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Published 6/6/03
Owens Community College Student-Athletes Named NJCAA All-Americans

Two Owens Community College student-athletes have been selected to the Division II All-American Team by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for their outstanding accomplishments on the athletic playing field. Kristina Shultz of Grand Rapids (Softball) was named First Team, while Mike Valerius of Toledo (Baseball) earned Third Team honors.

This marks the sixth time and third time that an Owens women's softball and baseball student-athlete has achieved All-American honors, respectively. The awards were announced at the College's athletic banquet for the Owens Express men's baseball and women's softball programs.

Kristina Shultz Shultz, a sophomore pitcher and shortstop from Otsego High School, set Owens softball records for home runs (5), triples (13), runs (54), stolen bases (24), earned run average (1.24) and strikeouts (192) in a season. This past year, Shultz also was among the leaders in several NJCAA Division II Women's Softball statistical rankings, which included strikeouts, stolen bases, hitting, home runs and RBIs.

Her other honors included Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Player of the Year and selection to the OCCAC All-Conference and NJCAA All-Region XII teams. She also was named Owens' Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.

Mike Valerius A sophomore infielder from St. Francis de Sales High School, Valerius broke six individual baseball records for at-bats (172), hits (82), doubles (16), triples (5), RBIs (61) and batting average (.477) in a season.

His postseason accomplishments included selection to the OCCAC All-Conference and NJCAA All-Region XII teams. Valerius also was honored as the Owens baseball team's Most Valuable Player.

Led by fifth year Head Coach Mickey Arquette of Toledo, the Express women's softball team completed the best season in program history, finishing with a 41-14 overall record. They also captured their third consecutive Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) regular season championship with an 18-2 mark. Arquette's squad also was ranked as high as No. 18 nationally in the NJCAA Division II Women's Softball regular season poll.

The men's baseball program, led by first year Head Coach Bob Shultz of Toledo, recently finished their season with a 38-23 overall record and a 14-6 mark (second place) in the regular season standings of the OCCAC. The 38 victories mark the highest win total in program history. Owens men's baseball finished the regular season ranked No. 24 in the NJCAA Division II poll.

For the first time in school history, both teams advanced to the NJCAA Division II Region XII Championship tournaments to conclude their seasons.

Women's Softball awards presented at the College's athletic banquet:
Most Valuable Player - Kristina Shultz
Most Improved Player - Michelle Saunders of Northwood (Cardinal Stritch High School)
Offensive Player of the Year - Kristina Shultz
Defensive Player of the Year - Monica Decker of Oregon (Toledo Central Catholic High School)
Coaches Award - Kristi Hehl of Monroe, Michigan (Monroe High School)
Heart of a Champion Award - Paige McCullough of Ida, Michigan (Dundee High School)
OCCAC Player of the Year - Kristina Shultz
OCCAC Coach of the Year - Mickey Arquette
OCCAC All-Conference Team - Monica Decker, Kristi Hehl, Paige McCullough, Michelle Saunders and Kristina Shultz
NJCAA All-Region XII Team - Kristina Shultz
NJCAA Region XII (District F) All-Tournament Team - Kristi Hehl
Members of the Express women's softball program also were Monica Sims of Millbury (Lake High School); Brianne Smith of Temperance, Michigan (Bedford High School); Michelle Brose of Tiffin (Mohawk High School); Heather Veith of Delta (Wauseon High School); Casey Wieczorek of Toledo (Toledo Central Catholic High School); Tiffany Brandeberry of Delta (Evergreen High School); Kylie Panza of Newport, Michigan (Monroe Jefferson High School); Melissa Gill of Swanton (Swanton High School), and Nickie Fair of Stony Ridge (Eastwood High School).

Men's Baseball awards presented at the banquet went to:
Most Valuable Player - Mike Valerius
Golden Glove Award - Adam Dunn of Toledo (Whitmer High School)
Coaches Award - Adam Bateson of Bloomdale (Elmwood High School) and Nick Morris of Lima (Lima Senior High School)
OCCAC All-Conference Team - Adam Bateson, Kyle Leppelmeier of Edgerton (Edgerton High School), Mike Valerius and Dan Vincent of Toledo (Whitmer High School)
NJCAA All-Region XII Team - Mike Valerius
Owens Express men's baseball team also included Pete Anderson of Mansfield (Ontario High School); Clint Bailey of Toledo (Start High School); Josh Bowers of Defiance (Tinora High School); Nick Caputo of Toledo (St. Francis de Sales High School); Brian Chako of Woodville (Woodmore High School); Matt Dedeluk of Monroe, Michigan (Monroe High School); Tony Finley of Mansfield (Ontario High School); Matt Guerrero of Oregon (Clay High School); Keith Haney of Holland (Springfield High School); Zachary Pettee of Holland (St. John's Jesuit High School); Roc Roytek of Toledo (Start High School); Jason Runion of Woodville (Gibsonburg High School); Todd Schumaker of Ottawa (Ottawa-Glandorf High School); Jason Sparks of Whitehouse (Anthony Wayne High School); Todd Wells of Shelby (Shelby High School); Matt Yenrick of Toledo (Waite High School), and Scott Zaciewski of Toledo (Whitmer High School).

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 24 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor 's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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