Five softball Bears earn all-MVC honors


ST. LOUIS – Missouri State softball had five student-athletes recognized as All-Missouri Valley Conference performers, the league announced today (May 8).

Olivia Krehbiel (3B), Annie Mueller (OF) and Kayla Ulrich (1B) were named to the All-MVC First Team, while Chloe Merced (DP/UTL) earned second-team honors and Kelsie Lewis (2B) was named to the MVC All-Defensive Team.

With the honor, Krehbiel becomes a four-time all-conference selection and earns a first-team nod for the second time in her career (2021). In conference games this season, Krehbiel batted .363 with 33 hits, 23 runs scored, 21 RBI and 11 walks. She also owned a .659 slugging percentage and .431 on-base percentage against MVC foes. Krehbiel was named MVC Player of the Week twice throughout the season and was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Player of the Week on April 23.

The Lee’s Summit, Mo., native broke numerous Missouri State career records in her final season in the maroon and white. Krehbiel now sits atop the record book in career home runs (30), RBI (129), doubles (46), runs scored (128), total bases (334) and grand slams (4), cementing her legacy as a Bear.

Mueller earns All-MVC honors for the first time in her career after a breakout senior season. In league action, Mueller batted .321 with 26 hits, 14 home runs, 34 RBI, an .852 slugging percentage and a perfect fielding percentage in right field. She broke the Missouri State single-season records for home runs (17) and RBI (48) this season, while more than half of her hits on the year have gone for extra bases.

Earlier this season, Mueller tied the MSU single-game record with eight RBI against Valparaiso after knocking an RBI single, a three-run homer and a grand slam in game two of the series against the Beacons. The Pacific, Mo., native also earned MVC Player of the Week for the first time in her career for her performances against first-place Southern Illinois and Evansville.

Ulrich receives an All-MVC first-team nod following a stellar freshman campaign. Against MVC competition, the first baseman batted a team-high .408 with 31 hits, four home runs, 19 RBI, 14 walks and a .489 on-base percentage. Across the entire season, she continues to lead the MVC in batting average at .383. Ulrich has also had an impressive defensive season at first base, owning just two errors for a .988 fielding percentage. The Sullivan, Mo., native was also named MVC Newcomer of the Week on April 2 for her performances at then-No. 8 Oklahoma State and against Murray State.

Merced also earns all-conference honors for the first time in her career, appearing on the second team. The Springfield, Mo., native was MSU’s second-best hitter in conference action with a .386 average. She also had 17 hits, five RBI, 14 runs scored, four walks and three stolen bases in just 13 starts and 23 appearances in league play. The junior earns the nod at the DP/UTL position after earning starts in the outfield, at first base and as the designated player this season.

For the second year in a row, Lewis represents Missouri State on the MVC All-Defensive Team. The senior second baseman constantly flashes the leather and is a defensive staple in the Bears’ lineup. Lewis owned a .972 fielding percentage in league action, committing just three errors in 106 total chances. She also batted .213 with 11 runs scored, nine RBI, nine walks and was a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts against Valley competition.

Missouri State enters the MVC Tournament as the No. 6 seed and will face the No. 11 seed Indiana State in the opening round on Wednesday. First pitch is now scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and the entire tournament will stream on ESPN+.

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