Nebraska Wesleyan University placed eight members of the softball team on the 2011 Great Plains Athletic Conference Softball All-Conference team that was announced Tuesday (May 10). NWU senior Marcia Kennedy was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Player-of-the-Year.
Kennedy was joined on the All-GPAC First Team by outfielder Dani Bryant. Third baseman Jessica Weingarten, outfielder Megan Beckstead, designated player Becky Bomberger and pitchers Brenna Maguire and Alysia Wittmaack were selected to the All-GPAC Second-Team. Kayla Randel received All-GPAC honorable mention recognition as a catcher.
Kennedy (Sr., Omaha, Neb.) closed out her standout four-year career by hitting .431 with 10 doubles, five triples, two home runs and 30 RBI. She led the GPAC in hitting and triples. Her .431 batting average is the fifth highest in NWU single season history. This is the fourth straight year that Kennedy earned All-GPAC honors. She leaves NWU with her name on the NWU all-time charts 17 times. Kennedy holds the school record with 105 career RBI, is second with 33 career doubles and fourth with 150 hits.
Bryant (Jr., Lincoln, Neb.) earns First-Team All-GPAC honors for the second straight season and earned her third straight All-GPAC honor. Bryant was leading the country in stolen bases before suffering a season-ending knee injury. She had 32 stolen bases in 22 games and led the team with a .434 batting average and 33 hits. Bryant already holds the career record for stolen bases with 88 during her three seasons.
Weingarten (So., Chesterfield, Mo.) received her first All-GPAC honor for Nebraska Wesleyan as she hit .315 with three home runs and 25 RBI and third base. This was her first season as a full-time starter for the Prairie Wolves.
Beckstead (Sr., Bellevue, Neb.) tied for the team lead with 44 hits and was second on the team with 29 RBI. She scored a career-high 35 runs and ends her four-year career with 103 runs scored to rank second all-time. Her .400 average this season is the eighth best single season for a NWU player and she had 137 career hits to rank eighth all-time.
Bomberger (Fr., Crete, Neb.) came on strong at the end of her first season to earn her first All-Conference honor. Bomberger batted .333 with three home runs and 21 RBI with seven doubles on the season.
Maguire (Jr., Treynor, Iowa) was the No. 1 pitcher for the Prairie Wolves this season going 12-4 with a 2.45 ERA. She struck out 102 batters in 117 1/3 innings and was in the top five in the GPAC in several different pitching categories.
Wittmaack (Sr., Lincoln, Neb.) ended her senior season 7-3 with a 1.81 in her injury-shortened year. Wittmaack had nine complete games in nine starts with two shutouts. The 2010 GPAC Pitcher-of-the-Year will leave NWU as the most decorated pitcher in school history. Wittmaack holds NWU pitching records including career victories (46), career strikeouts (516), career innings pitched (482 2/3) and career ERA (2.09).
Randel (Fr., Beatrice, Neb.) was the starting catcher for the Prairie Wolves as a freshman. She batted .316 with a home run and 16 RBI to go along with 11 stolen bases. Behind the plate she had a .984 fielding percentage and threw out seven runners attempting to steal.
Emma Remy from Morningside College was the GPAC Pitcher of the Year and Albert Fernandez from Mount Marty College was GPAC Coach of the Year.
Nebraska Wesleyan finished the season with a 28-9 overall record tying the school record for most wins in a season, and finishing the year with the best winning percentage in school history. NWU was 15-7 in GPAC play to end the season second in the league standings for the second consecutive season.
NWU All-GPAC Team Selections
Marcia Kennedy, 1B, Sr., Omaha, Neb./Burke H.S.
Dani Bryant, OF, Jr., Lincoln, Neb./Southwest H.S.
Jessica Weingarten, 3B, So., Chesterfield, Mo./Lafayette H.S.
Megan Beckstead, OF, Sr., Bellevue, Neb./Bellevue East H.S.
Becky Bomberger, DP, Fr., Crete, Neb./Crete H.S.
Brenna Maguire, P, Jr., Treynor, Iowa/Treynor H.S.
Alysia Wittmaack, P, Sr., Lincoln, Neb./East H.S.
Kayla Randel, C, Fr., Beatrice, Neb./Beatrice H.S.