Dole and Nearad Named Second Team All-Conference

May 9, 2012 | J.Crane

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) announced today its All-Conference Teams and major awards for the 2012 softball season. Luther College sophomore Becca Girvan has been named the 2012 Iowa Conference Softball Pitcher of the Year, while Central sophomore shortstop Annie Sarcone has been named the 2012 IIAC Softball Position Player of the Year. Renae Hartl, head coach at league champion Luther, received honors as the 2012 IIAC Softball Coach of the Year.

For the second straight season Shawna Dole (Dubuque, Iowa/Senior) and Jessica Nearad (Solon, Iowa/Solon) were named to the Second Team. Dole and Nearad are the first two Spartans to be named to multiple All-Conference teams. Amber Meyer (Cascade, Iowa/Cascade) was named Honorable Mention.  The 2012 Spartans Softball team set school records for wins (18), home runs (22), and fielding percentage (.961). They won on the road at #9 UW-Whitewater and beat Simpson for the first time since 1985. As a team they finished tied for first in triples (6), second in doubles (24), and third in batters struck out (78) in Iowa Conference games.

Shawna Dole, Second Team SS
IIAC: .385-Ave, 20-H, 7-R, 7-RBI, .981-FLD%
Overall: .291-Ave, 32-H, 12-R, 10-RBI, .969-FLD%
Honorable Mention IIAC (2010), Second Team IIAC (2011)

Despite a slow start to the season, Dole led UD with 10 multiple hit games including seven games with two hits and three games with three hits. She hit safely in 11 of 16 IIAC games. Dole finished tied for second in IIAC only games with 20-hits.

"Shawna has been a great asset for us in all aspects of the game," said Head Coach Wendi Wipperfurth. "From leadership, offensively, and defensively. Even though the beginning of the season did not start the way she had hoped, she really stepped up in conference play. Her defense was solid all season long and it showed being voted one of the best short stop in this tough conference, second only to the position player of the year. She is a great athlete and we are excited to see what she can bring to the field next year."

Jessica Nearad, Second Team UT
IIAC: .245-Ave, 12-H, 4-R, 4-2B, 2-3B, 2-HR, 9-RBI, .531-SLG%
Overall: .311-Ave, 32-H, 11-R, 7-2B, 4-HR, 22-RBI, .534-SLG%
IIAC: 2-W, 2.58-ERA, 57-IP, 46-K
Overall: 7-W, 3.96-ERA, 120.1-IP, 87-K
Second Team IIAC (2011)

Nearad once again found herself playing the role of utility player as she started games at five positions including 16 at pitcher, 13 at first base, two in left field, one in right field, and ten at designated hitter. She also batted everywhere from first to seventh in the lineup throughout the season. Nearad led the team with six multi RBI games including a two home run, five RBI game against Edgewood. On the mound, she finished fourth in the IIAC with 46 strikeouts. She struck out a season high ten against Loras.

Coach Wipperfurth added, "Jessica has stepped up in multiple positions this year for us, she really is a gifted athlete being able to play where ever is best for the team. Her pithing performance was outstanding in conference play. She really did well on the mound in the toughest conference in the country. She also played outfield, first base, and DP for us as well with only having one error. I truly can't wait to see her advance as a pitcher next year as well as become a leader for this team."

Amber Meyer, Honorable Mention OF
IIAC:  .302-Ave, 13-H, 4-R, 5-2B, 3-RBI, .388-OB%
Overall: .319-Ave, 36-H, 19-R, 11-2B, 2-HR, 8-RBI, 15-BB, .403-OB%,

On the season Meyer led the Spartans in batting average (.319), on base % (.403), runs (19), hits (36), doubles (11), triples (2), walks (15), and sacrifice bunts (9) while starting all 40 games. Meyer finished tied for second in the IIAC in doubles (5) and fourth in sac bunts (5) in Iowa Conference games.

"Amber had a great year despite an injured heal which began in Tucson," said Coach Wipperfurth. "She is a tough person and one of the hardest workers on the team. She was one the most consistent batters on the team and very good at adjusting at the plate. She kept us in games physically and mentally as she is a great leader as well. I am very excited to see her excel in the two years to come both on and off the field."

The complete 2012 All-Iowa Conference team can be found at: