Four Softball Players Gain LMC Honors
Athletics - posted on 5/4/2006
Four players from the Lakeland softball team were honored by the Lake Michigan Conference on Monday as the All-LMC awards were announced.
Senior Monica Hetzel and sophomores Rachel Griesbach and Elisa Waltz were all named All-LMC, while senior Valerie Barlett was an Honorable Mention.
Hetzel, a native of Hancock, finished as the LMC batting champion with a .549 average in LMC play with a .745 slugging percentage, five doubles, a triple, a home run, 16 runs batted in and 14 runs scored in the conference.
"Monica is a consistent hitter that puts the ball in play and didn't strikeout much," said head coach Chad Buchmann. "I think Monica's determination the last four years to be successful on the softball diamond is what led to her having such a successful season for the Muskies. Monica's leadership on and off the field will be missed next year."
Griesbach, a pitcher from Hortonville, compiled a 12-0 record in conference with a 2.42 earned run average. Griesbach, a first time honoree, tossed a no-hitter against Alverno last week and finished the season with 81 strikeouts in 96.1 innings pitched.
"(Griesbach's) pitching only got stronger as the season went along," said Buchmann. "Being only a sophomore we expect great things from her in the future."
Waltz, a shortstop from Oakfield, finished the season with a .342 batting average after struggling through the first couple weeks of the season. She led the team in RBI (26), triples (5), stolen bases (5) and home runs (2), both of which were inside-the-park homers. Waltz was also named All-LMC last year.
"Elisa is a pure athlete," said Buchmann. "She has mastered hitting, slapping and dragging from the left side of the plate in just two years. She has truly become a weapon at the plate and in the field in the sense that other teams have to change their game plan for her."
Barlett, a second basemen from Galesburg, Ill. who was also named Honorable Mention last year, began the season on a 17-game hitting streak and finished the year with a .369 batting average, 45 hits and 35 runs scored from the lead off position.
"Val is the toughest out I have seen in years in the lead off position," Buchmann said. "She only struck out one time in the last two years in LMC play. Her energy and enthusiasm helped ease the younger players into the program."
The Muskies open LMC tournament play on Friday. They will play the winner of the Concordia-MSOE game at MSOE.
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