by DAVID ALBRECHT
With the 2019 season officially in the books, another wave of postseason awards has arrived for the Winona State University (WSU) softball team.
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has named five Warriors to the All-Central Region Team – the most NFCA All-Region honorees for one team in all of Division II Softball. Jordyn Kleman, Lani Van Zyl and Alison Nowak were each named to the All-Region First Team while Liz Pautz and Alexis Kelsey earned Second-Team recognition.
Last week, the same five players were honored by the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) as All-Central Region award winners. Kleman was named the D2CCA Central-Region Pitcher of the Year and Van Zyl the Player of the Year.
Additionally, Kleman and Nowak have garnered Academic All-District First-Team honors by the College Sports Information Director of America (CoSIDA). First-team Academic All-District recipients are now eligible for Academic All-America voting.
WSU concluded its 2019 campaign with a new program record for wins. The Warriors (53-9) won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season championship in back-to-back years for the first time in program history while posting a perfect 30-0 record in conference play. WSU’s 31-game winning streak this year also set a new program record, while head coach Greg Jones finished the year with 800 career wins. The Warriors hosted the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Central Regional for the second straight season in Winona, and fourth time overall, while making their 14th NCAA Regional appearance — each under the guidance of Jones.