Softball

HOLLY BRUNTJENS RECIPIENT OF FERRIS' HELEN BENNETT AWARD

Softball Player Named Ferris State's Outstanding Senior Female Student-Athlete

Holly Bruntjens
Holly Bruntjens is the 2008-09 Helen Bennett Award recipient as Ferris State's top senior student-athlete. (Photo by Sandy Gholston)

Senior Holly Bruntjens (Gladstone) of the nationally-ranked 2009 Ferris State University softball team was recently selected as the recipient of the school's 23rd annual Helen Bennett Award, which is presented to the Bulldogs' outstanding senior female student-athlete.

Bruntjens has been a key component in Ferris State softball's success this season as the Bulldogs presently sport an impressive 33-8 overall record and a final regular-season 21st-place national ranking in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Poll.

The award, which is named in honor of late university faculty member Helen Bennett, is sponsored annually by the Ferris Professional Women’s (FPW) organization to a female senior student-athlete combining performance both in the classroom and athletics. Bennett was the wife of longtime FSU golf and track coach Norm Bennett (1956-71), who began the award in her memory and was later inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. He directed the building of FSU's Katke Golf Course and Ewigleben Ice Arena along with being instrumental in forming the nation's first Professional Golf Management program at Ferris State.

Bruntjens becomes the fourth softball student-athlete to receive the honor, joining Nikki Moeggenborg (1996-97), Anne Bentley (1999-00), and Katie Kraai (2007-08) as previous Helen Bennett Award recipients associated with the Bulldog softball program.

A pitcher-outfielder, Bruntjens presently has compiled a 13-7 mark with a 1.72 earned run average in 114 innings of work this season. The 2009 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) First-Team honoree has registered a team-high 92 strikeouts as an 18-game starter in 22 appearances. She also has issued 24 walks while limiting the opposition to a .215 batting average. At the plate, Bruntjens is batting a career single-season .323 average with a season-high 32 base hits in 99 at bats. She has amassed seven doubles, two home runs, 21 RBIs, nine runs scored, and totaled a .455 slugging percentage this season to date. Bruntjens has also chalked up six multiple-hit game performances and a squad-best tying five multi-hit contests this spring.

In three seasons (2007-09) at FSU, Bruntjens currently ranks fourth among the Bulldogs' all-time leaders in career victories (42), third in strikeouts (302), tied for fourth in shutouts (14), sixth in innings pitched (402.1), and tied for ninth in complete games (40).

A season ago, Bruntjens was tabbed as the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Tournament's Most Outstanding Player and was also an all-tournament team member as a result of leading Ferris State to the Great Lakes Regional title and a national fifth-place tying finish at the 2008 NCAA-II Softball Championship Tournament in Houston, Texas. Bruntjens also attained second-team All-GLIAC recognition in 2008 and landed a spot on the GLIAC's All-Academic Team for the second year in a row. She was chosen as a NFCA Scholar-Athlete for the second straight season (2007 and 2008) as well.

FPW is a university organization which encourages and promotes women by providing opportunities to consider and act on common interests and issues. Active membership is open to persons employed at Ferris State University, their spouses and retirees.

Helen Bennett Award Recipients:
1986-87 -- Kris Johnson (Volleyball), Sandy Davison (Women's Basketball)
1987-88 -- Karen Kramer (Basketball)
1988-89 -- Janna Biggs (Volleyball)
1989-90 -- Dawn Lowe (Volleyball)
1990-91 -- Kelly Stosik (Volleyball)
1991-92 -- Karen Volkers (Volleyball)
1992-93 -- Monica Ferguson (Track & Field/Cross Country)
1993-94 -- Elizabeth Berry (Tennis)
1994-95 -- Melissa Thomas (Track & Field)
1995-96 -- Melissa Petty (Volleyball)
1996-97 -- Nikki Moeggenborg (Softball)
1997-98 -- Kristen Campbell (Women's Tennis)
1998-99 -- Sherri Harris (Volleyball)
1999-00 -- Anne Bentley (Softball/Tennis)
2000-01 -- Pam Preston (Track & Field/Cross Country)
2001-02 -- Morgan Buckner (Volleyball/Track & Field)
2002-03 -- Suzanne Batten (Tennis)
2003-04 -- Molly Potvin (Basketball)
2004-05 -- Crystal Flutur (Track & Field/Cross Country)
2005-06 -- Jenny Irwin (Track & Field/Cross Country)
2006-07 -- Erin Miller (Basketball)
2007-08 -- Katie Kraai (Softball)
2008-09 -- Holly Bruntjens (Softball)

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