Rachel Koch was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Player of the Year, Rachel Henks was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Pitcher of the Year and Jessica Jones-Sitzmann was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Coach of the Year to highlight the 2017 All-GPAC Softball Team as selected by the league’s heads coaches.
Their exploits helped the Mustangs win the GPAC championship with a 17-3 league record for a three-game margin over runner-ups Hastings College and Concordia University. The Mustangs will take a 39-10 record into the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round Sioux City Bracket to be held May 15-17 at Morningside’s Jensen Softball Complex.
Koch, a senior outfielder from Denison, Iowa, has a .354 batting average with 13 doubles, four home runs and 37 RBIs.
Henks, a senior pitcher from Lee’s Summit, Mo., has a 33-8 record with eight shutouts and a 1.60 earned run average. Her 33 wins tied the Morningside single-season record for pitching victories previously set by Whitney McElrath in 2006. Henks has allowed only 160 hits and has struck out 253 batters in 245.2 innings pitched while holding the opposition to a paltry .180 batting average.
Jones-Sitzmann, now in her 19th season at Morningside, has a career record of 652-347 for a .653 winning percentage and has guided the Mustangs to seven GPAC championships, seven GPAC Post-Season Tournament championships and eight NAIA National Tournament appearances.
Aside from Henks and Koch, the Mustangs also placed Moriah Bohlmann and Allie Martinez on the All-GPAC First Team.
Bohlmann, a senior first baseman from Denison, Iowa, has a .354 batting average with six home runs and is the Mustangs’ leader with 14 doubles, four triples, 46 RBIs and a .598 slugging percentage.
Martinez, a senior catcher from Council Bluffs, Iowa, is the Mustangs’ leading hitter with a .355 batting average to go along with 10 doubles, three home runs and 39 RBIs.
Morningside’s McKenzie Anderson, Emilee Dorpinghaus and Elin Landgren were named to the All-GPAC Second Team.
Anderson, a senior outfielder from Lincoln, Neb., has a .317 batting average with 10 doubles, one home run and 24 RBIs.
Dorpinghaus, a senior second baseman from Ankeny, Iowa, has a .353 batting average with a team-high seven home runs and 46 runs scored to go along with 10 doubles, three triples and 34 RBIs.
Landgren, a senior catcher from Des Moines, Iowa, has a .280 batting average with four doubles, two home runs and 19 RBIs. Landgren, who has been hit by a pitch a NAIA national record 72 times during her career, has been hit 21 times this season and leads the Mustangs with a .455 on-base percentage.