Badger Sports Roundup, June 24

Women's crew to announce new coach; softball adds recruit; two Badgers earn sportsmanship awards

Softball builds its roster

Katie Hnatyk will join the softball team in its 2004-05 campaign, head coach Karen Gallagher announced Thursday.

Hnatyk, who plays first base and outfield, boasted a strong batting average of .479 during her senior year at Woodbury High School in Woodbury, Minn. She also contributed 31 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases, earning her all-state honors from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Hnatyk also played for the Minnesota Irish and the Minnesota Force, two summer clubs, hitting .441 with 48 RBI, 11 triples, five home runs and 16 stolen bases last year.

"We are excited about adding such an athletic and hard-working player as Katie to our program," Gallagher said. "We are glad to have a great Midwest hitter staying close to home."

Wisconsin to announce new crew coach

Wisconsin will introduce another coach this month when it announces the hiring of a new women's crew coach Friday at 11 a.m.

Former women's lightweight and openweight coach Maren LaLiberty resigned in February, citing personal reasons for her departure. Sue Ela served as the interim director in place of LaLiberty. The Ela guided openweight rowers finished 11th at the NCAA Championships, while the lightweight varsity eight boat cruised to its first national championship.

Hanson, Reiss win sportsmanship awards

Senior men's soccer goalie Eric Hanson and junior women's softball player Kaitlin Reiss earned top honors for their work in the community and on the field when they earned Wisconsin's Sportsmanship Award for the 2003-04 academic year.

Each athletic program at UW selects a student-athlete for the honor and, from that pool, the top male and female are selected. Nominees must be enthusiastic about their game and perform to the best of their abilities, regardless of their records. They must respect the opponents and respect the rules for their sports. Outside of athletics, they must be active in their campus communities.

Reiss, who suits up for the softball team, racked up a .235 batting average in 38 games on the field. She was busy off the field, volunteering with "Bookin' it with Bucky" and Habitat for Humanity, while also visiting the UW Children's Hospital and participating in cleanup efforts on beaches in Simi Valley, Calif. In addition to her school award, Reiss is the Big Ten's female nominee for the NCAA Sportsmanship Award.

Hanson has racked up 165 saves, 11 shutouts and 19 career wins; his win record is sixth best in UW history while his saves and shutouts are seventh. He made the 2003 Big Ten All-Tournament Team and the all-Big Ten second team while earning Academic All-Big Ten honors. Hanson, a graduate of La Follette High School, makes visits to the UW Children's Hospital.

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