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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

May 8, 2006

Bearcats Place Two on the First-Team; Get Freshman of the Year and co-Coach of the Year

Courtesy MIAA Sports Information

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association regular season and tournament champion Emporia State University Lady Hornets (54-4, 15-1 MIAA) placed four players on the All-MIAA first-team as voted by the conference's coaches.

Three of the Lady Hornets selected were unanimous choices at their positions, but it was the remaining first-team honoree selected as the conference's Most Valuable Player.

Senior SS Bree Beattie, currently the conference's top hitter (.454) who set the MIAA single-season runs scored mark (66), was the choice as league MVP. She was a first-team selection last season.

Last season's Most Valuable Player, senior RHP Melissa Stevens, and junior RHP Courtney Reed unanimously swept the pitching spots on the first team.

It is the third year in a row Stevens made the first team, as she ended MIAA Tournament play with a 23-2 record, a 0.72 ERA and a strikeout ratio of 11.17 per seven innings.

Reed holds the conference lead in victories with her 24-2 mark, and is second to Stevens with a 1.07 ERA and a 9.89 strikeout ratio.

Junior 3B Megan Davison rounds out the ESU first-team quartet, with her MIAA single-season record 19 home runs and league-leading .806 slugging percentage. She also was a first-teamer in 2005.

The three other teams which advanced to the second day of the MIAA Tournament -- Truman (30-23, 7-9 MIAA), Missouri Western (39-17, 13-3 MIAA) and Northwest Missouri State (39-13, 12-4 MIAA) -- each had two selections.

Truman senior DP Loni Wedemeier was the other unanimous choice to the first team, and was joined by sophomore OF Christen Belcher. Belcher (45) and Wedemeier (28) ranked 1-2 in the MIAA in stolen bases after the tournament.

Western had a pair of juniors -- OF Kara Unger and UT Lindsey Predovich -- on the first team. Predovich split time between the outfield, pitcher and designated player in 2005, and has the third-best ERA in the MIAA (1.34). Unger was a first-team choice as a utility player last season.

Northwest Missouri State was represented by senior 2B Katy John and junior OF Lindsay Stephenson. Stephenson set the school record for home runs (15) and ended the MIAA Tournament with a .349 batting average. John shared second base honors with Central Missouri State junior Heather Whitcomb.

Washburn senior 1B Kala Huske joined Western's Unger as players earning first-team accolades at a different position -- the Lady Blues' top hitter (.367) made it as a catcher in 2005.

Rounding out the first-team was senior OF Ashley Loncarich of Pittsburg State (22-22, 4-12 MIAA) and freshman C Angie Turner of Missouri Southern (17-23, 2-14 MIAA).

Loncarich ended the weekend second to Beattie in batting (.414) and hits per game (1.25). Turner led all MIAA freshman in batting (.347) through May 7.

Northwest Missouri State RHP Nicole Krueger was selected as Freshman of the Year. She leads all freshman hurlers in the MIAA with a 1.96 ERA and eight shutouts.

A retiring mentor (Central Missouri State's Rhesa Sumrell) and one of her proteges (Northwest Missouri State's Susan Anderson) shared the Wilson/MIAA Coach of the Year Award.

Sumrell concluded a 31-year softball coaching career with a record of 822-527, 614-359 in 20 seasons at CMSU. Anderson, who played at CMSU for Sumrell from 1993-97, guided the Bearcats to a school victory record for the second time in as many seasons (39) and first NCAA-II tournament berth since 1984.


First Team
(two second basemen & four outfielders selected due to ties in voting)
*++Melissa Stevens, ESU P 5-5 Sr. Lenexa, Kan.
*Courtney Reed, ESU P 5-10 Jr. Bonner Springs, Kan.
Angie Turner, MSSU C 5-5 Fr. Springdale, Ark.
@Kala Huske, WU 1B 5-5 Sr. Overland Park, Kan.
Katy John, NWMSU 2B 5-5 Sr. Blue Springs, Mo.
Heather Whitcomb, CMSU 2B 5-4 Jr. Topeka, Kan.
+Bree Beattie, ESU SS 5-6 Sr. Olathe, Kan.
*+Megan Davison, ESU 3B 5-7 Jr. Derby, Kan.
Christen Belcher, TSU OF 5-4 So. Lee's Summit, Mo.
Ashley Loncarich, PSU OF 5-1 Sr. Neosho, Mo.
Lindsay Stephenson, NWMSU OF 5-3 Jr. Omaha, Neb.
&Kara Unger, MWSU OF 5-7 Sr. Missouri Valley, Iowa
*Loni Wedemeier, TSU DP 5-7 Sr. Bowling Green, Mo.
Lindsey Predovich, MWSU UT 5-8 Jr. Virginia, Minn.

*=unanimous choice
+=First-team All-MIAA choice in 2005
@=First-team All-MIAA choice at catcher in 2005
&=First-team All-MIAA choice at utility in 2005
++=First-team All-MIAA choice in 2004 & 2005

Second Team (four outfielders selected due to a tie in voting)
Nicole Krueger, NWMSU P 5-8 Fr. Blue Springs, Mo.
Kelly Swygert, WU P 5-8 So. Topeka, Kan.
Sarah Johnson, NWMSU C 5-9 Jr. Olathe, Kan.
Amy Beverly, MWSU 1B 5-9 Sr. Ankeny, Iowa
Shannon Benash, MWSU 2B 5-7 Sr. Beatrice, Neb.
Rachel Adams, CMSU SS 5-8 Jr. Barnhart, Mo.
Ashley Pride, NWMSU 3B 5-9 Jr. Ravenwood, Mo.
Kym Caskey, CMSU OF 5-7 Sr. McLoud, Okla.
Tera Swartslander, PSU OF 5-8 So. Broken Arrow, Okla.
Morgan Viola, ESU OF 5-7 Jr. McPherson, Kan.
Ashley Webb, WU OF 5-11 So. Prairie Village, Kan.
Channon Nitz, ESU DP 5-10 Sr. Omaha, Neb.
Megan Hollenbach, CMSU UT 5-6 Jr. Ballwin, Mo.

Honorable Mention
Lacee Craig, MSSU P 5-10 Fr. Bartlesville, Okla.
Stephanie Martin, SBU P 5-7 So. St. Charles, Mo.
Kelly Morris, NWMSU P 5-10 So. Blue Springs, Mo.
Dana Wertz, MWSU P 5-9 Jr. Lincoln, Neb.
Courtney Stevens, ESU C 5-3 Jr. Blue Springs, Mo.
Jennifer Dace, ESU 1B 5-4 Fr. Olathe, Kan.
Emily Gastineau, PSU 1B 6-0 Sr. Clinton, Okla.
Janelle Krohn, NWMSU 1B 5-7 So. Harrisonville, Mo.
Katie Noski, TSU 1B 5-7 So. Columbia, Ill.
Chelsea McClernon, ESU 2B 5-5 Jr. Wichita, Kan.
Brooke DeVader, WU SS 5-8 So. St. Marys, Kan.
Libby Overman, PSU SS 5-8 Sr. Columbus, Kan.
Megan Bax, CMSU 3B 5-5 Sr. Jefferson City, Mo.
Cheratin Dunn, SBU OF 5-9 Sr. Marshall, Mo.
Nicole Heineman, MWSU OF 5-8 Jr. Omaha, Neb.
Mary Nguyen, SBU OF 5-3 Jr. Republic, Mo.
Lindsay Rock, TSU OF 5-6 Fr. Columbia, Mo.
Linellis Santiago-Bernier, NWMSU OF 5-3 Jr. Omaha, Neb.
Jessie Wiard, ESU OF 5-4 So. Overland Park, Kan.
Lauren Young, CMSU DP 5-8 Jr. Lenexa, Kan.
Shannon Gosser, WU UT 5-7 Fr. Topeka, Kan.
Shelbe Hughes, ESU UT 5-4 Fr. Kansas City, Mo.
Jessie Shelman, TSU UT 5-4 Fr. Blue Springs, Mo.

Most Valuable Player: Bree Beattie, SS, ESU

Freshman of the Year: Nicole Krueger, RHP, NWMSU

Wilson® Co-Coaches of the Year:
Susan Anderson, NWMSU & Rhesa Sumrell, CMSU

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468