Tuesday night’s 6-4 loss to Pleasantville in the opening round of the Class 2A Regional Softball Tournament ended the season for the Pella Christian softball team, and it also saw the curtain draw closed on the career of Sami Veenstra. The Lady Eagles’ first baseman was the lone senior on this year’s squad, and was an invaluable part of a team that relied upon a number of underclassmen.
“She meant everything – absolutely everything – and I complimented her on that in our postgame talk [on Tuesday night]. [Sami was] a girl who, for the last three years, has been very quiet and kind of just stayed back in the shadows and let everybody else lead, but she really came into her own this year,” said Pella Christian head coach Nate Van Wyk.
“[She is] a fantastic leader – not only in the clubhouse, so to speak, in terms of including everyone and just being the definition of a team player and someone who showed up and worked hard every day – but also what she did between the lines. [She] led our team in hitting this year, played good defense, [and] usually came up with clutch hits when we needed them, so we’re really, really going to miss her next year.”
Van Wyk adds that the silver lining of this season will be the 18 Varsity-level athletes that he expects to have back next summer. Among the categories Veenstra led the team in were batting average (.400), on-base percentage (.459), RBIs (13) and runs scored (22).
The Pella Christian softball team ends the 2012 season with a 7-22 overall record and 4-8 in the Little Hawkeye Conference – finishing in a tie for fifth in the league with Knoxville.