May 25, 2010
Luther College sophomore Kelsey Kittleson of St. Ansgar, Iowa, was presented the NCAA Elite 88 Award at the Division III softball championship finals banquet on Thursday, May 20.
The Elite 88, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 88 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships.
Kittleson, who started every game for the Norse at first base, is a biology major and chemistry minor, with a cumulative grade-point-average of 4.0.
She finished Luther's record setting 2010 season batting .359 with 35 RBI. She was credited with 150 put outs, five assists, three errors and a .981 fielding percentage.
The Norse completed the year with a school record of 42-7, were crowned the NCAA III Whitewater Regional Champions and advanced to the NCAA III Championships Finals for the first time since 1991 and fourth time in school history. Luther made its 11th appearance (third in the past four years) in the NCAA national tournament after winning the Iowa Conference Tournament for the first time in school history.