Kuras Becomes Eighth Spartan Named to First Team All-Iowa Conference
May 9, 2016
Junior centerfielder Gianna Kuras hit a team-best .382/.417/.471 en route to being named First Team All-Iowa Conference.
2016 UD Softball IIAC Stats
DUBUQUE, Iowa – Junior outfielder Gianna Kuras hit .382 during Iowa Conference play in being named First Team All-Iowa Conference for the first time. Senior outfielder Andrea Smith also earned honorable mention recognition.
Kuras is the fifth Spartan in the last three seasons to claim First Team honors, but only the eighth in school history. The Midlothian, Ill. native started all 12 Iowa Conference games in center field and posted team highs in batting average (.382), on-base percentage (.417), and slugging percentage (.471).
In the midst of a season-best, five-game hitting streak, the junior finished 3-for-5 with a triple, one run scored, and three RBIs in the Spartans (8-28, 1-11 Iowa Conference) lone IIAC win over Loras, 17-10. Kuras increased her batting average from .222 to .382 over the last nine games and finished 13th overall in the conference.
Smith, a First Team All-IIAC selection in 2015, earned honorable mention recognition thanks to a .316/.372/.395 slash line during IIAC play that trailed only Kuras. The senior tied the team-lead with four runs in 12 IIAC games and was the only regular starter to not commit an error.
In a torrid three-game stretch against Central and at Loras, Smith batted 8-for-12 with three runs, three RBIs, and two extra base hits. Smith matched Kuras with three hits in game one, 17-10 rout, of Loras.
A former transfer from Southeastern Community College, Smith coincidentally hit .280 in 118 at-bats in each of her two seasons as a Spartan.
Kuras and the Spartans return next season looking to qualify for their fourth Iowa Conference tournament in five seasons.