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Paynesville Press - June 6, 2001

Dogs have one of the best seasons in school history

By Jenny Habben

The 2001 softball season - the most successful in two decades - ended with the team's annual banquet at Veteran's Memorial Park on Tuesday, May 29.

The Paynesville Bulldogs' softball team was 6-6 in conference games and 9-9 overall. The Bulldogs had wins over Melrose, Albany, LPGE, Kimball, ACGC, St. Cloud Cathedral, and Sauk Centre. This was the best season the varsity softball team has had since its first year in 1981.

Coach Tim Woehler started at the banquet by thanking all the players and their parents for a great season. "We had a great year and I am extremely proud of the girls and all that they have accomplished in the past two seasons," said Woehler.

The first award given out went to senior Mellody Veldkamp, who received the Bulldog Pride Award. The Bulldog Pride Award goes to athletes who never miss a practice or game.

The Gatorade Will To Win Athlete Awards were new this year. They were presented to six athletes who demonstrated dedication, desire, and determination╔who play harder and go farther both in practices and games. The 2001 recipients were: Lisa Hemingson, Jenny Habben, Ann Stalboerger, Laurie Barten, Veldkamp, and Kim Hess.

Hemingson and Veldkamp both received All Conference Honors in the West Central Conference North, while Habben, Stalboerger, and Hess received honorable mention.

Once again, the Bulldogs showed improvement compared to the previous season. Paynesville outhit their opponents this year, 140-113. Paynesville scored 153 runs this season, which is 66 more than last year. The Bulldogs held their opponents to 141 runs.

The Bulldogs had 44 more RBIs this season, and their combined ERA went down for the second straight year. Paynesville also drew 70 more walks than last season.

Leading the Bulldogs at the plate was Veldkamp with a batting average of .351. Hess was next at .303, and junior Kelli Heinen was close behind with an average of .298. The team had a batting average of .284. Last season's average was .208. Veldkamp, Barten, and Hess each had a home run this season.

Leading the team with RBIs was Veldkamp. Hemingson was second with 13 while Stalboerger and Barten both had 12.

Stalboerger had the longest hitting streak, eight consecutive games. Veldkamp was right behind her with hits in seven consecutive games.

There was a three-way tie for most multiple-hit games. Hess, Veldkamp, and Barten all had five multiple-hit games.

Hess tied the school record with 21 stolen bases this season. Habben was second on the team with 18, and Veldkamp had 17. On defense, Stalboerger had 125 put outs at first base while Veldkamp had 86 catching. Hemingson had 105 assists pitching, and Heinen had 40 assists playing at third base.

Woehler said, "We are only losing one player from this year's team, so I look for us to further our improvement next season. I also think that we've shown that we can play ball with just about anyone, but now we need to take a step forward and do it on a more consistent basis."



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