SEPTEMBER 26 2012 UPDATE
THREE WEEKLYS IN PACIFIC LUTHERAN HALL OF FAME
Sept. 26, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –Tennessee co-head softball coaches Ralph Weekly and Karen Weekly and volunteer assistant coach Marc Weekly are set to be inducted into the Pacific Lutheran University Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday in Tacoma, Wash.
The Weeklys and PLU’s 1988 and 1992 softball NAIA National Championship teams comprise the 22nd hall of fame class and will be honored during a luncheon at the Loren and MaryAnn Anderson University Center’s Chris Knutzen Hall.
Ralph Weekly was Pacific Lutheran’s head softball coach from 1986-94, leading both of those NAIA National Championship squads and compiling a 310-93 coaching record over his nine seasons. He also served as a football assistant coach in each of his nine years at PLU. Karen Weekly (formerly Karen Kvale) was a two-sport star for PLU from 1984-87 and became the softball program’s first All-American in 1987. She also played basketball for three seasons. Marc Weekly was an All-American quarterback for the PLU football team and led the Lutes to two NAIA National Championship games, including the 1993 national title.
“It is a special honor to be inducted into the PLU Hall of Fame,” Ralph said. “PLU was where I began my college coaching career under the legendary Frosty Westering. It is especially neat to be inducted with Marc and Karen in the presence of our 1988 and 1992 national championship teams who are also being recognized for their accomplishments. Those football and softball players that I had the privilege of coaching at PLU are the reason I am receiving this honor.”
During Ralph’s tenure leading the PLU softball program, the Lutes emerged as an NAIA national powerhouse with a .769 winning percentage from 1986-94. PLU enjoyed three appearances in the national title game, winning in 1988 and 1992 and finishing as the national runner-up in 1990. Ralph was named NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1988 and 1992 and NAIA West Region Coach of the Year from 1986-90 and 1992-94. He was also named National Softball Coaches Association Small College Coach of the Year in 1993.
The Lutes won eight conference and district titles and made eight NAIA national tournament appearances under Ralph’s direction. He coached 10 first-team All-Americans, five second-team or honorable mention All-Americans and 24 first-team all-district honorees at PLU.
As a result of winning the 1992 national championship, Ralph was selected to the first-ever Olympic coaching pool in 1993 and went on to serve as an assistant coach for U.S. Olympic teams that earned to gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2000 Sydney Games.
Karen was a model scholar-athlete at PLU, excelling on the field and in the classroom. She was the Female Athlete of the Year and a second-team All-American as a senior in 1987, leading all NAIA hitters with a .440 batting average and helping the Lutes to an NAIA national tournament appearance. As a junior shortstop in 1986, she led the team to its first trip to the NAIA national tournament, batting .424 with 30 RBI.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be inducted into PLU’s Hall of Fame,” Karen said. “I grew up a Lute fan attending Luther League days with my church youth group and was privileged to attend school there and participate on the basketball and softball teams. Many of the people I met at PLU influenced me both personally and professionally and I cherish the years I spent on campus. Being inducted with Ralph and Marc makes it even more special and I feel very blessed that the committee chose to recognize us together.”
All four of Karen’s softball teams produced winning seasons. Although she played during a softball era when significantly fewer games were played, Karen still holds the PLU single-season record with 19 sacrifice hits. Her 46 doubles, 45 sacrifice hits, 331 assists and 11 errors (fewest) are also program career records that stand to this day.
Karen had a 3.8 GPA and was named an NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete in 1986 and 1987. In 1985 and 1986, she received the prestigious Pacific Lutheran University Undergraduate Fellow/Division of Social Sciences Award. She graduated magna cum laude in 1987 with a bachelor’s in history and political science. Karen joined the PLU softball coaching staff as the top assistant following her playing career and helped lead the Lutes to their national championships in 1988 and 1992 and runner-up finish in 1990. She also earned her juris doctor degree from the University of Washington’s School of Law in 1990 while still serving as an assistant coach at PLU.
Karen also played basketball in three of her years at Pacific Lutheran, scoring 744 points in 87 games. She ranks 10th in PLU history in both field goals attempted and field goal percentage.
Marc had an outstanding football career at Pacific Lutheran from 1990-93. The Lutes went 41-6-1 over those four seasons. A four-year starting quarterback, Marc led PLU to the NAIA Division II National Championship game in 1991 and 1993. In the 1993 title game, he threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to lead PLU to a 50-20 victory over Westminster (Pa.). He was named the MVP in each game of PLU’s 1993 playoff run.
“I feel blessed to have been selected to the Hall of Fame,” Marc said. “It’s even more special to me that I get to go in with my dad and Karen, who have been pivotal in my life, especially in the coaching arena. As far as just my part of it with the football, it’s good to go back and see so many great friends. We truly had a team of spectacular talent. It was a long, long time ago, but I can remember the guys just like it was yesterday’s practice. You had guys like Chad Barnett, Aaron Tang, Gavin Stanley, our offensive line and our offensive coordinator Scott Westering. It was a very good team. Like anything, the quarterback gets the praise or the blame when you don’t play well. Fortunately for us, we played well most of the time. I’m lucky to accept the honor, but I accept it in a team atmosphere.”
Marc established 11 NAIA Division II regular-season records during his career. He continues to hold NAIA Division II records for most touchdowns responsible for in a season (57, 1993), highest percentage of touchdowns passes in a season with a minimum of 300 attempts (13.2 – 46 of 348 passes) and most touchdowns responsible for in a career (143).
He remains PLU’s single season and career leader in total offense (4,065 yards in 1993; 10,977 yards from 1990-93), passing yards (3,722 yards in 1993; 9,737 from 1990-93) and touchdown passes (46 in 1993; 115 from 1990-93).
Following his Pacific Lutheran football career, Marc was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Four ASA Slow Pitch National Championship titles up for grabs this weekend in Oklahoma City
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America Hall of Fame Complex will once again see champions crowned this weekend as the ASA Slow Pitch Championship Series, presented by Worth, and the Men’s Class A and Women’s Open Slow Pitch National Championships kick off on Friday morning. Thirty-three teams will be traveling to OKC to determine the best of the best in Men’s Class A, Class C, Class D and Women’s Slow Pitch over the course of the weekend. Winners of the Men’s Class C and D and Women’s Open will also receive a custom Worth prize pack, which includes a sling bag, t-shirt, hat and a Worth 454 bat which will be awarded and released in January, 2013.
Check out the tournament homepage throughout the weekend for results, live stats and live streaming from the Stadium Field only. http://www.asasoftball.com/tournaments/SlowPitchChampionshipSeries.asp
In Men’s Class A, 20 teams comprise the double-elimination bracket. Champions in the 2011 Championship, Annihilation/Easton leads a field that includes teams from nine different states including Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Wyoming as well as an Armed Forces team from Washington D.C. Men’s Class A teams are limited to eight home runs per game with the ninth being recorded as an out.
In Men’s Class C, four teams will descend on the Hall of Fame Complex after claiming their territory National Championship just weeks ago. They will determine a true National Champion with pool play before moving into a double-elimination bracket format throughout the weekend. From the Eastern territory, Friendly Transmission/Sal from Sutherlin, Va. will represent along with Heartland Investors (Northern) from Bismark, N.D., KY Steel/TKO (Southern) from Cadiz, Ky. and Classic Glass/Easton/DDS (Western) from Sacramento, Calif. In 2011 the West Coast Nitro/DeMarini took home this championship while representing the Western Territory. All four teams received air fare and hotel rooms for up to 15 athletes courtesy of the ASA for winning their respective territory tournaments and qualifying for OKC.
With the same format of pool play and double-elimination bracket, the Men’s Class D teams took the same path to OKC winning their territory championships and earning a trip to the Mecca of softball. The Western Territory captured the 2011 title when the Softball Junkies/DeMarini (Citrus Heights, Calif.) won by a final of 15-7 in the championship game. This year, Galindo of Orange County, Calif. will represent the Western Territory looking to defend the title. Titans (Southern) from Murfreesboro, Tenn., Torco Supply (Eastern) of Danielsville, Pa. and Tabu (Northern) from Cedar Rapids, Iowa round out the field. All four teams received air fare and hotel rooms for up to 15 athletes courtesy of the ASA for winning their respective territory tournaments and qualifying for OKC.
The Women’s Open bracket will consist of five teams, including 2011 runners-up U.S. Armed Forces of Washington D.C. The double-elimination bracket will start and complete play on Saturday with the first game at 9:30 a.m. and the championship scheduled for 12 hours later at 9:30 p.m.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS SOFTBALL
ISF press release
According to data from Special Olympics International (SOI), close to 80 thousand Special Olympics athletes in 69 programs in 30 countries participated in softball last year, reflecting an increase of almost 2,000 athletes over 2010. In 2011, at the venue used for the 2004 Olympic softball competition in Greece, eight teams competed in the softball tournament at the Special Olympics World Summer Games. SOI hopes to increase that to a 12-team global tournament by the next World Summer Games, in 2015 in Los Angeles.
This popularity was exemplified in the large turnout for the 2012 Special Olympics North America Softball Invitational Tournament that took place this past weekend in the United States. Some 400 athletes across 33 teams representing 16 states from the host country, plus Canada, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico participated. As Special Olympics is an International Softball Federation development partner, ISF President Don Porter went to the tournament and took part in opening ceremonies (see accompanying photo) and ISF Director of Competition Laurie Gouthro was on-hand as well. Olympic softball gold medalist Amanda Freed (Team USA, 2004) was the Opening Ceremonies master of ceremonies. Olympic gymnast Bart Conner was in attendance too, as was Oklahoma County Commissioner Willa Johnson and USA Softball Director of Membership Services Craig Cress.
SCHUTZLER RETURNS TO TENNESSEE
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee softball program welcomes back one of its finest in 2007 alum Lindsay Schutzler, who joins the Lady Vols’ staff as the new director of softball operations. “We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to hire a person of Lindsay Schutzler’s caliber,” Co-head coach Ralph Weekly said.
Schutzler donned the Orange and White from 2004-07 and was one of the most accomplished players in Tennessee softball history both on and off the field, earning Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America Honors in 2005, 2006 and 2007 andESPN the Magazine Academic All-American of the Year accolades in 2006 and 2007. She also earned a gold medal as a member of the USA Softball team at the 2006 World University Games in Taiwan.
Schutzler recently worked at Ohio State University an academic counselor in athletics. The Monterey, Calif., native earned her masters degree in Education in Student Affairs from UCLA in 2009. She graduated from Tennessee with a bachelor of arts in psychology.
“She had a strong background in academics at Tennessee, UCLA and Ohio State, and her stellar performance on the field during her time at Tennessee speaks for itself,” Ralph Weekly added. “Lindsay is truly one of the greatest athletes that Karen and I have ever coached at this or any other level.”
Schutzler concluded her outstanding Tennessee career as the program’s all-time leader in hits (362), triples (20), runs (241), stolen bases (120), games played (296), games started (294) and at-bats (946) She also owns the program’s single-season record for triples (eight) and at bats (270). She was arguably UT’s most productive offensive player as she is the only Lady Vol to surpass 300 hits, 200 runs, 150 RBI, 100 walks and 100 stolen bases in a career.
According to career statistics entering the 2012 softball season, Schutzler ranks as one of the all-time great hitters in the history of NCAA collegiate softball (all divisions). She holds the single-season record for at-bats in all divisions with her mark of 270 from the 2005 season. Her 107 hits in 2005 rank 11th in NCAA Division I history and 18th among all divisions.
Schutzler’s 296 career games played are the second-most in NCAA history among all divisions. She ranks fifth all-time in the NCAA with 946 career at-bats. Her 362 career hits are seventh-most in NCAA Division I history and 12th-most among all NCAA schools.
Schutzler and former teammates Monica Abbott and Tonya Callahan are the only three players in UT history to earn NFCA All-America honors for three seasons or more. Following her UT career, she was drafted by the Chicago Bandits in 2007 with the first overall selection.
Lindsay Schutzler’s Player Accomplishments
USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List 2006, 2007
USA Softball Player of the Year Top 25 Finalist 2007
USA Softball Player of the Year Top 11 Finalist 2007
Drafted by the Chicago Bandits of National Pro Fastpitch 2007 (First Overall Selection)
Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-American 2006
Louisville Slugger/NFCA Second-Team All-American 2005, 2007
ESPN the MagazineAcademic All-American of the Year (Univ. Div.) 2006, 2007
First-TeamESPN the Magazine Academic All-American 2005, 2006, 2007
First-TeamESPN the Magazine Academic All-District IV 2005, 2006, 2007
SEC Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year 2007
Louisville Slugger/NFCA First-Team All-South Region 2006, 2007
Louisville Slugger/NFCA Second-Team All-South Region 2005
First-Team All-SEC 2006, 2007
Second-Team All-SEC 2005
Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Top 10 Finalist 2007
All-Tourney, Women’s College World Series 2007
USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week 2006 (2/21)
Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week 2006 (2/22)
NFCA Scholar-Athlete Team 2005
SEC Spring Honor Roll 2006, 2007
Academic All-SEC 2004, 2005
All-SEC Tournament 2004, 2006, 2007
SEC Player of the Week 2005 (2/28); 2006 (2/20); 2007 (4/2)
Most Valuable Player, Lady Vol Classic 2004
All-Tourney, Carolina Classic 2007
All-Tourney, Georgia Southern Invitational 2005
All-Tourney, Charleston Southern Invitational 2005
All-Tourney, Paradise Classic 2004
USA Softball Team Selection Camp Participant 2006, 2007
Player on USA Softball World University Games Team – Gold (Taiwan – Summer ‘06)
Selected to USA Softball National Elite Team 2005 (Canada Cup – Silver and International Cup – Gold)
Selected to USA Softball National Team Camp (5/5/05, 8/12/05)
NFCA GOLDEN SHOE AWARDS
NCAA Division I
Wendi Reed, Jackson State University
Reed was a staggering 48-for-52 on the base paths in 2012. The senior second baseman from Little Rock, Ark., led the Tigers with a .400 batting average, scored 53 runs to rate 38th in the country in runs-per-contest (0.91) and registered a team-best 15 doubles, four triples, 10 HR’s and 38 RBIs on her way to Louisville Slugger/NFCA Second Team All-South Region accolades.
NCAA Division II
Bailey Vrazel, Texas Woman’s University
A repeat winner of the Golden Shoe Award after being named as the 2011 NCAA Division II recipient, sophomore shortstop Vrazel broke her own TWU and Lone Star Conference single-season record with 75 steals, leading NCAA Division II in the process at 1.39 steals-per-game. For the second straight season, Vrazel led the Pioneers in batting average (.414), at-bats (174), runs (61), hits (72), walks (31) and on-base percentage (.514). She also set new single-season school records in runs and walks on her way to Louisville Slugger/NFCA Second Team All-South Central Region honors.
NCAA Division III
Crystal Lee, The College of New Jersey
Lee, a senior outfielder for TCNJ, was nearly perfect on the base paths in 2012, swiping 41 stolen bases in 42 attempts. With 41 thefts, Lee tied for first in NCAA Division III in total steals, while her per-game rating of 0.95 put her at seventh in the nation and first among the three players tied for total number of steals. In addition, Lee finished the season with a .362 batting average, 50 hits, 43 runs scored and 19 walks in 138 plate appearances.
Jordan Reynolds, Olivet Nazarene University
Joining Vrazel as one of two repeat Golden Shoe recipients for 2012, the first team Louisville Slugger/NFCA NAIA All-American Reynolds completed an impressive four-year career as a Tiger. She finished the 2012 season with a .455 batting average, 29 doubles, seven triples and six home runs and was named Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the third consecutive year. She led the NAIA in total hits (101), steal attempts (59), runs scored (90), stolen bases (55), and assists (178). She ranked nationally in the top ten in nine other categories.
NJCAA Division I
Jessica Marshburn, Navarro College
Marshburn, a freshman outfielder out of Van, Texas, picked up the Golden Shoe award after swiping an incredible 89 bases in 95 attempts for the Navarro College Bulldogs this past season. The 2012 Louisville Slugger/NFCA NJCAA Division I Second Team All-Midwest Region selection also hit .417 overall while scoring 51 runs, posting 10 doubles and four triples and knocking in 30 RBIs.
NJCAA Division II
Morgan Allee, Iowa Central Community College
A 2012 Louisville Slugger/NFCA NJCAA Division II First Team All-American shortstop, Allee capped one of the best single seasons in Iowa Central Community College history, setting single-season school records in batting average (.540), hits (114), runs (89), triples (nine) and stolen bases (73). Allee also set career marks in batting average (.533), runs (151) and hits (191) for the Tritons, while reaching base safely in 64 of Iowa Central’s 65 games.
NJCAA Division III
Shannon Nevins, College of DuPage
A sophomore out of Warrenville, Ill., Nevins stole 55 bases in 58 attempts on her way to Louisville Slugger/NJCAA Division III All-America honors. In helping the College of DuPage to a berth in the NJCAA Division III National Tournament, the outfielder hit .453 with 80 runs scored, 10 doubles, three triples and 23 RBIs.
Alyssa Abayari, Allan Hancock College
A sophomore second baseman for the Bulldogs out of Lompoc, Calif., Abayari hit .300 overall while totaling 32 tallies, four doubles and eight RBIs. She led the Western State Conference of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) with 39 stolen bases.
Autumn Isaacson, Bellevue College (Wash.)
Issacson, a sophomore infielder/outfielder at Bellevue College (Wash.), picked up Louisville Slugger/NFCA NWAACC All-American accolades after swiping 64 bases and hitting .457 overall with 66 runs scored, six doubles, three triples, three HR’s and 30 RBIs during the Bulldogs’ run to a fourth-place finish at the NWAACC National Championship Tournament.
Janae Langs, Climax-Scotts High School (Mich.)
Langs, the shortstop and lead-off hitter for Climax-Scotts High School in Climax, Mich., finished off a terrific junior campaign by swiping an impressive 57 bases in 58 attempts. A two-time first team Associated Press All-Michigan choice as well as the Kalamazoo Gazette’s 2012 Division 3-4 Softball Player of the Year, Langs also hit a staggering .713 (67-for-94) at the plate with 56 runs scored, four HR’s, five triples, seven doubles and 35 RBIs, while slugging at a .957 clip.