Saint Mary’s University student and Winonan Justine Schultz closed out her senior season in stellar fashion, leading the Cardinal fastpitch softball team in virtually every offensive category — including lacing her first two collegiate triples, as well as her first career home run.
And Monday, Schultz added another collegiate first, being named First-Team All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) when the league office announced its post-season awards.
In 24 conference games, Schultz owned a team-best .342 batting average and also led the Cardinals in at-bats (73), hits (25), runs (13), home runs (1), RBIs (11), total bases (35), slugging percentage (.479) and on-base percentage (.437). The senior catcher recorded 10 multiple-hit games — including three three-hit performances — and drove in two or more runs three times in MIAC play.
Overall, Schultz — who started every game during her 123-game career as a Cardinal — posted a team-best .327 batting average, going 36-for-110, while scoring 20 runs and adding 15 RBIs. Eleven of Schultz’s 36 hits went for extra-bases, including eight doubles, two triples and a home run. She walked 13 times and finished 5-for-7 in the stolen base department.
St. Catherine’s Angela Huepfel was named the MIAC’s Player of the Year, while St. Olaf’s Julie Graf took home MIAC Pitcher of the Year honors and Ole head coach Kayla Hatting was selected MIAC Coach of the Year.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 15th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for fastpitch softball, which included Saint Mary’s Anna Rystrom. 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.