Sports

White Rock Renegade alums honoured with U.S. college awards

University of Minnesota pitcher Sara Groenewegen was named Big Ten Conference’s freshman of the year, as well as pitcher of the year. Below, University of North Carolina-Greensboro
University of Minnesota pitcher Sara Groenewegen was named Big Ten Conference’s freshman of the year, as well as pitcher of the year. Below, University of North Carolina-Greensboro's Katelyn Bedwell was named Southern Conference player of the year.
— image credit: Eric Miller/University of Minnesota photo

A handful of former White Rock Renegades are shining on softball fields south of the border.

Katelyn Bedwell, a senior first baseman at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, was named the Southern Conference player of the year earlier this month, after a record-breaking season on the diamond.

The Elgin Park graduate was also named to the All-Conference team for a fourth time. This past season, Bedwell set a school record for runs-batted-in in a single season with 64 – third most in Southern Conference history – and also set a school record in batting average, after hitting at a .429 clip.

She was also named the conference’s player of the month for April, after clubbing four doubles and 12 home runs in 17 games.

“She is so deserving of this honour,” UNCG softball coach Janelle Breneman said. “K.B. will lead here… as one of the top hitters ever to wear the blue and gold.

“Her hard work, natural ability, combined with her hitting mentality, has been fun to watch. (Bedwell) has been a constant example for our younger hitters and is the most talented hitter I have ever had the privilege of coaching.”

Elsewhere in the NCAA, another former Renegade – pitcher Sara Groenewegen – added an award to her ever-growing trophy case.

The freshman pitcher at the University of Minnesota was recently named the Big Ten Conference’s freshman of the year, as well as pitcher of the year.

She is just the third player in conference history to win both awards in the same season.

Groenewegen finished the regular season with a 7-2 win-loss record as a pitcher, holding batters to a .142 batting average. She had 104 strikeouts and four shutouts, while also pitching a no-hitter against Penn State.

Groenewegen helped the Golden Gophers to a berth in the Super Regionals – which were held last weekend in Oregon.

Groenewegen’s older sister, Marina – a senior at Bradley University in Illinois – has also had an impressive season.

The elder Groenewegen lead Bradley to a Missouri Valley Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.

In semifinals, Groenewegen hit two home runs.

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