By VERONICA RATES, Staff Reporter
To say the University of Michigan-Dearborn softball team made history in 2015 would be an understatement.
UM-Dearborn finished the regular season in fourth place in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference regular season. But the Wolverines were the runner-up in the WHAC tournament, losing to Davenport 7-6 in early May.
Never before had any UM-Dearborn team competed in any WHAC championship game.
“This season was definitely one to remember,” said Val Bertani. “Being the first team at (UM-Dearborn) to make it to the WHAC tournament championship game is quite the accomplishment. Things are only going to go up.”
Bertani finished her junior season with a .353 batting average and 48 hits. She figures to be a key returnee for the Wolverines next season.
With a 26-24 overall record, and a 11-7 WHAC record, the Wolverines were a team to be reckoned with.
Big wins came from back-to-back series sweeps against Cornerstone University and Siena Heights.
The team had a .328 average, and brought in 306 runs compared to their opponents 317 runs.
In head coach Scott Combs’ second season taking over the UM-Dearborn softball reins, he was pretty happy about his teams’ season.
“I told the girls at the start of the season, our goal is to play for championships,” said Combs. “They worked hard and they paid attention to detail and got there. That’s all you can ask for…the ability to play for a championship on the last day of the league season.”
Team MVP: Jessie Thueme
Thueme made her mark in her final season as a Wolverines. She had the second highest batting average with a .386 mark, and led the team with 52 RBI and 10 homers this season.
Thueme was honored as UM-Dearborn’s Female Athlete of the Year at the university’s all-sports banquet on May 8. She won a WHAC Player of the Week award after her performance in the conference tournament.
Freshman of the Year: Jordan Ewald
With five homers and driving in the second most runs this season at 32, Ewald gets this years Freshman of the Year reward. She also had a standout .326 batting average this season.
Ewald was honored as UM-Dearborn’s Female Newcomer of the Year at the university’s all-sports banquet on May 8.