Ferris State University softball senior Holly Bruntjens (Gladstone) has been named by the FSU Athletics Department as the 2008-09 athletics season recipient of the Willie Bouyer Leadership Award.
The Willie Bouyer Leadership Award, which is regarded as the most prestigious of the FSU Athletics Department's four major annual honors, is named in memory of Ferris State's first All-America football student-athlete Willie Bouyer. Bouyer was tragically killed in his hometown of Detroit in 1977.
Candidates for the award are judged on their strong inspirational leadership and dedication to fellow Ferris State student-athletes. The nominees also should be involved outside of athletics in other college and community activities along with participating on a varsity athletics team for at least two years. The Willie Bouyer Leadership Award was reinstated upon the conclusion of the 2002-03 season following a seven-year absence.
Bruntjens, a pitcher-outfielder, has received a number of awards and honors this season for her performance on the field and in the classroom. She recently was chosen a Spring 2009 recipient of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Commissioner's Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence. Previous to the award, Bruntjens was tabbed a 2009 Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II All-Midwest Region First-Team pick and earned second-team plaudits on the 2009 Daktronics, Inc., Division II Softball All-Midwest Region Team.
A 2009 All-GLIAC First-Team honoree, Bruntjens registered a 14-8 record in the pitching circle this spring to go with a 1.76 earned run average and a team-leading 97 strikeouts in 127.0 innings. In batting, Bruntjens hit for a career season-high .300 average with a single-season best 33 base hits in 110 at bats. She also produced eight doubles, two home runs, 22 RBIs, a .427 slugging percentage, and a .310 on-base percentage.
A three-time (2007-09) GLIAC All-Academic Team member, Bruntjens was the 2008-09 winner of FSU's Helen Bennett Award as the most outstanding female student-athlete and earned second-team recognition on the 2009 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District IV College Division Softball Team. She twice was recognized as the team's FSU President's Award recipient for having the highest cumulative grade point average.
This season, Bruntjens played an integral role in leading Ferris State to the program's seventh NCAA Division II Regional Tournament appearance as the 21st nationally-ranked Bulldogs concluded the season at 35-10 overall and 18-4 in the GLIAC. As a junior in 2008, she was chosen as the NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after helping lead FSU to the regional title and then played a key part in the Bulldogs' fifth-place tying finish at the NCAA-II Softball Championships.
Bruntjens concluded her highly-productive three-year (2007-09) career at Ferris State ranking among the program's all-time leaders in several pitching and hitting statistical categories. In pitching, she presently is listed third in strikeouts (307), fourth in victories (43), tied for fourth in shutouts (14), sixth in innings pitched (415.1), eighth in earned run average (1.53), and ninth in complete games (41). In batting, Bruntjens ranks tied for 19th in home runs (six) and tied for 26th in doubles (17).
A two-time (2007-08) NFCA Scholar-Athlete, Bruntjens has been an active participant in FSU Athletics' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) while also being involved in Ferris Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Make-A-Wish fundraiser, annual Girl Scouts All-Sports Day, Relay For Life, elementary school reading, and other community activities. A three-time (2007-09) GLIAC All-Academic Team member, Bruntjens was a non-scholarship walk-on addition to the 2006 squad and was required to sit out the season due to NCAA policy after transferring from Saginaw Valley State.
Leadership Award Recipients
2008-09 - Holly Bruntjens (Softball)
2007-08 - Raquel Hansen (Women's Golf) and Katie Kraai (Softball)
2006-07 - Danielle Baucher (Women's Volleyball) and Raquel Hansen (Women's Golf)
2005-06 - Brittny Godlewski (Women's Volleyball) and Jeffrey Shanahan (Men's Basketball)
2004-05 - Brittny Godlewski (Women's Volleyball) and Navreet Gill (Softball)
2003-04 - Melissa Worsley (Softball) and Derrick McIver (Men's Ice Hockey)
2002-03 - Steve Picucci (Mens' Cross Country and Men's Track & Field)
1995-96 - Benny Roe (Football)
1994-95 - Tim Christian (Men's Ice Hockey)
1993-94 - Jere Getzinger (Wrestling and Football)
1992-93 - Dave Morin (Baseball)
1991-92 - Erica Thomas (Women's Basketball)
1990-91 - Mark Kamppinen (Baseball)
1989-90 - Doug Mooney (Wrestling) and Jody Johnson (Softball)
1988-89 - Jim Beson (Football and Wrestling)
1987-88 - Sam Sweet (Men's Track and Field)
1986-87 - Paul Surmont (Cheerleading - Bulldog Mascot)
1985-86 - Kurt Stevens (Men's Basketball)
1984-85 - Steve Piotraczk (Football), Katy Kelley (Women's Basketball)
1980-81 - Fred Kirkland (Football and Men's Track & Field)