University of Dubuque

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Softball Picked 5th by IIAC Coaches

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Posted Mar 28, 2014

Spartans picked 5th in IIAC Coaches Poll for 2014.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The University of Dubuque softball team has been picked 5th by the IIAC coaches in the 2014 ppre-season poll released today, March 28. The Spartans return from a year where they qualified and tied for 3rd place in the IIAC tournament. UD returns eight letter winners, including five starting position players and one starting pitcher from a year ago as the Spartans attempt to qualify for the Iowa Conference tournament for the third time in six years.

Leading the charge for the 2014 Spartans is 2013 first-team all-IIAC utility player Amber Meyer (Sr., C/OF, Bernard, Iowa /Cascade HS). Meyer, a senior who was the Spartans’ primary catcher last season, started all 34 games with a .409 batting average (38-of-93), 22 RBI, three doubles, a triple, five home runs, 25 runs scored, 58 total bases, eight stolen bases, 21 walks drawn, a .624 slugging percentage and a .518 on-base percentage. She led all IIAC players in on-base percentage and ranked second in walks, fourth in batting average, seventh in slugging percentage and ninth in stolen bases. In 14 IIAC games, Meyer batted .333 (12-of-36) with a double, a home run, seven RBI, 16 total bases, 10 walks drawn and 13 runs scored. She tied for the league lead in walks and ranked sixth in on-base percentage (.478) and runs scored.

Junior infieldler Kelli Gerace (Jr., 2B/3B, Dekalb, Ill./Dekalb HS) started all 34 games last season, batting .238 (20-of-84) with seven doubles, eight RBIs, six runs scored and 27 total bases while drawing 11 walks. In league play, she hit .289 (11-of-38) with four doubles and four RBI with 15 total bases.

Senior Caitlin Aulwes (Sr., OF, Edgewood, Iowa/Edgewood-Colesburg HS) and sophomore Jen Pohlman (So., OF, West Branch Iowa/West Branch HS) will be patrolling the outfield for the Spartans. Aulwes played in 26 games, hitting .148 (8-for-54) with six RBIs and seven runs scored. She started eight of 10 games in IIAC play, scoring two runs. Pohlman played in 32 games (30 starts), batting .233 (17-of-73) with a double, three RBIs, five stolen bases and 10 runs scored. She played in all 14 IIAC games, posting four hits including a double, four runs scored and two RBIs.

Junior second baseman Meggie Schmidt (Jr., SS, Edgerton, Wis./Edgerton HS), a second-team all-conference selection last year, hit .359 (28-of-78) a year ago with six doubles, two triples, a home run, 15 RBIs and 16 runs scored. In league play, she batted .314 (11-of-35) with five doubles, six RBIs and seven runs scored, sharing the league lead in doubles.

 "We have a lot of young talent in 2014 who will contribute to the team," commented head coach Wendi Wipperfurth. "They are hard workers who understand the game of softball and how to compete. The IIAC will be exciting this year. The race for the conference tournament will be close this season as many teams have the potential to win."

 

Rank

School (1st place votes)

Points

2013 Record

1

Central (6)

55

(32-10, 12-2 IIAC)

2

Luther (2)

51

(33-11, 9-5 IIAC)

3

Coe

44

(34-8, 12-2 IIAC)

4

Simpson

38

(29-10, 8-6 IIAC)

5

Dubuque

29

(16-18, 7-7 IIAC)

6

Buena Vista

28

(14-21, 5-9 IIAC)

7

Loras

21

(12-19, 3-11 IIAC)

8

Wartburg

14

(4-30, 0-14 IIAC)

The Spartans returned from the warmth of Clermont, Florida with an 8-4 overall mark. Schmidt led the team in Florida with a .500 batting average and a .813 slugging percentage. Koerperich finished with a team leading .923 slugging percentage which included  a pair of doubles, a triple, and a homerun. Five starters all finished spring break batting .350 or higher for the Spartans.

Amanda Williams led the Spartans on the mound, she finished the trip with a 1.80 ERA with 14 strike outs. Koerperich pitched 23 innings and finished with 25 strike outs and an ERA of 3.35.

As a team this season UD is hitting .328, has a slugging percentage of .528 after hitting 10 homeruns in the early part of the season. The Spartans have an on base percentage of .407 and a strong defesnive effort .966 after committing just 12 errors. 

The pitchers have a combined 3.19 ERA and have struck out 71 batters this season while walking just 43. The trio on the mound have held their opponents offense to .249 in 2014.

The Spartans open Iowa Conference play on Tuesday, April 1 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Games begin at 3:00 p.m. It's a busy April with UD playing 20 games in 26 days.