Illinois Wesleyan University (2022)
Prospect High School
Colleen Palczynski Named CCIW Player Of The Year
NAPERVILLE, Ill. – The Illinois Wesleyan University softball team saw four Titans garner College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin postseason honors as the league office announced its all-conference teams Thursday morning, May 6. Junior Colleen Palczynski (Mt. Prospect, Ill.-Prospect) was named the CCIW’s Player of the Year, while her and junior Hayley Earl (Washington, Ill.-Washington) were selected First Team All-CCIW. Sophomore Natalie Grubczak (Medinah, Ill.-Lake Park) and freshman Kristina Sherwin (Plainfield, Ill.-St. Francis) notched Second Team All-CCIW honors.
Palczynski, who reeled in First Team All-CCIW honors for the second time in her career, is the 11th Titan to be tabbed the CCIW’s Player of the Year. She is the first since Sam Berghoff received the distinction in 2018. Earl picked up first team honors for the second time in her career, while Grubczak and Sherwin earned postseason accolades for the first time.
One of the most feared hitters in the conference, Palczynski has put up the best power numbers in the CCIW this season. She leads the league with 13 home runs, the fifth-most in all of Division III, and is the CCIW’s RBI leader with 40, a total that ranks 14th nationally. She holds a .317 batting average, a .723 slugging percentage, and has an on-base percentage of .461. Palczynski also leads IWU with 27 runs scored.
Earl, the lone catcher on the first team, leads the Titans with a .347 batting average. She is tied for the team lead with 35 hits, including 10 doubles, a triple, and three homers, to go along with 19 RBIs.
Grubczak reeled in Second Team All-CCIW honors as the conference’s earned run average leader. The Medinah, Ill. product has compiled a 1.76 ERA with 89 strikeouts, while allowing just 5.92 hits per seven innings. She has tossed nine complete games, including a pair of shutouts, and has also notched a save.
Sherwin was one of three freshmen to earn a spot on the All-CCIW teams. The Plainfield, Ill. native finished the regular season with a .330 batting average with 34 hits and team-high 12 doubles. She has also registered 22 RBIs, the third-most on the team, with a triple and two home runs.
Illinois Wesleyan, the No. 2 seed, begins CCIW Tournament play at home today, May 6, with an opening round game against seventh-seeded Wheaton at 5 p.m.
CCIW Pitcher of the Year
Amanda Osterhus – Carroll
CCIW Player of the Year
Colleen Palcyznski – Illinois Wesleyan
CCIW Coaching Staff of the Year