MITCHELL, S.D. – After making it back to the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament, the Dakota Wesleyan University softball team had five players earn postseason accolades it was announced by the conference on Wednesday.
Junior Paige Kinley (Worthington, Minn.) had a breakout season, leading the team in batting average (.384), at-bats (159), runs (33), hits (61), triples (2), slugging percentage (.535) and stolen bases (6). She also tied for first in doubles with 11. Kinley was a roamed the outfield for Head Coach Ed Kieff in her second season as a Tiger after transferring from Minnesota West Community College in Worthington, Minn.
From March 7-April 18, Kinley hit her way on base in 20-of-26 games. She also had 21 multi-hit performances throughout the season. One of her best performances was on April 6 against Mount Marty when she went 3-for-4 with two runs and two doubles.
Sophomore Amber Budmark (Sacramento, Calif.) was a staple for the Tiger offense in her second season. Budmark finished with a .338 batting average in 148 at-bats and tied Kinley for doubles with 11. Budmark also flashed her power-hitting ability, recording five home runs and 30 RBIs. She tallied a .514 slugging percentage and a .413 on-base percentage.
Budmark was solid down the stretch, hitting safely in 18-of-21 games from April 6-May 6, including a 3-for-4 performance against College of Saint Mary that included two RBIs and two doubles.
Senior Lorissa Loeppky (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) led the Tigers on the mound and at the plate. Loeppky finished with a .265 batting average in 113 at-bats. On the mound, she tallied a 9-10 record with a 5.08 ERA in 121 and one-third innings pitched and led all pitchers with the lowest opponent batting average at .311.
Sophomore Sierra Haage (Sioux Falls, S.D.) tallied 19 complete games for DWU, while recording a 9-20 record in 182 and two-thirds innings pitched. She led the pitching staff with 125 strikeouts to 57 walks.
Freshman Melysia Ortega (West Covina, Calif.) was a spark for DWU behind the plate, while also tallying a .306 batting average in her first year as a Tiger. She added 27 RBIs and led the team in walks with 20. The freshman also had the best on-base percentage with a .421.
The Tigers graduate two seniors and welcome 11 new members to the squad next fall.