimer, 10th with 228...Strikeouts – Sheldon Ritzheimer, 7th with 197.

TOP 10 SINGLE SEASON ADDITIONS: Triples – Melissa Nelson, 4th-T with 4...Home Runs – Krista Watson, 4th-T with 9.