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Ridgewater's Roelike earns All-America 1st team honors

WILLMAR -- For the first time in four years, Ridgewater had a softball player named first team All-America.

Emily Roelike, a freshman shortstop from Belgrade, was one of 10 players selected to the NJCAA Division III team.

"Emily is one of the most athletic players that I have ever coached," said Ridgewater coach Todd Thorstad. "She has tremendous range on defense, a strong arm, and her glove is very good."

Roelike, who won the Tribune's Hengstler-Ranweiler Award while at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, batted .511 this season for the Lady Warriors this season. The mercurial leadoff hitter also amassed nine doubles, five triples, four home runs, 29 RBI, 64 runs and 28 stolen bases. In 134 plate appearances, she struck out only three times. At shortstop, Roelike made only four errors all season and finished with a .976 fielding percentage.

"Offensively, she is tremendous on the bases," Thorstad added. "When she gets on base, which she does 56 percent of the time, it usually results in a run. She can also hit for power. She is the most complete player that I have coached. In addition, she is a pleasure to be around."

Julie Vosejpka, an infielder, is the last Ridgewater player to earn first-team All-America honors, having been named in 2006.