LOUISVILLE, Ken. - Simpson softball standouts Abbie Van Vleet and Tori Haag each landed a spot on the 2014 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-Midwest Region Second Team, as announced by the NFCA.
Earlier this year the duo earned First Team All-Iowa Conference honors after helping Simpson to a 27-15 mark. The Storm went 10-4 in conference play, finishing in a three-way tie for second place in the league standings.
Van Vleet was one of the conference's most effective pitchers, collecting 19 wins in the circle. Haag swung one of the most powerful bats in the league, leading the Iowa Conference with 18 doubles on the year.
A sophomore from Indianola, Iowa, Van Vleet was a first-year player for the Storm after transferring from Northern Iowa. She made an immediate impact, leading the team with a .437 batting average while going 19-1 with a 2.41 ERA in the circle. As a pitcher she threw 16 complete games, tallying three shutouts and striking out 90 batters. There was no drop-off at the plate, as she led the team in nearly every major offensive category, including home runs (6), RBIs (40), slugging (.723) and on-base percentage (.493). She earned Iowa Conference Player of the Week accolades twice, once as a pitcher and once as a position player.
A sophomore from Waukee, Iowa, Haag hit .415 with five home runs, 28 RBIs and a .674 slugging percentage on the year, all good for second on the team. She didn't commit an error in 180 chances and led the team with a .442 batting average in conference play. Her first team all-conference honor was the first by a Simpson catch since 1999.
The All-Region teams are nominated and selected by NFCA member coaches in each of the eight Division III regions. First team All-Region choices are eligible for selection to the NFCA All-America team, which will be revealed on May 21 at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship banquet in Tyler, Texas.
2014 All-Midwest Region Team
First Team - P Maddison Woodruff, Coe; P Kendra Bowe, St. Thomas; C Emily Gregory, St. Thomas; 1B Carli Radil, Luther; 2B Stacy Svihel, St. Benedict; 3B Whitney Sowers, Central; SS Jenna Hoffman, St. Thomas; OF Kelsey Rose, Luther; OF Stephanie Hayden, Buena Vista; OF Nicole Gentile, Coe; UT Jayna Loy, Northland; DP Brenna Walek, St. Thomas; AL Lexi Alm, St. Benedict; AL Becca Girvan, Luther; AL Angie Jackson, Bethel.
Second Team - P Abbie Van Vleet, Simpson; P Annie Pitkin, Washington (Mo.); C Tori Haag, Simpson; 1B Cassandra Glixman, Fontbonne; 2B Abbey Strajack, Central; 3B Danni Glixman, Fontbonne; SS Annie Sarcone, Central; OF Sarah Cerutti, Fontbonne; OF Maggie Ingell, Washington (Mo.); OF Kirstin Bigelbach, St. Thomas; UT Kim Lidstone, St. Benedict; DP Katie Serpico, Loras; AL Kelsey Anderson, Bethel; AL Tiff Hudack, St. Scholastica; AL Arran Weeces, Coe.
Third Team (all at-large) - Shelby Nosan, Gustavus Adolphus; Miranda McCay, Luther; Mary Rentz, St. Thomas; Kelci Flener, Spalding; Paige French, Spalding; Kayla Hatting, Luther; Ainsley Billesbach, Dubuque; Emily Engelmeier, St. Benedict; Kaitlyn Bicek, Gustavus Adolphus; Adrienne White, Washington (Mo.); Sam Engleman, Buena Vista; Kelse McDowell, Spalding; Miranda Stokes, Macalester; Kelsey Neal, Washington (Mo.); Hannah Koerperich, Dubuque.