A debate could rage for hours – maybe even days – about whether sophomore Ally Foster is a more effective hitter or pitcher for the Bellarmine University softball team and where her value has the greatest impact. One thing about her versatile performance this season is clear-cut: She brought plenty of misery to opposing teams while in the batter’s box or the pitcher’s circle.

The respect around the league for Foster’s dual-threat abilities was underscored at the Thursday evening banquet at the 2014 Great Lakes Valley Conference Softball Championship Tournament, where Foster was honored as the conference’s Player of the Year to become the second Knights player in school history to receive the accolade after Kara Houston in 2003.

Selected as the POY and first-team All-GLVC East as a utility player, Foster wasn’t alone in receiving plaudits. Joining her on the first team for Bellarmine were juniors Alicia Miller (pitcher) and Kelsey Hicks (third base), while second-team notice went to juniors Scarlett Powers (catcher) and Hannah Daunhauer (outfield) and freshman Erica Knollman (shortstop).

The six Bellarmine players celebrated on the All-GLVC team are the most ever for the Knights since the GLVC was separated into divisions and first and second teams were established. Before that, Bellarmine had seven players honored in 1991 – four on the first team with three honorable-mention selections.

In addition to naming Foster as the POY, the GLVC coaches voted Missouri-St. Louis’ Hannah Perryman and Truman State’s Kindra Henze as Co-Pitchers of the Year; Missouri-St. Louis shortstop Alex Stupek was named Freshman of the Year; and Indianapolis’ Melissa Frost was tabbed as Coach of the Year.

Before leading Bellarmine into the GLVC Softball Championship, Foster built what may have been an irrevocable case to become the league’s POY. Name a statistical category offensively, and the Louisville native either heads the GLVC or is among the leaders. The sophomore, who plays center field when she’s not pitching, is leading the league in batting average (.397), slugging percentage (.747) and on-base percentage (.508), and is top seven in hits (58), doubles (15), homers (12), RBIs (36), runs scored (39), total bases (109) and walks (31).

Foster has been just as dominating when she leaves the batter’s box for the pitcher’s circle. Her anemic 0.92 ERA is fifth in the country, and she’s second in the nation in hits allowed per seven innings (2.81). The overpowering right-hander has struck out a BU single-season record of 172 batters while accumulating a 16-5 record with a GLVC-best four saves. Opponents are batting a paltry .123 against the two-time All-GLVC first teamer, which leads the conference.

Player of the Year:Ally Foster, So., UT, Bellarmine
Co-Pitchers of the Year:Hannah Perryman, So., P, Missouri-St. Louis
Kindra Henze, So., P, Truman State
Freshman of the Year:Alex Stupek, Fr., SS, Missouri-St. Louis
Coach of the Year:Melissa Frost, Indianapolis

Ally Foster is 2012 CAL Graduate.

Article Posted 5-1-14 http://athletics.bellarmine.edu/news/2014/5/1/SB_0501142038.aspx