Four NCAA Div. III championships
PELLA — Months after enduring a pair of off-season surgeries, Central College catcher Caitlyn Meyer (senior, Newton) has been named the Iowa Conference softball position player of the year.
Meyer was among a league-high seven Central players to receive all-conference recognition. The Dutch shared the league title with Coe College, posting a 12-2 record, and are 28-8 overall heading into the start of NCAA Division III tournament play in Pella Thursday.
Joining Meyer as first-team selections are sophomore pitcher Mallory Schulenberg (Kansas City, Mo., St. Pius X HS) and sophomore designated player Karlee Rock (Wheatland, Calamus-Wheatland HS).
Second-team picks include freshman pitcher Kelsey Stender (Belle Plaine, Minn.), sophomore first baseman Katie Canney (Adel, ADM HS), sophomore third baseman Whitney Sowers (Marshalltown) and junior shortstop Annie Sarcone (Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS).
Meyer, who missed the final 19 games of the 2012 campaign because of injury, dominated the statistical rankings for the 14 league games, finishing first in hitting (.548), slugging percentage (1.095), on-base percentage (.600), RBIs (19) and home runs (6). She was tied for first in hits (23) and doubles (5). For the season she’s hitting .409 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs.
Schulenberg was 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA in conference games. She’s 12-2 overall with a 1.38 ERA. Rock hit .353 with three homers and 15 RBIs.
Sarcone, who received all-league honors for the third time, hit .318 with one homer and 10 RBIs. Sowers, also a second-team pick last year, hit .367 with 10 RBIs and tied for first in the conference in doubles with five. Canney, in her first year with the Dutch, hit .364 with three homers and 10 RBIs while Stender, in her rookie season, was 5-1 with a 1.84 ERA.
Central is the second seed in the Pella Regional and opens Thursday at 4 p.m. against Cornell College in the double-elimination tourney.