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SMC Outstanding Senior Athlete: Belles softball standout Miesle made remarkable transformation over 4-year career

Rebecca Slinger | Friday, May 18, 2007

Saint Mary’s shortstop Sarah Miesle’s freshman year on the softball team looked like this: a .045 batting average, one hit and three runs scored in 22 at-bats and no home runs, RBIs or extra-base hits.

Stack those stats up to her senior year performance: a .400 batting average, 44 hits and 38 runs in 110 at-bats, five home runs, a school-record 39 RBIs, eight doubles and three triples.

That’s quite the transformation for Saint Mary’s top senior athlete.

“There were times where I was frustrated – I think anyone would be,” Miesle said. “I knew I could do it if I stuck with it. I had previous success in hitting during high school and travel softball, so I knew that it would just be a matter of time and dedication.”

Growing up in a family where everyone played baseball or softball, Miesle stuck to a family friend’s motto – “Have fun, play hard” – to work through her first year disappointment and develop into a powerhouse.

Miesle spent the time between her first and second years adjusting her swing and her attitude about success.

“Needless to say, there wasn’t much pressure placed on me by my opponents or myself. Not too many teams are intimidated by someone with a .045 batting average and isn’t exactly a big person,” Miesle said. “Success is contagious, so when I started off my sophomore year with some success, it had a snowball effect on my hitting. Anyone who plays softball knows that each day you play, it is a learning experience.”

Miesle, who plays every game like it’s her last and rarely shows her frustration on the field, had a huge impact on the team’s winning ways this year.

“She always gave her all on the field,” Belles head coach Erin Sullivan said. “She is ‘Most Improved’ to a tee.  She worked hard on her skills and learned to be confident in her abilities. I think there is a great group that will step up and fill her shoes. She has taught the team a lot.”

Miesle, who is graduating with a mathematics degree, received many accolades for her outstanding play this season. She was named to the all-MIAA second team and the 44-school Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III Central Region team.

Miesle is confident that in her place, the Belles will continue to fight their way to the top of their league.

“They will be great. I think the team will be even stronger next year, They return starters in almost every position and will be getting some solid freshmen in to play,” she said. “I’m excited to see what kinds of records are broken and milestones are achieved next year.”