Two Bulldogs Earn All-Region Honors

FSU's Holly Bruntjens (left) and Amanda Harrington (right)
FSU's Holly Bruntjens (left) and Amanda Harrington (right)

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has selected two Ferris State University softball student-athletes to its 2009 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II All-Midwest Region Team as junior second baseman Amanda Harrington (St. Joseph/Stevensville-Lakeshore) and senior pitcher-outfielder Holly Bruntjens (Gladstone) are both first-team honorees.

An announcement of the 2009 all-region teams was made Thursday (May 14) by the NFCA. The selections of Harrington and Bruntjens mark the fifth straight year in which the first or second-team has featured a Ferris State representative. The two are among 13 players to earn first-team all-Midwest Region laurels with Bruntjens being designated at the utility/pitcher position. A total of 107 softball student-athletes at the NCAA Division II level were honored and all are now eligible for Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America recognition, which will be announced Wednesday, May 20, at the 2009 NCAA-II Softball Championship Tournament Banquet.

The two were recently earned Daktronics, Inc. All-Midwest Region Team plaudits with Harrington garnering first-team honors while Bruntjens received second-team kudos.

A 2009 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) First-Team pick, Harrington batted a .290 average this season with 36 base hits in 124 at bats. A starter in all 45 outings this campaign, Harrington registered eight doubles, two home runs, 15 RBIs, 22 runs, six stolen bases, a .403 slugging percentage, and a .964 fielding percentage. She produced a squad and career single-season best 13 multiple-hit games this spring, which included 11 two-hit game performances. The Bulldog infielder claimed at least a hit in 21 contests for the 2009 season and her 12 sacrifice hits tied for the third most on Ferris State's career single-season leaders chart.

For her three-year (2007-09) career, Harrington presently ranks tied for 11th place among the Bulldogs' all-time leaders in home runs (eight), 16th in batting average (.298), 19th in doubles (25), tied for 21st in stolen bases (17), tied for 24th in base hits (125), tied for 25th in RBIs (52), 28th in at bats (420), and 29th in games played (141).

In the pitching circle this season, Bruntjens generated a 14-8 record with a 1.76 earned run average in 127.0 innings. She struck out a team-leading 97 opposition batters while totaling three shutouts as a 20-game starter in 24 overall appearances. The 2009 All-GLIAC First-Teamer batted a career season-high .300 average with a season-best 33 base hits in 110 official plate appearances. Bruntjens accumulated eight doubles, two home runs, 22 RBIs, nine runs scored, and eight sacrifice hits to go with a .427 slugging percentage and a .310 on-base percentage. Bruntjens garnered six multiple-hit games and tallied a team-high tying five multi-RBI game performances this spring.

Along with her all-region accolades, Bruntjens was tabbed the 2008-09 recipient of the Helen Bennett Award as Ferris State's most outstanding female student-athlete and also received second-team kudos on the 2009 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District IV College Division Softball Team.

In her FSU career, Bruntjens concluded a productive three (2007-09) seasons ranking high in several pitching and hitting statistical categories in the program's annals. In pitching, Bruntjens currently is listed third in strikeouts (307), fourth in victories (43), tied for fourth in shutouts (14), sixth in innings pitched (415.1), eighth in earned run average (1.53), and ninth in complete games (41). In batting, she ranks tied for 19th in home runs (six) and tied for 26th in doubles (17).

Ferris State wrapped up the 2009 season at 35-10 overall with an 18-4 regular-season ledger in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). The 21st nationally-ranked Bulldogs' 35 victories this campaign represented a tie for the fourth most single-season wins in the program's history. FSU qualified for NCAA-II Regional Tournament play for the seventh time ever in 2009.