Incoming class grows to 10
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University head softball coach Jeremy Popp today announced commitments from Kayla Babinski (Devils Lake, N.D.) and Erin Emanuel (Esko, Minn.) for the 2010 season. The addition of the pair of infielders brings the Beavers’ list of 2009-10 newcomers to 10.

Babinski and Emanuel join Brittany Black (Bemidji, Minn.), Crystal Bowen (Duluth, Minn.), Sara Brodeur (Cass Lake, Minn.), Chelsea Cardinal (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Kaitlin Hill (Dayton, Minn.), Emma Neumann (Winsted, Minn.), Stephanie Rossman (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) and Kelsey Saralampi (Esko, Minn.), who each made intentions to play for the Beavers next season official earlier this summer.

Babinski is coming off a senior season during which she led her Devils Lake High School team and established new school records in batting average (.500), home runs (3) and RBI (25). Along the way, the Firebirds captured a seventh place finish at the North Dakota State high School Softball Tournament and Babinski gained All-Northwest Region honors. In addition to her dedication to the Devils Lake High School girl’s fastpitch softball team, she also earned varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and track and field. On the hardcourt, Babinski was a member of four consecutive state tournament squads and paced the team in free throw percentage, while garnering team hustle, hardest-working and defense awards at the conclusion of her junior and senior seasons. A valuable member of the DLHS volleyball team, she led the team in service aces during her final two campaigns.

Babinski’s athletic ability is mirrored with her performance in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, she is also a regular on the Devils lake High School Honor Roll.

Popp on Babinski: “We were contacted late in the year about Kayla, and she has proven to be a solid softball player that we are fortunate to bring aboard next season. Bemidji State made a great impression on her, and we are very excited to see her in green and white next fall. She is a hard-nosed player that will be competing for time in the infield. The records she has set at Devils Lake High School speak well of her ability to contribute to our young team.”

A three-sport standout at Esko High School, Emanuel is a two-time All-Polar League and all-section selection, while earning a roster spot in the Northern All-Star Game to close out the last two seasons. During her final campaign, she was also named all-state honorable mention, First-Team All-Northland and Northland Sports Online Player of the Year. An integral piece to the Eskomos’ softball team, Esko posted a 57-17 record in her final three prep seasons, which includes a 26-3 mark and Minnesota Class AA Consolation title in 2007. In addition to her time on the diamond, Emanuel earned varsity letters in both volleyball and basketball.

Popp on Emanuel: “Erin is a very fast, athletic player that will mesh well with our team. Her ability to reach and navigate the base paths is a big reason that we recruited her, and her versatility in the field is also a plus. She comes from a solid high school program in Esko, and she played there with another future Beaver (Kelsey Saralampi) in this recruiting class. We are very excited to bring Erin into our program.”

Bemidji State capped the 2009 campaign with a 8-28 overall record and a 3-21 mark in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., competes at the NCAA Division I and II levels and is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and College Hockey America (CHA).