SPASH softball earns seven all-conference nods
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT – The 2023 spring sports conference season is in the rearview, meaning player awards are being handed out.
The SPASH softball team got seven players on the all-Wisconsin Valley Conference squads, which were recently announced.
Coach Tom Drohner also won Coach of the Year for the first time since 2018.
Junior Maren Sauvaugeau, sophomores Mikah Keller and Kaitlyn Klismith and freshman Aubree Itzen got first-team honors.
Sophomore Morgan Groshek was the lone second-team selection for the Panthers.
Senior Riley Pechinski and junior pitcher Delilah Abundiz rounded out the group as honorable mentions.
Keller lands on the first-team all-WVC list for the first time as a sophomore.
She became one the best hitters in the conference, having a .650 batting average in 46 plate appearances.
Keller was also second in the conference in stolen bases with 12.
Klismith performed just as well, gaining her second first-team nod in as many seasons.
The speedy sophomore led the WVC with 13 steals this season. She also had 21 hits in 42 at-bats.
Klismith had three doubles and two triples to her credit during conference play.
Itzen burst onto the scene as a freshman for SPASH. She grabs her first all-conference award with a unanimous first-team selection.
Itzen led all eligible hitters in the conference (30 plate appearances) with 18 RBIs.
She also led SPASH in home runs with three, tying for second in the conference.
Sauvaugeau became a unanimous first-team pick after being an honorable-mention player as a sophomore.
She went 9-2 in the circle, having the conference’s second-lowest earned run average at 2.36.
Sauvaugeau gave up 55 hits and had 53 strikeouts in nearly 57 innings pitched against conference opponents.
Another first-time all-conference selection for SPASH came for Groshek.
She played in nine games for the Panthers and had a .350 batting average. Groshek was third on the team in stolen bases with seven.
Pechinski started all 12 conference games, grabbing an honorable mention selection. She was a second-team all-conference player as a sophomore in 2021.
An everyday starter with 50 plate appearances this season, she got on base any way she could.
Pechinski had a .415 batting average and tied the league lead for walks with seven.
Lastly, Abundiz got chosen for the honorable mention team, her second straight selection.
The junior went between pitching and playing first base.
Abundiz drove in 17 runs on 13 hits in WVC play. That was tied for second in the conference and on the team.
SPASH finished tied for first in the WVC, tying D.C. Everest at 10-2.