After a 14-22 season, a 5-13 conference record and an eighth place finish in the conference, two members of the Lawrence University Softball team earned All-Midwest Conference honors. Freshman center-fielder Amanda Karnatz was a first-team selection while junior third-basemen Kori Looker was named to the second-team. All-Midwest Conference teams are voted on by the coaches.
Karnatz was an offensive powerhouse this season batting in the leadoff position. She hit a team best .405 and had 15 doubles on the season, breaking the school record of 13 previously held by three players. She also had two triples, 35 runs scored and 15 runs batted in. She finished the season with 47 hits and 15 multiple hit games. Karnatz also finished the season with 36 stolen bases, one short of the current school record held by Hall of Famer Jenny Burris. Karnatz’s 35 runs scored was two shy of tying the season record held by Burris and All-America shortstop Amanda Jaskolski.
In conference play, Karnatz hit .367 with eight doubles, 14 runs scored and three RBIs. She stole 17 bases in 18 conference games and ranks in the top ten in the country for stolen bases per game. She is the first freshman to be selected all-conference since Anna Wawiorka in 2013.
“I am very excited to have earned this award as a freshman. It is an honor to have won over some of the other great players in the Midwest Conference” said Karnatz. “A big part of what made me successful this season was having a great support system of teammates and coaches. I always knew that they would have my back no matter what.”
“The change from high school athletics to college athletics can be shocking, but I felt very prepared. The game is a lot faster in college, but through lifting and practice it is easier to adjust,” reflected Karnatz. “For my remaining seasons at Lawrence I hope to break the conference record for stolen bases and also continue to improve my playing ability on the field. I hope the team can also win conference.”
It was also Looker’s first time being selected to the all-conference team. Over the season, she hit .333 with 13 doubles, two home runs and 17 runs batted in. Looker built up an 11-game hit streak at the end of the season. She also hit safely in 13 of the team’s last 16 games. Looker played better softball during the conference season as she hit .373 with eight doubles, eight runs batted in and six runs scored. She finished the last 10 conference games with at least one hit and batted .483 over the same ten games.
Karnatz and Looker are honored to be the representatives of their team on the All-Midwest Conference teams. They hope to build off their individual successes going forward and get better as a team with the goal of making and eventually winning the conference tournament.