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The Dordt College softball team finished the 2004 season with a pair of losses in the Great Plains Athletic Conference post-season tournament. The losses capped a year in which the Lady Defenders were 14-27 overall and 10-14 in the GPAC for Coach Don Draayer.

The season, which included nine losses by one or two runs, was highlighted by an 8-6 win over Concordia in the rain on April 26 and a come from behind win over the Northwestern Red Raiders on April 22. The trip to the GPAC tournament will be remembered for the late notice that the Lady Defenders received in making the field; they made it into the eight-team bracket by virtue of a forfeit win from early April over Sioux Falls.

Katie Bleeker, a junior from Inwood, Iowa, earned first team all-conference honors for the second year in a row, leading the team in batting average-.304, runs scored-20, hits-38, doubles-7, triples-4, homeruns-3, runs batted in-23 and walks-11. Bleeker handled over 90 percent of her chances at shortstop flawlessly.

Ashley Schuller, a senior from Ripon, California, was 8-12 on the mound for the Lady Defenders and pitched 121.3 innings for Dordt College. She struck out 49 and surrendering a 3.48 earned run average. Schuller was awarded second team all-GPAC honors.

Denise Noorman, a junior from Jenison, Michigan, was named honorable mention for her work this season. Noorman had a .228 batting average with a homerun and 14 runs batted in with 28 hits. Noorman also pitched in 21 games for Dordt College, going 5-15 with a 3.91 earned run average in 119.6 innings pitched.

Draayer leaves the Dordt College softball program after ten seasons as head coach, having led the Lady Defenders to three berths in the NAIA Regional tournament in the past five years and the school's only berth in the NAIA National Softball Tournament in 2001.


The Dordt College baseball team wrapped up the 2004 season with an 8-30 overall mark and a 5-19 Great Plains Athletic Conference season. The Defenders played several close ball games including a one-run win over perennial power Briar Cliff and three losses by a combined four runs against Dakota Wesleyan and Dana, the two teams that represented the conference in the NAIA Region IV tournament.

Brandon Haan, a sophomore from Sioux Center, Iowa, was the Defender's top pitcher this season, accumulating a 3-6 record despite an earned run average of 3.64. Haan's earned run average was sixth in the conference. Haan worked 59.3 innings for the Defenders and struck out 44 while walking 24. Opponents had a .237 batting average against the righthander as he earned second team all-conference honors. Haan also batted .239 at the plate with 27 hits and 17 runs batted in. Haan was an honorable mention pick last year.

Ryan Lane capped his Dordt College baseball career as an honorable mention selection after batting .275. The Aztec, New Mexico, native led the team in hits with 30, runs with 19, and doubles with six.

The Defenders played the 2004 season under first year head coach Jeff Schouten.


The Dordt College men's and women's tennis teams finished their 2004 seasons in the semifinal round of their respective conference tournaments in late April. The Defender men put together a 6-8 match record this season, including a first-round conference tournament win over Midland Lutheran.

The Lady Defenders were 7-10 in matches played and beat Doane in the GPAC tournament before bowing out in the following round. The Lady Defenders were 4-3 in conference play this season and entered the tournament as the number three seed.

Eric Gritter, a junior from Byron Center, Michigan, was accorded GPAC honorable mention by the conference coaches after going 6-8 in singles play.

Allison Jones, a sophomore from Davenport, Iowa, was named to the All-GPAC second team after spending most of the season as Dordt College's number one seeded player. Molli Vander Klok, a senior from Grandville, Michigan, was given honorable mention after a 7-5 season in singles play for the Lady Defenders.

Jones and Vander Klok both earned doubles player honors as well. Jones teamed with Sarah Matherly, a sophomore from Pella, Iowa, most of the year, earning a 7-5 record and second team honors. Vander Klok's doubles partner was Maria Brasser, a junior from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The duo was 6-5 and were awarded honorable mention by the conference coaches.

The Defender men are coach by Dr. Len Rhoda and the Lady Defenders are coached by Rudy Folkerts.


Splitting it's season between the fall and the spring, the Defender men sent Mike Roetman into the NAIA Region IV golf meet hosted by Landsmeer Golf Club in Orange City, Iowa. Roetman advanced to the regional meet after a top ten finish in the GPAC meet, earning all-conference honors in the process. The regional format was a 54-hole event over two days.

On day one, the senior from Hull, Iowa, shot a 27-hole score of 123, placing him 35th. Day two saw Roetman improving his score to 114 over 27 holes for a two-day total of 237. Roetman improved to 30th place in the field and was just ten shots out of a top ten finish.


Seven Dordt College Lady Defender track and field team members qualified for the NAIA national outdoor track and field meet held May 27-29 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The first qualifiers for the meet were Kate Reinsma and Leah Kooiker in the marathon. Both women ran a half marathon in December and qualified with times of 1:26:28 for Reinsma and 1:32:24 for Kooiker.

Jacque Scoby took the suspense out of whether she would qualify early with a javelin throw of 135'7" at the Pittsburg State University Invite during the Dordt College track and field spring break trip. This is the fourth time Scoby has qualified in the event; she earned all-American status as a sophomore.

Completing the list of individuals making the national meet field is Abbie Soodsma. Soodsma had a season best time of 1:03.46 in the 400 hurdles at the GPAC conference meet, winning the event and making it under the standard of 1:04.5 to qualify for the national meet.

Soodsma was also a part of a 4 x 400 meter relay team that qualified with a time of 3:56.65 at the Drake Relays on April 23. Melissa Eekhoff, Beth De Jonge, and Kristi Meendering completed the quartet that later went on to win the GPAC meet event.

Injuries to key members of the Dordt College men's track and field team cut short their attempts to qualify for the NAIA national meet, but the Defender men did manage 16 points at the ultra-competitive GPAC meet.