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June 1, 2007

2009 Season - 2007 Softball Review

Lorena Cernetisch wins “Player of the Year” honors in the CCIW as Vikings win conference tournament for third time in last four years; Samantha Knox earns ESPN – The Magazine Academic All-America recognition; Augustana makes NCAA tournament for fourth time in school history; Eight school records fall in 30-14 campaign

There was a point in the 2007 softball season where Kris Kistler’s Vikings were up against the proverbial wall. A tough early season schedule had the losses piling up and road double headers in the early part of April against teams ranked seventh (Central of Iowa) and 25th (Illinois Wesleyan) in the nation had resulted in four straight losses. On April 16 Augustana hit the road again, this time to Elmhurst and in the first game of a College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin double header the Vikings lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to the Bluejays. That left the Blue & Gold with a 16-12 overall record and a 2-3 mark in the CCIW.

In the second game of the twin-bill junior Jordan Huff (Onalaska HS, Onalaska, Wis.) spun a two hitter and Augustana picked up a 9-1 victory. The Vikings caught fire after that and would not lose again until the first round of the NCAA Division III national tournament. After the split at Elmhurst, Kistler’s bunch ripped off 14 straight wins as a reshuffled pitching staff found its groove and senior shortstop Lorena Cernetisch (Erie HS, Erie, Ill. – now resides in Gregory, South Dakota) proved nearly impossible to get out.

Huff, who started the season in the bullpen and recorded five saves in the early portion of the schedule, took over the reigns as the number one hurler. She ended the year with an 8-1 record and posted an earned run average of 1.56 with 105 strikeouts in 94 1/3 innings. Her only loss was a 6-3 decision to eventual College World Series participant Wisconsin-Eau Claire by a 6-3 count in the first round of the NCAA playoffs. She was voted “Most Improved Player” by her teammates at the conclusion of the season. Junior Sara Brokaw (Orion HS, LynnCenter, Ill.) stepped in as the number two starter and went 7-2 with 38 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings and had a team-low ERA of 0.51. Senior Alissa Shaner (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) and sophomore Jenna Szybowicz (Glenbard North HS, Carol Stream, Ill.) went 7-5 and 7-5 respectively to provide depth.

On offense it would be hard to overlook the scorching bat wielded by Cernetisch. From her leadoff position she hit .432 with 63 hits in 148 at-bats while scoring 48 runs. She had 12 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 16 base-on-balls and 37 stolen bases. Her slugging percentage was .740 and her on-base percentage was .491. To top it off she fielded .937 at the demanding shortstop position with just 10 errors in 158 total chances.

She established new single season school records for hits, home runs and stolen bases and she was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the CCIW as well as winning the “Hitter of the Year” honor in the conference. She won first team all-conference honors for the second year in a row and was a first team all-regional selection for the second straight season. Her teammates voted her their MVP and she shared the Best Offensive Player award with senior third baseman Samantha Knox (UnitedTownship HS, East Moline, Ill.) and the Best Defensive Player with senior catcher Cammie Bourlet (Farmington East HS, Farmington, Ill.). She was also the winner of the “Viking Award” that goes to the player with the most heart and unselfish team contributions.

Knox wrapped up her fine four year stint with three school records. She holds career marks for doubles (42), runs-batted-in (131) and at-bats (527). During the 2007 season she batted .348 with 47 hits in 135 at-bats while scoring 31 runs with 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 34 RBI. She was a first team selection in both the CCIW and the Central Region and it was the fourth time for both of those honors. She earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors as selected by “ESPN – The Magazine”.

Senior Kim Rymer (Vernon Hills HS, Vernon Hills, Ill.) stole 33 bases this spring and she now holds the Augustana career record for stolen bases with 99. The Vikings also hit a school record 35 home runs in 2007, making it a total of eight school records broken during the course of the campaign.

Cernetisch, Knox, Bourlet, Huff and Brokaw were all named first team all-conference and Rymer was a second team pick. Cernetisch was a first team all-region selection while Knox and Brokaw made the second team and Bourlet and Rymer were on the third team.

The 14 game winning streak came at a most opportune time for the Vikings as it propelled them a second place finish in the CCIW’s regular season and a three game sweep in the conference tournament. Illinois Wesleyan won the regular season and earned the host spot for the season ending tournament with the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament going to the winner. Augustana opened with a 5-1 win over North Central on May 4 as Huff tossed a five hitter. After beating North Central the Vikings defeated Illinois Wesleyan 4-1 with Shaner picking up the victory in relief of Brokaw. On Saturday, May 5 Augustana won the CCIW tournament with an impressive 6-0 win over Illinois Wesleyan as Huff allowed just four hits and went the distance.

That makes it three CCIW tournament championships in the past four years for Kistler and her team. The Vikings won it in 2004, 2006 and 2007 and were second in 2005. Augustana also made its third NCAA tournament appearance in the last four years and the fourth time in school history. While the season ended with two losses at the regional in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, it does not diminish the success and accomplishments of the 2007 team. For the fourth year in a row, and the fifth time in the last eight years, Augustana eclipsed the 30 victory mark with the 30-14 record.

Kistler completed her eighth season at the Viking helm and she now has a record of 238-109-2 during that time span. She is 77-35 in CCIW play and along with her assistants Leann Barber, Dave Hebbeln, John Brokaw and Danielle Clarizio were named “Coaching Staff of the Year” in the conference.

2007 CCIW Softball Final Standings

Illinois Wesleyan1310.92932140.696
North Central860.57127150.643
North Park1130.07113200.394

CCIW Tournament

Saturday, May 5 (CCIW Softball Tournament)
Augustana 4, Illinois Wesleyan 1 (Championship)
Illinois Wesleyan 8, Carthage 0 (Carthage eliminated)
Friday, May 4 (CCIW Softball Tournament)
Augustana 5, North Central 1
Illinois Wesleyan 8, Carthage 0
Carthage 4, North Central 3 (North Central eliminated)
Augustana 4, Illinois Wesleyan 1

2007 Augustana Softball Superlatives

NCAA Division III All-America:

ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America: Samantha Knox – 3B (second team)

ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America : Samantha Knox – 3B (first team)…Kim Rymer – OF (second team)

NCAA Division III Great-Lakes Region: (First team) Lorena Cernetisch – SS…(second team) Samantha Knox – 3B…Sara Brokaw – OF…(third team) Cammie Bourlet – C…Kim Rymer – OF.

CCIW Tournament Champions: 3-0 record in CCIW tournament on May 4-5 at Illinois Wesleyan

NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional: Fourth NCAA Division III post season appearance in school history (1996-04-06-07)

CCIW MVP: Lorena Cernetisch

CCIW Batter of the Year: Lorena Cernetisch

CCIW Coaching Staff of the Year: Kris Kistler, Leann Barber, Dave Hebbeln, John Brokaw & Danielle Clarizio

CCIW All-Conference: (First team) Jordan Huff – P…Cammie Bourlet – C…Lorena Cernetisch – SS…Samantha Knox – 3B…Sara Brokaw – Utility…(Second team) Kim Rymer – OF

CCIW Team Statistical Categories Won by Augustana: Highest team fielding percentage .976

CCIW Individual Statistical Categories Won by Augustana: Highest batting average: .500 (22-44) by Lorena Cernetisch…Lowest earned run average: 0.70 by Sara Brokaw…Runs scored: 18 by Lorena Cernetisch…Total bases: 35 by Lorena Cernetisch…Stolen bases: 15 by Lorena Cernetisch

CCIW “Players of the Week”: Brittany Snoreck on 04/03 and Lorena Cernetisch on 04/24

Augustana Team Awards

Most Valuable Player: Lorena Cernetisch

Best Offensive Player: Lorena Cernetisch & Samantha Knox

Best Defensive Player: Lorena Cernetisch & Cammie Bourlet

Most Improved Player: Jordan Huff

Viking Award: Lorena Cernetisch

School Record - Most Home Runs in Single Season by Team: 35, breaking old mark of 29 in 2006

School Record - Most Hits in Single Season by Individual: 63 by Lorena Cernetisch, tying old mark of 63 set by Kathy Radloff in 1980

School Record - Most Home Runs in Single Season by Individual: 9 by Lorena Cernetisch, tying old mark of 9 set by Kim Rymer in 2006

School Record - Most Stolen Bases in Single Season By Individual: 37 by Lorena Cernetisch, breaking old mark of 31 by Christine Okon in 2000 (Kim Rymer had 33 stolen bases this season and also broke the old record)

School Record - Most Career Doubles: 42 by Samantha Knox, breaks old record of 32 by Erin Daniels (2003-06)

School Record - Most Carrer RBIs: 131 by Samantha Knox, breaks old record of 109 by Heidi Hallstrom (2002-05)

School Record - Most Stolen Bases: 99 by Kim Rymer, breaks old record of 87 by Christine Okon (1999-02)