2023 All-Summit League Softball Teams and Individual Awards
(as selected by The Summit League head coaches)
Player of the Year: Aleesia Sainz, South Dakota
Pitcher of the Year: Tori Kniesche, South Dakota State
Defensive Player of the Year: Cassie Castaneda, North Dakota
Freshman of the Year: Avery Wukawitz, St. Thomas
Coach of the Year: Kristina McSweeney, South Dakota State
P – Clara Edwards, South Dakota
P – Tori Kniesche, South Dakota State
P – Kamryn Meyer, Omaha
C – Cassie Castaneda, North Dakota
INF – Rozelyn Carrillo, South Dakota State
INF – Carley Goetschius, North Dakota State (Sioux Falls Washington)
INF – Mia Jarecki, South Dakota State
INF – Aleesia Sainz, South Dakota
INF – Lynsey Tucker, Omaha
OF – Emilee Buringa, North Dakota State
OF – Jocelyn Carrillo, South Dakota State
OF – Courtney Wilson, South Dakota
OF – Avery Wukawitz, St. Thomas
DP/UTL – Ally Vonfeldt, Kansas City
P – Lainey Lyle, North Dakota State
P – Sydney Nuismer, Omaha
P – Paige Vargas, North Dakota State
C – Sydney Ross, Omaha
INF – Bella Alvarez, Western Illinois
INF – Bella Dean, North Dakota State
INF – Brooke Ellestad, St. Thomas
INF – Katie Joten, North Dakota
INF – Delaney White, South Dakota
OF – Madi Moore, North Dakota
OF – Gabby Moser, South Dakota
OF – Emma Osmundson, South Dakota State (Sioux Falls Lincoln)
OF – Rachel Weber, Omaha
DP/UTL – Anjolee Aguilar-Beaucage, North Dakota State
P – Shannon Lasey, South Dakota State
P – Emily Price, Western Illinois
C – Bela Goerke, South Dakota
C – Allison Yoder, South Dakota State
INF – Maria Luna, Western Illinois
INF – Sydney Nichols, Kansas City
INF – Maggie O'Brien, Omaha
INF – Madison Pederson, North Dakota
OF – Lindsey Culver, South Dakota State
OF – Ava Rongisch, Omaha
OF – Chloe Woldruff, North Dakota State
DP/UTL – Jordyn Pender, South Dakota
DP/UTL – Savannah Rodriguez, Western Illinois
DP/UTL – Alexa Williams, South Dakota State
South Dakota State softball pitcher Tori Kniesche was named April TicketSmarter Summit League Peak Performer of the Month honors, League officials announced Friday.
Kniesche won all nine of her starts and went 10-0 with a save in 11 overall appearances in April. She only allowed an unearned run in 71.2 innings of work, finishing with a 0.00 ERA.
The Wayne, Neb., native opened the month with a no-hitter against St. Thomas, fanning nine Tommies in an 8-0 run-rule victory.
The junior logged seven starts with double-digit strikeouts over the rest of the month, including a career-high 18 in 1-0, eight-inning shutout win over Omaha. She added 15 strikeouts the next day in a 14-inning, 1-0 marathon win to cap a series sweep of the Mavericks.
Kniesche closed the month with back-to-back wins over Kansas City, striking out 24 in a pair of complete-game victories. She finished the month with 112 strikeouts and only allowed 27 hits.
FEMALE PEAK PERFORMER OF THE MONTH
Tori Kniesche, South Dakota State
Jr. | P | Wayne, Neb.
- Went 10-0 with a save in 11 appearances, posting a 0.00 ERA in 71.2 innings of work
- Opened the month with a five-inning no-hitter against St. Thomas
- Registered seven double-digit strikeout performances including 15 in an eight-inning shutout of Omaha
- Earned another shutout-victory over the Mavericks, logging 14 innings and striking out 15 in a 1-0 win
- This is the first career Summit League monthly honor for Kniesche, who has five weekly awards this season
Also nominated: Bella Dean (North Dakota State, softball);
Big Ten Conference
Player of the Week
Mackense Greico, Maryland
5th-Yr. – 1B – Aberdeen, Md. – Aberdeen – Major: Biological Science
• Batted .727 with a 1.455 slugging percentage and .786 on-base percentage while pacing Maryland to four wins (including a sweep at Illinois) in the final week of the regular season
• Collected eight hits (including two home runs and two doubles), six RBI and scored eight runs for a Terrapins’ offense that averaged nearly eight runs in its four games last week
• Had at least one hit, one RBI and one run scored in all four games, as Maryland registered its highest single-season win total (36) since 2011
• Earns her second career Big Ten Player of the Week award
• Last Maryland Player of the Week: Trinity Schlotterbeck (April 3, 2023)
Pitcher of the Week
Autumn Pease, Minnesota
5th-Yr. – RHP – Murrieta, Calif. – Murrieta Mesa – Major: Kinesiology
• Went 2-0 with a 0.00 and a pair of complete-game shutouts last weekend to lead the Golden Gophers to a series sweep of visiting Michigan
• Allowed just seven hits and struck out 14 batters without allowing a walk in 14 innings of work
• Tossed a two-hit shutout in the series opener on May 5 and a five-hit shutout in Sunday’s finale, adding seven strikeouts in each game
• Two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2021, 2022)
• Collects her fifth career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award and fourth this season
• Last Minnesota Pitcher of the Week: Autumn Pease (May 1, 2023)
Freshman of the Week
Taryn Kern, Indiana
Fr. – 2B – San Jose, Calif. – Archbishop Mitty – Major: Undeclared
• Posted a .714 batting average, 1.571 slugging percentage and .800 on-base percentage last weekend as Indiana closed the regular season with a sweep over visiting conference foe Michigan State
• Delivered five hits (including a home run and three doubles), five RBI and scored six runs during the series
• Hit her nation-leading 22nd home run of the season in the middle game of the series on May 6, putting her two away from the Big Ten record set by Illinois’ Angelena Mexicano in 2008
• Captures her sixth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award, good for third in conference history (most since Minnesota’s Kendyl Lindaman earned the award a record-setting eight times in 2017)
• Also a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week selection this season
• Last Indiana Freshman of the Week: Taryn Kern (May 1, 2023)
Big 12 Conference
A three-game sweep of then-No. 5 Texas led to Big 12 weekly accolades for No. 15 Baylor’s Josie Bower (Player) and RyLee Crandall (Pitcher). It was the first time in program history that BU has swept a top-five opponent and the Bears’ first sweep over the Longhorns since 2018, while also marking the first season in Baylor history with six top-five wins. This is the first weekly award for either player.
Bower hit .625 during the week with two doubles, a team-leading five RBIs and a .875 slugging percentage. In Baylor’s 9-1 five-inning run-rule victory on Friday, the three-time First Team Academic All-Big 12 member went 2-for-3 while bringing in four RBIs. In the Bears’ Sunday afternoon walk-off, the senior outfielder started the Baylor rally in the bottom of the seventh inning with a one-out double.
Crandall allowed just three runs in 13.0 innings pitched which included two complete games against the Longhorns. She struck out six and limited UT to just one extra-base hit during the weekend. The Artesia, New Mexico native is the second freshman to earn Pitcher of the Week this season and marks the fourth consecutive week an underclassman has captured the honor. Crandall was also named D1Softball's Freshman of the Week.
Mid America Conference
MAC Softball Player of the Week
Brooke Sivek, Freshman, Akron
Akron freshman Brooke Sivek capped a remarkable rookie campaign helping the Zips capture the series at Central Michigan batting .692 on the strength of nine hits, 11 total bases and three runs scored. After going 1-for-4 in the series opener, Sivek finished the series going 8-for-9, including a 5-for-5 effort in game two of the series. In a must-win contest versus the Chippewas in game two to keep Akron's postseason hopes alive, she went 5-for-5 and twice scored the tying run in a game that went nine innings. She followed with a 3-for-4 effort with a run scored in a 6-5 Zips win in the series finale.
MAC Softball Pitcher of the Week
Haley Croyle, Freshman, Akron
Akron freshman pitcher Haley Croyle turned in a stellar weekend for the Zips helping the team battle down to the final day of the season to attempt to earn a MAC Tournament berth. In the series opener, a 6-0 Akron victory, she pitched 6.2 innings and allowed only hit en route to striking out nine batters against only one walk. In a must-win contest in game two, she tossed 4.2 innings of high-leverage relief entering the game in the fifth inning and struck out five batters while allowing only one walk. On the week, she posted a 0.62 ERA with Chippewas batters hitting only .108 over 11.1 innings in the circle.
Player of the Week Ali Newland, a junior outfielder/catcher from Bremen, Ga., led the Tigers with a .700 batting average, seven hits, three runs scored and three RBI in the series win over No. 11/10 Georgia. Newland totaled two three-hit games during the weekend, including the series finale where she singled to bring home the winning run to run-rule the Bulldogs and take the series. For the weekend, she tallied three doubles, a pair of stolen bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage.
Pitcher of the Week Maddie Penta, Auburn
Maddie Penta, a junior right-hander from Chesapeake City, Md., collected two wins in the circle against Mississippi State to help Auburn clinch its fourth consecutive SEC series win and its first top-three finish in the SEC since 2017. Penta tossed her sixth shutout in SEC play, tying Kristen Keyes (2004) for the program record for an SEC season. On Friday, she recorded her 10th double-digit strikeout effort of the season (10). Penta then held the Bulldogs to one hit in Sunday's series finale, her second one-hit effort in SEC play.
Freshman of the Week Larissa Preuitt, Alabama
Larissa Preuitt, an outfielder from Hartselle, Ala., posted a .727 batting average along with eight hits, three RBI and one run scored in the series win at Ole Miss. Preuitt recorded at least one hit in all three games against the Rebels, including three doubles. Her four hits in game one was the most for any Alabama player this season and the first four-hit game for a Crimson Tide player since March 2 last season.