St. Thomas softball player Kimmy Hassel received both MIAC Player of the Year and National Fastpitch Coaches Association third-team All-America honors Thursday, May 17.
The junior second baseman was a standout for the Tommies, who posted a 37-9 record this season, as their offensive spark; she was the only MIAC player honored among the 46 players named to the three All-American teams.
Junior second baseman Kimmy Hassel was a key contributor to the St. Thomas softball team this season, leading the MIAC in almost every hitting statistic. Hassel was named the MIAC Player of the Year and third team All-America Thursday. (Jake Swansson/TommieMedia)
“I have been so blessed to be in such an amazing program with coaches and players who give 110 percent of their time and effort everyday,” Hassel said.
Hassel explained that receiving the two prestigious awards is “awesome,” but said she can’t take all the credit.
“There is absolutely no way I could have done it without my teammates,” Hassel said. “They all deserve a part of each award.”
Hassel showed a significant turnaround between her sophomore and junior seasons. Last season, she had seven hits and five RBIs in 21 games. This season, she played in all 46 games and led not only her team, but the MIAC conference in almost every offensive category: hitting percentage (.487), runs (46), hits (75) and RBI (41).
Hassel’s defensive play was also dominant; she had one error in 192 chances and turned 22 double plays.
In 22 conference games, Hassel led the conference in batting average (.513), hits (39) and RBI (23). She had no errors on defense.
Hassel is the 22nd Tommie softball player to receive an All-American honor in the last 10 seasons. Last season, senior outfielder Sydney Marquardt was the sole St. Thomas player to receive the honor.
With the majority of the starters returning and an “unbelievably talented” group of underclassmen coming up the system, Hassel is confident in reaching her goals for next season.
“With our amazing coaching staff and teammates, I think we can reach a potential that many of us didn’t know we had,” Hassel said. “It is going to be really fun to play with these awesome girls for another year and hopefully bring home a MIAC championship and a national championship.”
Hayley Schnell can be reached at email@example.com.