Four Bulldogs Named to NSIC All-Conference Team
Senior outfielder Hannah Schmoll headlines quartet of UMD softball players receiving conference honors.
DULUTH — For the ninth consecutive year, the University of Minnesota Duluth has secured a spot on the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Sun first team while two other Bulldogs were bestowed with second team honors. Senior outfielder Hannah Schmoll was selected to the 16-member All-NSIC first team after making the second team her first three seasons. Seniors shortstop Becky Smith and second baseman Natalie Wright collared second team selections.
Also, sophomore third baseman Lauren Oberle with the addition of the three seniors — Schmoll and Wright in back-to-back seasons — made the 2018 NSIC Gold Glove Team at their respective positions. The Bulldogs make up four of the nine positions in the second-ever installment of golden glove prowess.
Schmoll, the all-time single-season and career stolen bases leader at UMD, leads the team with a .440 batting average, a .497 on-base percentage and 38 stolen bases, two shy of her 2016 record total. She also batted in a personal best 38 runs from her leadoff spot. The Grand Rapids, Minn., native has 73 hits on the season, which is third among the conference and six in the nation. Her NSIC-leading 56 runs, a Bulldog single-season record, is 10th in Division II as well. Earlier this year, she became UMD’s all-time hits (270) and runs leader (197). Schmoll, who has 14 career outfield assists, has made just one error in 82 fielding chances (.988) this season while working out of the centerfield position.
Wright, a lefthanded hitting second baseman from Wyoming, Minn., is having another stellar season in the No. 2 spot. She is second on the team in doubles (15), RBI (48) while hitting .371 with a .563 slugging clip. Wright, who claimed first team honors in each of the past two seasons, has played and started in 210 straight games, a program-record. She has the Bulldogs’ best single-game RBI performance with eight RBI against Emporia State University. Wright has compiled a .953 field percentage in 2018 and two years ago established a program single-season record for assists with 125.
Smith, a native of Long Lake, Minn., is leading the team with 18 doubles, and 65 RBI and ranks second among UMD hitters in batting average (.414), hits (70), home runs (12) and slugging percentage (.757). Smith, who has been named to the second team all four seasons, recently set the Bulldogs’ all-time single-season and career RBI marks. The Orono H.S. product has 205 RBI for her career, breaking Kierra Jeffers’ mark of 149 and her 2015 RBI record of 57. Like Schmoll, Smith was a Top 10 Finalist for the inaugural NFCA Division II Freshman of the Year Award in 2015 and like Wright, she has started in all 210 games over the past four seasons. Smith has recorded a .952 fielding percentage 200 opportunities.
Oberle had the team’s second-highest fielding percentage with a .991 fielding clip. The Eden Prairie, Minn., native made one error in 117 chances with 74 assists, second among her teammates.
The Bulldogs, who are 38-11 overall and finished third the final NSIC standings with a 20-6 mark, will begin play in the three-day, 10-team double-elimination NSIC Tournament against the University of Sioux Falls on Thursday at 12 p.m. in Sioux Falls, S.D.
(INFORMATION COURTESY OF UMD ATHLETICS)