OGDEN, Utah – After a record-breaking regular season, more firsts for the UND softball team continue to be made as redshirt junior pitcher Kaylin VanDomelen was named the Big Sky Conference's Pitcher of the Year and earned unanimous All-Big Sky First Team honors, while senior outfielder Rachael Waynick picked up All-Big Sky Second Team honors, the league announced Wednesday.
VanDomelen has had a tremendous season for the Fighting Hawks, both in the circle and at the plate. The Banks, Ore., native leads all Big Sky pitchers with a 1.79 earned-run average, a .217 opposing batting average and 162 strikeouts. Her 162 strikeouts also ranks 48th in the nation.
On offense, VanDomelen currently leads UND with a .325 batting average and a team-best 52 hits in 160 at-bats. She also has a team-best 16 doubles, 25 runs and eight home runs. Her 16 doubles ranks second among conference batters and she also ranks eighth in the league with a .588 slugging percentage.
This is the first time UND has earned a conference Pitcher of the Year award in program history, and the first Pitcher/Player of the Year award since All-American Casie Hanson was named the Great West's Player of the Year in 2010. It is also the second All-Big Sky First Team honor for VanDomelen, as she garnered the program's first-ever award in 2016.
From Waterford, Mich., Waynick has had an incredible senior season, nearly doubling her career batting average this year. She has recorded 40 hits in 137 at-bats this season, and sits second on the team with a .292 batting average. Waynick posted a career-best five game hitting streak this season and leads the team with 13 multi-hit games, including three four-hit contests.
The All-Big Sky Second Team honor is the first postseason accolade for Waynick and is the first all-conference selection for a non-pitcher since 2012.
North Dakota begins competition at the 2017 Big Sky Conference Softball Championship on Thursday with a game against Southern Utah at 10:30 a.m. (CT). The winner will advance to play Weber State later the same day at 3:30 p.m., while the loser will play on Friday at 10:30 a.m.