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DWU softball has three on all-GPAC first team

In a record-setting season, the Dakota Wesleyan University softball team also had three players named to the all-Great Plains Athletic Conference first team, it was announced Monday afternoon.

Junior Dani Klassen and sophomores Lindy Snook and Hailey Unger were first-team selections for DWU (22-18), which was a school record for most players on the first team. Two other players -- Jill Dickson and Bailey Gummer -- were honorable mention selections.

This is Unger's second conference honor and she finished third on the team with a .377 batting average and second for DWU with 28 RBIs. She finished with seven doubles, three triples and a team-best six home runs. The catcher recorded 201 putouts and 18 assists.

"She was one of five finalists for player of the year," said DWU softball coach Ed Kieff, who is the winningest coach in program history in this third season with the Tigers with a 49-74 record. "She's just a very talented player and well-respected around the conference."

Snook, an infielder, set school records for hits (53), doubles (17) and RBIs (31) in a season and had a team-high .449 batting average. She finished second in the GPAC in batting average and doubles and was second in the NAIA in doubles per game (.4).

"She's put a lot of time in this year with her hitting and is one of the best shortstops I've ever coached," Kieff said.

Klassen, who transferred from Dodge City Community College, finished second on the team with a .378 batting average. She recorded 51 hits, 17 RBIs and 13 doubles and was second in the GPAC in stolen bases (27). She set the school record for runs scored in a season with 36 and stolen bases.

"She's a good outfielder who can hit with power and brings a lot of speed," Kieff said.

Dickson, a senior, finishes her two-year career with DWU with school records for pitching strikeouts (132) and pitching wins (16). She went 16-8 with a 2.81 earned run average in 28 appearances. Gummer, a junior infielder from De Smet, batted .308 this season with 24 hits and 19 RBIs.

The Tigers set a school record with 22 wins this season and won their first-ever GPAC tournament contest, beating Dordt College 8-2.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.