Kennedy Is NSIC Player Of The Year Again

Kennedy Is NSIC Player Of The Year Again

BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference announced its 2017 All-NSIC Softball team on Wednesday. Augustana senior shortstop Sarah Kennedy earned First Team honors and was named Player of the Year for the second time in her career while junior right-handed pitcher Lexy Pederson was named to the Second Team along with being named Newcomer of the Year.

Augustana sophomore catcher Shannon Petersen also earned All-NSIC First Team honors.

Kennedy, from Bettendorf, Iowa, was also named the NSIC Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2015. She has earned All-NSIC First Team honors in four straight seasons for the Vikings and was recently named a Top 25 finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year Award. Kennedy led the NSC batting .552 with 17 doubles and seven home runs in 26 conference games. Her 17 doubles is a new NSIC single season record. Kennedy currently leads the country in batting average (.522), total bases (153) and doubles (28). She also ranks fourth in the country in slugging percentage (.950) and sixth in on-base percentage (.567). Kennedy is the NCAA career active leader (Division I, II and III) in hits (331), doubles (73) and total bases (556).

Pederson transferred to Augustana from North Iowa Area Community College where she played one season and was an all-region selection in 2016. Pederson posted a 10-1 record and a 2.54 ERA in 16 appearances in NSIC play in 2017. She made 15 starts and tossed 11 complete games while recording one save in conference play. She struck out 54 batters in 80 innings pitched while holding opponents to a .240 batting average in 16 NSIC appearances. Pederson owns an overall record of 18-4 on the season to go along with a 1.97 ERA. She has struck out 93 batters in 138.1 innings and has held opponents to a .228 batting average.

Petersen, a sophomore from Edina, Minnesota, is making her second straight appearance on the All-NSIC First Team after earning the same honors as a freshman in 2016. Petersen batted .404 with five doubles and 13 home runs (led NSIC) in 26 conference games in 2017. She led the team with 36 RBI while producing an .899 slugging percentage. Petersen has started all 48 games in 2017 and is batting .372 with 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 48 RBI.

Augustana finished the regular season with a record of 36-12, including 21-5 in NSIC play which secured the No. 3 seed in the NSIC Tournament. The Vikings have won 20-plus NSIC games eight times since joining the league in 2009.

Augustana is co-hosting the 2017 NSIC Softball Tournament with the University of Sioux Falls May 4-6 at Bowden Field and Sherman Park. The Vikings open the NSIC Tournament against No. 6 seed Bemidji State at 12 p.m. Thursday at Sherman Park.

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