Jackson, Tenn. - 5/7/2003 - Junior pitcher, Leah Gronberg, of Union University was named the NAIA Region XI Pitcher of the Year. Gronberg marks the seventh straight Lady Bulldog to earn this honor (Capagreco 2, Murray 4). Joining Gronberg on the first team All-Region were teammates May Kosco, Megan Quarry, and Holly Haycraft. Amy Mejia was named second team All-Region.
Gronberg, from College Station, Texas, earned this honor on the heels of her first TranSouth Conference Pitcher of the Year award. This is her third season as a Lady Bulldog and each season has been just as good as the last. Gronberg is coming off NAIA All-American campaign and is in position to earn yet another All-American honor. This season, she is 22-6 with a 0.88 ERA. She has pitched 182.1 innings, started 28 games, tallied 25 complete games, and tossed 10 shut outs. Gronberg has struck out 164 batters while walking just 44. Gronberg leads the TranSouth Conference in almost every pitching category.
Kosco is Union’s other pitcher behind Gronberg. As a freshman, Kosco has a record of 19-5 with an ERA of 0.85. She started 24 games, threw 23 complete games, and tossed nine shut outs. Kosco struck out 142 batters and walked only 22 in 164.2 innings pitched. Kosco and Gronberg ranked either one or two in every TranSouth pitching category.
Quarry is Union’s lone senior. She has been the Lady Bulldog catcher for the past two season’s after transferring in from Okaloosa Walton College. Quarry, from Decatur, Alabama, is hitting .322 with 46 hits, a team high 15 doubles, and 25 RBI. Behind the plate, she through out 7-of-16 (.437) would be base stealers.
Haycraft had an immediate impact for Coach Dunn’s Lady Bulldogs. As a freshman, she broke the Union record for stolen bases in a season. Haycraft currently stands at 42 steals in 45 attempts. The old record was 37 held by Izzi Luna back in 1999. Haycraft is 21 away from the career stolen base record at Union. On the season, she hit .321 with an on base percentage of .418 out of the leadoff position. Haycraft leads Union with 52 hits and adds six double and two triples.
Mejia, Union’s junior shortstop out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is first on the team with a .331 batting average. She has tallied 50 hits, 10 doubles, two homeruns, and 26 RBI. Mejia made the transition from third base last season to shortstop this year. She made just nine errors in 167 chances (.946).
Union is currently playing host to the NAIA Region XI Tournament at Fesmire Field. The Lady Bulldogs entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and ranked No. 7 in the latest NAIA polls. With a win, Union earns an automatic bid to their third NAIA World Series in four seasons. Should the Lady Bulldogs fall in the regional, the five at-large bids to the NAIA World Series would more than likely reach Union as the No. 7 ranked team.
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