WINONA, Minn. — When Jenny (Schipp) Stewart B’06 graduated from North St. Paul High School, she wasn’t even sure if she wanted to play collegiate softball.
And now, the hard-throwing right-hander — who was as much a threat at the plate as she was in the pitcher’s circle — is days away from being inducted into the Saint Mary’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Stewart, along with Bruna Bucciarelli B’76, George Drouches B’78, Mark Staub B’88, and Jenni (Gutterman) Becker B’06, will be recognized and honored as part of the second annual Cardinal Excellence Fund Dinner, which will be held at Visions Event Center in Winona on Saturday.
“It’s an honor to have your name up there with all the great softball players who have been inducted before me,” said Stewart, who was a four-year teammate with fellow inductee Becker. “To be inducted into the Hall of Fame is an amazing honor, and to get to go in with (Becker) makes it even more special.”
Special is the perfect adjective great way to describe Stewart, who was a dual threat for the Cardinals fastpitch softball team, causing opponents fits both at the plate and in the pitcher’s circle.
A four-year standout, Stewart joined Becker as a member of the NCAA Regional-qualifying 2005 team and earned First-Team All-MIAC and Second-Team All-Region accolades following each of her final three seasons. In the circle, Stewart is among the program leaders in virtually every pitching category, including ranking No. 1 in career strikeouts (545) and shutouts (22), while sitting No. 2 all-time in complete games (52), innings pitched (516 2/3), and appearances (99). Stewart put together her best season in 2005, when she set single-season program records for wins (25) and shutouts (9), closing out the year with a 27-7 record and a 1.80 ERA. At the plate, Stewart boasted a career .289 batting average — including hitting .358 in 2006 — with 24 doubles, five home runs, and 71 RBIs.
“I didn’t really think about the numbers and where you sit in the record books when I was playing”, said Stewart. “I just wanted to do well and help the team succeed.”
And succeed they did.