Led By Hagensen, Softball Places Five On First Team
After a remarkable season that saw Pacific Lutheran University finish the 2011 regular season at 31-13, the Northwest Conference has honored five Lute players with first team all-conference selections. The Lutes also placed two players on second team, and another on the honorable mention team.
Heading the 2011 selections for the Lutes was junior Stacey Hagensen. Hagensen has been named not only first team all-NWC as a pitcher, was was given the prestigious award of Pitcher of the Year for the conference. The righty out of Newport High in Bellevue, Wash. went 21-6 with a 2.30 ERA in 2011, while also hitting .367 with 47 hits, 43 runs, and 39 RBI. Her earned-run mark was good for fourth in the conference behind three Linfield pitchers, and the 21 wins was the highest in the conference. Of the six losses that Hagensen sustained in 2011, three came to the offensive arsenal at Linfield College, the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, and Hagensen beat the Wildcats in her first appearance against them this season. It is one of only two losses suffered by Linfield this season.
Joining Hagensen on first team were infielders Lindsey Matsunaga and Glenelle Nitta, along with outfielder Amanda Goings and utility star Kaaren Hatlen. Goings and Matsunaga led the Lutes offense in 2011, finishing hitting .412 and .411, respectively, in a season which saw the Lutes jump from fourth to second in the conference standings, knocking off the number one team in the country (Linfield College) in the process. Going led the team in hits (61) and average (.412), and Matsunaga led in homeruns (10), total bases (99), and triples (3). Nitta hit .330 with 38 hits and 27 runs, and held a .966 fielding percentage on defense this season. Duel-threat at pitcher and first base, Kaaren Hatlen improved her batting average 76 points since the 2010 season, hitting .410 this season with 55 hits, 44 RBI, and a team high 15 doubles. On the mound, Hatlen went 9-4 in the #2 pitching slot.
Outfielder Kaely Cuthill and DH Ami Gran were given second team honors, adding to the incredible tally of All-NWC selections for the Lutes. Cuthill, a senior transfer from St. Mary's (Calif.) hit .329 with 49 hits, 11 doubles and 34 RBI. From the field, Cuthill held a .965 fielding percentage with 14 assists from her left field post. Ami Gran, a transfer from Dowling College, swapped between third base and the DH slot for the Lutes, hitting .271 with 26 hits and 20 RBI this season.
Coming off the bench in many games to make an immediate impact, sophomore Haley Harshaw was given Honorable Mention All-NWC. In 76 at bats in 2011, Harshaw hit .368 with 28 hits and 25 runs. Harshaw rounds out the Lutes' contingent in the All-NWC teams.
Click here to view the full 2011 All-NWC softball teams.
The Lutes hope to get an at-large invitation to the NCAA Division III postseason tournament. The tournament field will be announced during the weekend.
- PLU -