Softball Senior Honored As Ferris State's Outstanding Female Student-Athlete

Katie Kraai
Katie Kraai has been selected as the 2007-08 recipient of the Helen Bennett Award.

Senior Katie Kraai (Zeeland) of the Ferris State University softball team was recently selected as the recipient of the school's 22nd annual Helen Bennett Award for being the Bulldogs' outstanding female student-athlete.

The award, which is named in honor of late university faculty member Helen Bennett, is sponsored annually by the Ferris Professional Women’s (FPW) organization to a female senior student-athlete combining performance both in the classroom and athletics. Bennett was the wife of longtime FSU golf and track coach Norm Bennett (1956-71), who began the award in her memory and was later inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001. He directed the building of FSU's Katke Golf Course and Ewigleben Ice Arena along with being instrumental in forming the nation's first Professional Golf Management program at Ferris State.

Kraai, a third baseman, is the third softball student-athlete to receive the honor as she joins Nikki Moeggenborg (1996-97) and Anne Bentley (1999-00) as award recipients affiliated with the Bulldog Softball program.

A two-time (2005 and 2007) National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar-Athlete, Kraai was recently tabbed as an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Softball First Team pick as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Kraai is presently hitting for a career-best .307 average this season with a team-high tying 50 base hits in 163 at bats. A starter in all 50 outings this spring, Kraai leads the Ferris State in both doubles (17) and RBIs (32) while her 34 runs scored represents the second-highest total on the team. The 2008 All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) First-Teamer has belted three home runs while registering a .466 slugging percentage and a .358 on-base percentage.

Kraai owns the distinction of being Ferris' all-time leader in with 49 career doubles in 199 contests. The two-time (2006-07) GLIAC All-Academic Team member currently is fourth among FSU's career leaders in RBIs (105), tied for fourth in home runs (12), fifth in at bats (625), tied for seventh in games played (199), and eighth in base hits (168).

The Bulldog infielder has twice (2005 and 2007) been named to the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional All-Tournament Team.

FPW is a university organization which encourages and promotes women by providing opportunities to consider and act on common interests and issues. Active membership is open to persons employed at Ferris State University, their spouses and retirees.

Helen Bennett Award Recipients:
1986-87 -- Kris Johnson (Volleyball), Sandy Davison (Women's Basketball)
1987-88 -- Karen Kramer (Basketball)
1988-89 -- Janna Biggs (Volleyball)
1989-90 -- Dawn Lowe (Volleyball)
1990-91 -- Kelly Stosik (Volleyball)
1991-92 -- Karen Volkers (Volleyball)
1992-93 -- Monica Ferguson (Track & Field/Cross Country)
1993-94 -- Elizabeth Berry (Tennis)
1994-95 -- Melissa Thomas (Track & Field)
1995-96 -- Melissa Petty (Volleyball)
1996-97 -- Nikki Moeggenborg (Softball)
1997-98 -- Kristen Campbell (Women's Tennis)
1998-99 -- Sherri Harris (Volleyball)
1999-00 -- Anne Bentley (Softball/Tennis)
2000-01 -- Pam Preston (Track & Field/Cross Country)
2001-02 -- Morgan Buckner (Volleyball/Track & Field)
2002-03 -- Suzanne Batten (Tennis)
2003-04 -- Molly Potvin (Basketball)
2004-05 -- Crystal Flutur (Track & Field/Cross Country)
2005-06 -- Jenny Irwin (Track & Field/Cross Country)
2006-07 -- Erin Miller (Basketball)
2007-08 -- Katie Kraai (Softball)

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