Seven Luther College softball players were named to the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) all-conference team, four on the first team and three on the second team.
First team honorees included sophomore pitcher Samantha Bratland, junior outfielder Ashley Burrows, senior outfielder Sara Nelson and junior short stop Anna Strien.
Senior pitcher Annie Versnik, junior infielder Bailey Victoria and senior outfielder Sammie Harris were all second team honorees.
Burrows (2015, 2016, 2017) and Strien (2015, 2016, 2017) have now been named all-conference three times, Bratland (2016, 2017) for a second time, while Nelson, Versnik, Victoria and Harris are all making their initial appearance on the all-conference team.
Burrows led the league in hits (27) and runs scored (23) and was ranked second in batting average (.466). Bratland had the league’s second-best ERA at 1.38 in 56 innings pitched while posted a record of 8-1.
It also was announced Strien was named the league’s Position Player of the Year and the Norse coaching staff was named the Coaching Staff of the Year.
Strien led the Iowa Conference in batting, posting an average of (.532) and on-base percentage (.613). She was second in hits (25) and RBI (26) and doubles (6), and third for runs scored (17) and slugging percentage of (.851). Defensively, she had a defensive fielding percentage of .929, thanks to 23 put outs, 42 assists in 70 chances. With this honor, she becomes the fourth Norse named Position Player of the Year since the award was implemented for the first time in 2007.
Head Coach Renae Hartl and her staff led Luther to a third consecutive Iowa Conference championship and second consecutive Iowa Conference Tournament title. Luther’s 15-1 league record matched its school record for conference wins with nine teams in the league, that was set in 2012.
The Norse led the league in batting average (.362); on-base percentage (.417); RBI (92); hits (165); total bases (234); fewest runs allowed (28); batters struck out looking (18); and fielding percentage (.972). Luther ranked second in the following categories: slugging percentage (.513); runs scored (104); walks (45); sacrifice flies (5); earned run average (1.50); opposing batting average (.225); and hits allowed (86).
The Norse were ranked in the Top-10 of the NFCA Top-25 poll all season long, peaking at No. 3 on May 3. Head Coach Renae Hartl picked up her 500th career win on May 12.