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Holub MIAA's top player

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Lincoln (Mo.) University coach Nicole Stacey had seen virtually the entire MIAA when her squad faced Fort Hays State University last Friday. Stacey watched what the rest of the league had seen all year when Tiger senior Maddie Holub delivered another dominating doubleheader.

Afterward, Stacey was asked if Holub was the conference's best player.

"I think she is at the top," Stacey said.

"She is definitely at the top. She has earned every right of that. I wish nothing but the best for her, because she has earned it. Start to finish."

On Thursday, Holub was named MIAA Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.

"She has got great composure," Pittsburg State University coach Elizabeth Economon said in April. "She has got great stuff. She can cover both sides of the plate and throw it up. She has got the experience. Right now, she has got the record on her side. Right now, she is just throwing lights out. She has got a lot of confidence. She is darn good. ... She is tough. She is a great competitor, fun to watch if you are on her side."

Second-year coach Erin Kinberger earned Coach of the Year honors for the Tigers, currently 41-9 and ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division II and first in the Central Region.

Fort Hays already has set a school record for wins and has a plus-10 win improvement from last year. The Tigers were set to play in the conference tournament today in Overland Park, Kan.

"They always battle. That's one thing about Fort Hays," Stacey said.

"They are always going to battle. ... They are mentally tough. They are fighting and doing what is right. That makes a difference. Like I told my girls, they have each other's back. They care. They care about each other. They care about their pitcher out there. If they make a mistake, they are owning up to their mistakes, and I think that's what makes up a difference."

Holub is 24-1 with a 0.77 earned-run average and a .451 average with 18 homers and 50 RBIs. She is a four-time all-conference selection, including back-to-back first team all-MIAA pitcher selection.

"This is the best experience I have ever had, being on these teams, being at this school," Holub said.

Holub threw perfect games in back-to-back starts on April 6 against Northwest Missouri State University and April 12 versus Missouri Southern State University. She leads the nation in winning percentage and ranks top-11 nationally in nine statistics.

"She moves it well," Northwest Missouri State University coach Ryan Anderson said. "She comes in low and then she takes it off the plate as well. She just spots it. She spots it where it needs to be."

Holub also was named second-team as a utility player, joined by outfielder Amanda Vaupel. The rest of the starting infield earned honorable mention selections, including Tori Beltz, Courtney Dobson, Kellsi Olsen and Danie Brinkmann.

Outfielder Bianca Adame also earned honorable mention honors.