Four NCAA Div. III championships
PELLA — Central College sophomore shortstop Annie Sarcone (Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) and freshman designated player Abbey Strajack (Davenport, Assumption HS) are members of the NFCA Division III All-America softball squad.
Sarcone was the Iowa Conference Position Player of the Year Award winner. She hit .374 and tied a school record with nine home runs while knocking in 46 runs, second in school history. Sarcone had 13 doubles, one triple and scored 32 runs and had a .428 on-base percentage with two stolen bases. She posted a .942 fielding percentage and helped turn 10 double plays. She is a two-time first-team all-conference and all-region honoree. Twice this season Sarcone was tabbed as the conference position player of the week. Sarcone blasted a walk-off grand slam in a 7-5 league tournament victory over Coe May 5.
Strajack was Central’s leading hitter in her freshman season, batting .382. She scored a team-high 39 runs, tying for sixth in school history. Strajack set a school freshman-season record with 55 hits, had one double, one triple and 15 RBIs. She stole 13 bases and had 12 walks with a .429 on-base percentage. Also a first baseman, Strajack posted a .979 fielding percentage.
Five other Iowa Conference players were honored. Luther pitcher Becca Girvan was a first-team choice while Coe pitcher Ashlee Simon and Luther catcher Kelsey Kittleson were named to the second team and Luther outfielder Shari Huber and Loras pitcher Kellie Klein were tabbed for the third team.
Central has had 24 players earn all-America honors 33 times, the most of any Iowa Conference school. It’s the 12th time the Dutch have had multiple all-America honorees in the same year.
Strajack is only the third Central player to earn all-America distinction as a freshman, joining Missey Allen (1993) and Rachael Everingham (2009).
The Dutch, ranked No. 5 in the most recent NFCA Division III coaches’ poll, posted a 36-10 record and received their 24th NCAA Division III tournament berth in the past 27 seasons, playing host to a six-team regional in Pella May 11-14. Central also captured the conference tournament championship May 3-5 in Decorah.
Central College softball all-America honorees
1987 Cindy Messer-DP, 2nd team
1987 Kris Thompson-1B, 1st team
Laurie Sutten-P, 1st team
1988 Laurie Sutten-P, 2nd team
1989 Brenda Vigness-P, 1st team
1991 Christi Van Werden-2B, 1st team
Jamie Mahnke-P, 1st team
1992 Emily Grimes-P, 1st team
Julie Nelson-SS, 2nd team
Jenny Semler-LF, 2nd team
1993 Emily Grimes-P, 1st team
Missey Allen-P, 2nd team
Jenny Semler-LF, 3rd team
1995 Missey Allen-P, 1st team
Lynette Mullen-1B, 1st team
1996 Missey Allen-P, 2nd team
Lynette Mullen-1B, 2nd team
1997 Kara Stanley-P, 3rd team
2000 *Donell Hotze-3B, 1st team
Annie Van Wetzinga-C, 2nd team
2001 Annie Van Wetzinga-C, 1st team
Libby Hysell-P, 3rd team
2002 Libby Hysell-P, 2nd team
Molly Parrott-2B, 3rd team
2003 *Libby Hysell-P, 1st team
April Miller-P, 3rd team
2008 Kelly Harris-C, 3rd team
2009 Rachael Everingham-DP, 2nd team
2010 Katie Tenboer-1B, 3rd team
2011 Katie Tenboer-1B, 1st team
Kiley Lythberg-UT, 1st team
2012 Annie Sarcone-SS, 2nd team
Abbey Strajack-DP, 3rd team
*NFCA Division III player of the year