Morningside posted a 47-10 record in a banner 2016 softball season for its most victories in school history. Photo / Gene Knudsen
Morningside posted a 47-10 record in the 2016 softball season for its most victories in school history.
The Mustangs broke their former record of 46 wins in a season when they went 46-11 in the 2011 campaign. Morningside won Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) regular season and post-season tournament championships and won the Morningside Bracket of the NAIA Softball National Championship en route to its first-ever appearance in the NAIA Softball World Series.
The Mustangs posted their 14th consecutive winning season under head coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann and made their eighth national tournament appearance in the last nine years.
Aubrey Voboril, a senior pitcher from Wahoo, Neb., and Rachel Henks, a junior pitcher from Lee’s Summit, Mo., each won 20 games to give the Mustangs a pair of 20-game winners in the same season for only the second time in school history. They joined Kelly Baumert and Whitney McElrath, who won 22 and 21 games, respectively, in the 2007 season.
Voboril went 21-3 with four saves and led the Mustangs with eight shutouts and a 1.83 earned run average. She allowed 148 hits and walked only 26 batters to go along with 143 strikeouts in a team-high 172.1 innings pitched. Her .875 winning percentage was the second highest victory rate in Morningside history. She ranked third in the Mustangs’ record book with four saves and 10th with 21 victories. Voboril completed 13 of her 27 starts.
Voboril, the GPAC Pitcher of the Year, twirled abbreviated five-inning perfect games in a 9-0 victory against Dordt College on April 25 and an 8-0 triumph against Doane College on May 7 in the GPAC Softball Championship Series.
Henks had a 22-5 record with a 2.10 earned run average, seven shutouts, and a team-high five saves to finish one save shy of matching a school record. Her 22 victories was the sixth highest single-season total in Morningside history and her .815 winning percentage was the sixth highest in school history. Henks allowed 128 hits in 159.2 innings pitched while holding the opposition to a .212 batting average. She had 40 walks and led the Mustangs with 175 strikeouts for the eighth highest total in school history. Henks had a team-high 16 complete games in 24 starts and also led the team’s pitchers with 37 appearances.
Henks pitched a no-hitter with a season’s high 19 strikeouts in a 7-2 win against Dakota State University on Feb. 27 and twirled an abbreviated five-inning no-hitter in an 8-0 victory against Dordt on April 25.
Rachel Koch, a junior outfielder-shortstop from Denison, Iowa, was the Mustangs’ leading hitter with 74 hits in 194 at-bats for a .381 batting average. Her 74 hits was the second highest single-season total in Morningside history. Koch had a team-high 24 multiple hit performances, including seven three-hit games. Aside from leading the Mustangs in hits and batting average, Koch also topped the team with 56 runs scored to finish one run shy of a school record. Koch ranked second on the Mustangs with 13 doubles, three triples, and eight home runs and finished third on the team with 44 RBIs.
Abby Conner, a sophomore third baseman from McCook Lake, S.D., was the Mustangs’ top power hitter and run producer with team-high totals of 12 home runs and 50 RBIs to go along with a team-high .642 slugging percentage. Conner’s 12 home runs was the fourth highest total in school history, while her 50 RBIs ranked seventh among Morningside’s all-time single-season bests. She also topped the Mustangs with 27 walks for the fourth highest total in Morningside history and ranked third on the team with 49 runs scored for the sixth highest total in school history. Conner was the Mustangs’ second leading hitter with a .369 batting average and also ranked among the team leaders with seven doubles and three triples.
Elin Landgren, a junior catcher from Des Moines, Iowa, was the Mustangs’ third leading hitter with a .335 batting average and the team leader with 17 doubles, four triples, and a .452 on-base percentage. Her 17 doubles was the sixth highest single-season total in Morningside history. Landgren had two home runs and 20 RBIs and ranked second on the team with 21 walks, eight stolen bases, and 54 runs scored for the fourth highest run total in Morningside history.
Emilee Dorpinghaus, a junior second baseman from Ankeny, Iowa, was successful on 11 of 14 stolen base attempts to lead the Mustangs in stolen bases. Dorpinghaus hit .316 with seven doubles, two triples, two home runs, 30 RBIs, and 31 runs scored.
Morgan Fogelman, a junior outfielder from Elkhorn, Neb., led the Mustangs with 10 sacrifices and ranked second on the team with 46 RBIs. Fogelman hit .254 with seven doubles, seven home runs, seven stolen bases, and 29 runs scored.
Allie Martinez, a junior catcher from Council Bluffs, Iowa, was the Mustangs’ best contact hitter with only five strikeouts in 174 at-bats, including a stretch of 83 consecutive at-bats without a strikeout. Martinez batted .293 with eight doubles, five home runs, and 41 RBIs.
McKenzie Anderson, a junior outfielder from Lincoln, Neb., had the Mustangs’ longest hitting streak of the season when she hit safely in 18 consecutive games from March 11 to April 9. Anderson hit .313 with eight doubles, one home run, 32 RBIs, seven stolen bases, and 40 runs scored.
The Mustangs won the GPAC regular season championship with a 19-3 record for a 1.5 game margin over runner-up Doane one season after a 2015 campaign when they finished fifth in the league standings with an 11-9 record. Morningside won the GPAC post-season tournament title when it swept Doane 2-1 and 8-0 in the GPAC Softball Championship Series and advanced to the NAIA Softball World Series with an 8-5 victory against the University of Great Falls in the Morningside Bracket Championship Game of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round.