Archived Voice Articles
2008 Spring sports wrap up
By Mike Byker
The baseball team finished the year with a 13-22 record and a 10-14 Great Plains Athletic Conference record. The Defenders ended one game short of making the GPAC post-season tournament.
Chris Liebhart ended his career as a first baseman, after already earning a spot in the record book for his pitching. An injury last year kept him from pitching this year, but still allowed him to earn a .383 batting average.
The team boasted a .301 batting average and had a 5.74 earned run average. Dordt was led in hitting by Chris Liebhartís .383 batting average in 60 at-bats. The senior played first base for the Defenders much of the second half of the season after he was unable to be a regular starting pitcher because of an elbow injury in 2007. Travis De Jong closed his career with a .382 batting average and left his mark on the all-time record books with 120 hits, ranking fourth, and fifth all-time runs batted in with 73. He was fifth with 382 at-bats in his four seasons. De Jong also ranks second all-time in doubles with 29 and fifth all-time in total bases with 180.
Travis Feekes made a dramatic improvement from his freshman year with a .352 batting average and 38 hits, with ten stolen bases. Junior Dillon Peters continued his steady play with 39 base hits and already ranks in the top ten for career at-bats, hits, and singles, with 335, 106 and 88 respectively. Jed Bennett had 14 hits in 45 at-bats for a .311 batting average, and Bobby Lutke batted .309 with 34 base hits. Josh Bowers narrowly missed the .300 mark with a .298 batting average and a team-high three homeruns.
Bryan Diemer was the win leader on the mound with a 4-1 record and a 5.06 earned run average while Patrick Sinnema pitched 44 innings with a 3.89 earned run average and a 2-4 record with a team high 27 strikeouts. Alex Jansen and Daryl Visser were 3-3 and 3-2 respectively in capping their four-year careers, and Chris Liebhart appeared in eight games. Jansen was a reliable starter during his four seasons with 158 innings logged, and Liebhart had 146 innings pitched with 102 strikeouts which ranks him tenth all-time, despite being limited for a year and a half.
DeJong was named to the all-GPAC second team while Feekes, Liebhart, Evan Pheneger, Peters, and Diemer all earned honorable mention.
The golf season ended in the NAIA Region III championships. The Defenders recorded a two-day total of 630 for third place in the seven-team field, ending the season ranked third in Region III.
The Defenders carded a 311-319 in the two-day event and were led by Jared Rempelís third-place total of 150 (73-77). This marked the third year in a row the Defenders qualified for the Regional meet, and it was their best finish. They qualified for the event with a second-place finish at the GPAC championships with a 613.
Dordt was led by Rempelís season low average of 75.44. Collin Broekhuis and Jason Kroese also ended the year with sub-80 averages, with Broekhuis at 78.79 and Kroese at 79. Jordan Janz and Matt Zwart both spent the season hovering around the 80 mark and ended the year at 80.25 and 81.46 respectively. Zwart and Kroese were both seniors.
The Defenders established a two-day low score record of 590 at the Central Dutch Classic hosted in Oskaloosa, Iowa. They placed second at the Midland Lutheran Invite, and their second place finish at the GPAC was their best finish since the formation of the GPAC in 2000-2001.
The softball season ended with a 5-33 record. The Defenders were led by Becca Hengeveldís .333 batting average and team-high three triples and 42 base hits. The sophomore also had a team high 19 runs scored. Amber Soodsma and Sarah Seymour, a pair of freshmen, had 27 and 25 hits and seven and eight doubles respectively. Seymour had three homeruns and led the team in runs batted in with 16.
The Defender pitching staff leaned heavily on Amber Soodsma and Sarah Visser with 92 and 88 1/3 innings pitched respectively. Soodsma had a 4.18 earned run average, with a team high 90 strikeouts. Visser led the team with three wins and struck out 78 batters.
Hengeveld and Seymour both claimed GPAC honorable mention from the conference coaches.
The menís tennis team completed its regular season with a pair of losses in Nebraska to conference rivals Nebraska Wesleyan and Hastings.
The Defenders, fighting injuries all season, finished 5-11 overall and 2-5 in the league, despite a makeshift lineup that had players playing at higher positions than anticipated at the beginning of the season.
Jake Compaan managed a 9-7 overall record at #1 singles and was 9-7 in doubles play including 4-3 in GPAC play. Tim Walstra, playing with a bad wrist most of the season, went 9-3 overall and 4-3 in the GPAC. He was 7-5 in doubles play and 4-3 in conference play. Joel Wiersma earned a 5-10 overall record and a 3-4 record in the GPAC while Ryan Haan was 4-10 overall and 6-8 in doubles play. Christopher Castellanos, a freshman, was 6-10 in singles play. Lance Nieuwsma missed much of the year with a knee injury, and Ben Boekeloo, Dordtís number one singles player in 2007, missed the season with a shoulder injury.
The womenís tennis season ended on Friday, May 2, in a 5-4 loss to Concordia in the NAIA Region III semifinals. The Defenders had beaten Concordia the week before to help secure a first place tie in the GPAC regular season standings and a co-championship with Nebraska Wesleyan.
The Defenders finished the year with a 7-1 GPAC record and stood 8-9 overall. 2008 marked the fourth straight year the Defenders advanced to the NAIA Regional tournament. Alanna Dake played most of the season at #1 singles and #1 doubles, compiling a 9-8 overall record in singles play and an 11-6 doubles record. Betsy Borr was 9-1 in doubles play this season while compiling an 8-2 record at #2 singles. Borr and Dake teamed at doubles most of the season.
Steph Helmus capped a fine season with an overall record of 15-2, splitting time between #3 singles and #2 singles and #1 doubles and #2 doubles. Helmus was 10-7 in doubles play. Sandra Buesselmann played a limited schedule, focusing on the conference matches, compiling a 7-2 singles mark and an 8-2 doubles mark at #4 and #3 respectively. Melanie De Young reached double digits in singles play with a 10-7 record and was 4-5 in doubles matches.
Track and Field
At press time the track and field team was preparing for the NAIA national meet. Jen Kempers qualified for the national meet in the 3000-meter steeplechase, 1500 meters, 5000 meters and met the provisional standard in the 800 meters and the high jump. She also qualified in the 4 x 800 meter relay team with Sierra Zomer, Joy Horstman and Tami Wieringa.
Kempers earned individual honors during the season, being named the outstanding female performer at the Sioux City Relays and at the GPAC championships in early May. She also was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Womenís Outdoor Track and Field Athlete-of-the-Year. Kempers accounted for 28 Dordt College points at the Great Plains Athletic Conference championship. The 2006 NAIA national champion in the steeplechase and runner-up in 2007, she won the steeplechase at the 2008 conference meet and claimed second in the 800 and 5000 meter races. Kempers also scored points in the high jump with a seventh place finish. All totaled, Kempers has met either the automatic or provisional qualifying standard for the NAIA national meet in the 800, 1500, 5000, steeplechase, high jump and 4 x 800 meter relay.
Kempers took third place in the 800 meters at the NAIA national indoor track and field meet earlier this spring and was a part of a 4 x 800 meter relay team that also took home third place from the meet in Johnson City, Tennessee. She is the first Dordt College track athlete to win the yearly honor from the GPAC.