When Katie Schaake left one year and nine months ago for Lincoln Land Community College, she brought more than the usual college student brings.
It is not clear whether Schaake, who recently signed to play softball with the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will bring her softball equipment, like a bucket of softballs with her to UMSL. But, if not, they definitely served their purpose.
“My father and mother (John and Carrie) sent me to LLCC with a tee, a bucket of softballs and a bow-net of my own,” said the Hillsboro graduate. “All I really had to do was find a place to put up the bow-net in my little tiny apartment complex “yard”. The pandemic gave me the opportunity to learn life lessons. During the pandemic, I worked full time, I was a full-time online student and still managed to find time to get in some practice.”
Schaake, a lefty, was a force both at the plate and on the hill. The redshirt freshman led the Loggers in nine offensive categories and as second in a 10th. The outfielder/pitcher led LLCC in batting average (.416), hits (67), doubles (20), triples (seven), home runs (13), RBIs (54), walks (17), on-base percentage (.469) and slugging percentage (.870). She also was second in run scored with 53. Schaake, who played in 51 games, had 161 trips to the plate. She also stole eight bases this year.
“I was pretty happy with all my stats,” said Schaake. “I worked hard and put 110 percent on the field, every play. I feel as though my stats somewhat reflect that. My personal goals at UMSL is to work hard both on and off the field. I want to have no regrets, either academically, or athletically, when I am finished with college. I want to put everything into my experience and have great hopes of succeeding.”
Schaake was also one of two LLCC who got most of the assignments on the hill. The left-handed hurler finished with a 12-8 mark. She made 24 starts and played in 27 games. In 139 1/3 innings of work, she allowed 69 earned runs on 141 hits for a 3.47 earned run average. She fanned 141 batters and walked 48. She led the Loggers in fanned batters. She was second on the team in innings pitched and victories. The former Hiltopper also had the second lowest earned run average.
Defensively, she had a fielding percentage of .970. She made 37 putouts, 27 assisted putouts and two errors.
The redshirt freshman helped Lincoln Land post a 33-19 overall mark. They were 18-6 in the Mid-West Athletic Conference. For her play on the softball field, she earned MWAC All-Conference honors as well as National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Division II All-Region XXIV honors. In both cases, the freshman was named to the first team.
“I am going to miss my coaches at Lincoln Land (Rachel Wisner and Ryan Hickman),” said Schaake. “They were not only good coaches, but they were good people. No matter where I am in life, I feel as though if I were in a jam they would always be willing to help me if I needed it.”
Academically, the daughter of John and Carrie Schaake graduated from LLCC with an Associates Degree in Science. She graduated with honors. At UMSL, she plans to get a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. The future NCAA Division II softball player plans on minoring in Chemistry as well. She will have three years of eligibility left in softball.
“A few schools recruited me, but at the end of the day, UMSL was the best fit for me,” said Schaake. “Both of the UMSL Softball Coaches (Amanda Scott and Lauren Lappin) were being recruited for the United States Olympic Softball Team, so I know they will teach me quite a bit and I will have an opportunity to learn so much from them.”
The UMSL Tritons posted a record of 19-23 this year. The NCAA Division II team, which plays in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, posted a 14-14 mark in the league. They lose only one player to graduation.