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Paynesville Press - June 5, 2002

Softball team ends season with 8-10 record

By Jenny Habben

The Bulldogs' 2002 softball season came to an end with the team's annual banquet at Veteran's Memorial Park on Thursday, May 30.

The varsity softball team was 8-10 overall. The Bulldogs beat Sauk Centre, LPGE, Renville County West, Kimball, ACGC, and Albany. The Bulldogs finished one victory short of matching their 9-9 campaign of 2001, which was the best softball record since the 1980s.

The 2002 captains started the banquet by giving out awards that they had made to the varsity players.

After the captains' awards, coach Tim Woehler thanked the players for all their hard work. "It was a tough season and it didn't go exactly how we planned, but I cherished it every moment," he said.

Senior Jen Habben, senior Lisa Hemingson, and ninth grader Kim Hess received All Conference honors in the West Central Conference North, while senior Laurie Barten received honorable mention.

That Gatorade Will to Win Athlete Awards were given out for the second year. They were presented to four athletes who demonstrated dedication, deter-mination, leadership, performance, and desirewho play harder and go farther both in practices and in games. The 2002 recipients were: Hemingson, Habben, junior Trisha Chevalier, and ninth grader Amber Chevalier.

Again, the Bulldogs showed statistical improvement compared to the previous season. Paynesville outhit their opponents this year 154-93. They held their opponents to 111 runs, compared to last year's 141. Also, the combined pitching ERA went down for the third straight year to 4.00 from 5.79 last season.

The team's batting average improved from .284 to .305, and Paynesville drew 11 more walks than last year and had 12 more at bats.

Leading the Bulldogs at the plate was Hess with a batting average of .422. Barten was next at .403, and Habben followed with .382.

Habben led the Bulldogs with 18 RBIs, while junior Ann Stalboerger was close behind with 16.

Barten had the longest hitting streak, ten consecutive games. Hemingson hit in eight consecutive games.

Hess led Paynesville in multiple-hit games with nine. Barten had eight games, and Habben had seven.

Hess broke the school record with 23 stolen bases. The previous record was 21, which Hess tied last year. Barten was second on the team with 11 stolen bases this year.

On defense, Stalboerger had 119 put outs at first base while Hemingson had 77. Habben had 81 assists, and Hemingson had 70.

Some outstanding defensive plays of the season were: Stalboerger catching a line drive at first base and diving back to the base to double up the runner; senior Kelli Heinen catching a line drive against Melrose and doubling up the runner at third; Hemingson throwing out five runners at LPGE; junior Ashley Mackedanz, playing right field, starting two double plays in the last regular season game against ACGC; and Hemingson striking out a batter and Habben throwing out a runner tying to steal for a double play in the playoff game against Delano.

Habben, Hess, senior Heather Roos, and senior Amy Buermann all hit homeruns this year.

Habben led the team with five triples, while Heinen, Hemingson, and Mackedanz each had a triple this year.

Leading the team in doubles was Hemingson with four. Barten had two, and Habben, Heinen, and Roos each had one.

The softball team will lose seven players to graduation: Barten, Buermann, Kayla Flanders, Habben, Heinen, Hemingson, and Roos. "It will be tough losing seven girls from the team, but the girls coming up next year will help the varsity team bounce back," predicted Woehler.

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