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SOFTBALL Seniors earn Red Raiders team honors

June 12, 2012

For the first time in several years Wauwatosa East broke into the win column in the Greater Metro Conference and finished the year with a 4-10, 4-18 overall record.

The postseason team awards went to the three seniors on the team.

Becca Hoffland received the MVP Award for the second year in a row, having the highest batting average (mid-.300's) and slugging (high .400's) on the team this year.

"Becca has a strong work ethic; she's tough, can take criticism," Tosa East coach Megan Arndorfer said. "She has a good sense of humor, communicates well and is competitive."

Hoffland also came up with the big hits when her team needed them.

"The thing that makes Becca stand out from the rest is Becca wants to be put in that position to have the game-winning hit," Arndorfer said. "She has done so in so many different occasions and will greatly be missed."

Arndorfer also was pleased with Hoffland's leadership skills.

"She proved that good leadership makes a huge difference," she said. "She was very patient with the inexperienced players on the team and helped them along the way."

Megan Gates earned the Most Improved Player Award. Her on-base percentage stayed consistent all year and ended up being the highest on the team (.396) and her defense at second base improved tremendously, as she had the least amount of errors on the team.

"Megan is the type of player and person a coach dreams about," Arndorfer said. "She has an incredible work ethic; she is reliable, kind, considerate, grateful, respectful and fun. She has grown so much throughout her years here.

"The first couple of years she was pretty reserved and led more by example. However, this year she seemed more comfortable, confident and vocal. I couldn't be prouder of Megan and her accomplishments.

"She is her toughest critic and I give her a lot of credit for relaxing a bit (taking a little pressure off herself) and just focusing on enjoying a fun game."

Finally, Brigit Griffin won the Coaches Award.

"BG is truly one of a kind," Arndorfer said. "She is such a warmhearted person who accepts and encourages everyone."

Griffin showed what kind of person she was when she played right field for most of the season with a dislocated finger on her throwing hand. She could not finish the season because she needed to get surgery on her pinkie finger.

"However, in BG style she was at every practice/game after her recovery helping me run things, letting all the players know how many outs there were, where the play was, encouraging players to hustle on and off the field, and of course cheering us on. She will be greatly missed."

Hoffland, Gates and Meredith Starnes earned honorable mention all-conference honors.

Looking back at her final season, Arndorfer, who resigned last week, had this to say: "I couldn't have asked for a better team and season. I know our record doesn't indicate it, but we improved a great deal and had fun doing it. We competed in so many more games this year compared to the last four.

"Plus, we even pulled off some big wins in dramatic fashion. I couldn't be prouder of the kind of people they are and the players that they have become. They truly made my last season a memorable one that I will never forget."

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