as softball MVP
Friday, July 05, 2013 4:22 AM
Sophomore pitcher Samantha Bratland won Most Valuable Player for a second consecutive season as members of the 2013 Spring Grove/Caledonia softball team gathered again last week, voting on four team awards.
Bratland, Royals capture state title
Spring Grove sophomore Samantha Bratland will be playing at a national championship softball tournament for the third straight summer. She and her Rochester Royals teammates won the age 16-and-under Minnesota state softball championship, which qualifies the squad for the 2013 United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) national tournament in Kansas City on July 22-28.
At this year's state tournament on the June 22-23 in Rosemount, the Royals prevailed over the 20-team field by sweeping all five games by a combined score of 54-7. Their season record to date is 20-3-2.
As an eighth grader in 2011, Bratland played with the Minnesota Mayhem in the Under-16 national tourney and as a freshmen in 2012 played with the Mayhem in the Under-18 national championships.
Bratland worked 110.2 innings in 2012 and 136 innings in 2013, winning 15 games each year.
She posted some outstanding numbers both seasons, with an earned-run-average of 1.80 in 2012 and an amazing 0.62 this spring. She continued to hit with power, leading the team in extra-base hits in 2013 and smashing all three home runs that the team recorded.
Bratland led the team in batting average stats (.367) and hit an even higher .389 with runners in scoring position. She added 22 runs batted in (RBIs) last year and an even-better 29 in 2013.
The Most Improved Player award went to junior second baseman Alexy Bearbower. She hit .284 and led the team in sacrifices (6). Bearbower had 29 putouts and also led the team in assists with 39.
The Spirit/Team Player award went to senior Cara Stemper for a second straight year. She played second base/outfield. Stemper appeared in all 25 games, batted .282 (tying for the third-most hits), and registered 15 putouts.
The 2013 Hustle Award was shared between junior third baseman/utility player Marie Doering and junior outfielder Lauren Rusert.
Doering also won the award last season. She hit .241 this year, made 21 putouts and had 34 assists.
Rusert hit .273 and recorded more extra-base hits (5) than anyone except Bratland. She tied for the third-highest RBI total in 2013 and posted a fielding percentage of 1.0 (error-free).
Rusert was one of four players -with Doering, Bearbower and Taylor Augedahl - who played every inning on defense.
Academic All-Conference honors were also announced last week. They went to Angie Augedahl, Stemper, Matison Scanlan, Teresa Becker, Lottie Augedahl, Taylor Augedahl, Doering, Rusert, Bearbower, Bratland, Emily Ranzenberger and Sophia Augedahl.
Angie Augedahl, Scanlan, Ranzenberger and Sophia Augedahl earned first-year letters.
Second-year letter winners included Becker, Lottie Augedahl, Doering, Bearbower, Rusert and Taylor Augedahl.
Those who lettered a third time included Stemper and Bratland.
Junior Varsity Participation Certificates went out to Jenna Rosendahl, Alison Goergen, Jordan Anderson, McKenzie Denstad, Abby Hoskins, Taylor Welscher, Olivia Schmitz, Mariah Schmitz, Olivia Adamson and Carrie Schoh.