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September 28, 2012

Class of 2012 Enters PLU Athletic Hall of Fame

A trio of Weeklys and two national championship softball teams entered the Pacific Lutheran University Athletic Hall of Fame today at a luncheon held in Chris Knutzen Hall.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame were Ralph Weekly, Karen Kvale Weekly, and Marc Weekly, and the 1988 and 1992 Pacific Lutheran softball teams that won NAIA national championships. Ralph Weekly was the head coach of the softball teams, Karen Kvale Weekly – now Ralph’s wife – was a softball standout during the mid 1980s, and Marc Weekly – Ralph’s son – was an All-America quarterback on the 1993 national championship football team.

Marc Weekly (Football 1990-93)

Marc Weekly established 11 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II national records during an outstanding four-year career in which he helped Pacific Lutheran advance to a pair of national title games, including a 50-20 victory over Westminster (Pa.) for the 1993 championship.

Following that memorable season in which he helped the Lutes to a 12-0-1 overall record and the program’s third national title, Weekly earned first team All-America honors after earlier being named the Columbia Football Association (CFA) Mt. Rainier League Offensive Player of the Year. By the time the season ended with PLU’s title-game win, Weekly had established 30 new CFA records.

Those records were just the beginning of a long list of new standards established by the right-handed quarterback. For one, he set a new collegiate football record with a combined 143 career total offense touchdowns (113 passing, 30 rushing). As far as NAIA Division II career records, Weekly became the standard bearer in four categories - highest average gain per play, yards per passing attempt, touchdown passes, and highest percentage of touchdowns per pass attempt. He also established six national single-season records in 1993, including total offense (4,065 yards), touchdown passes (46), pass completion percentage (.649 – 226 completions in 348 attempts), and yards gained per pass attempt (10.7). Additionally, Weekly established a NAIA Division II record with six touchdown passes in PLU’s 61-7 win over Cumberland in the opening round of the 1993 national playoffs.

By the time he completed his eligibility, Weekly ranked fifth on the NAIA Total Offense career list with 10,722 yards.

Weekly shared starting quarterback responsibilities during his freshman season in 1990 and was the starter for his three remaining seasons. We led the Lutes to the 1991 NAIA Division II title game which ended with a loss at Georgetown (Ky.). During Weekly’s four years at Pacific Lutheran, the Lutes compiled a 41-6-1 overall record.

1988 Softball Team

The 1988 Pacific Lutheran softball players capped their outstanding season by winning the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship. The Lutes defeated Minnesota-Duluth, 2-0 in 10 winnings, to win the first national championship of any kind for a PLU women’s sports team.

After opening the season with a 6-3 record, the Lutes won 33 of their last 36 games, including 16 in a row at one point. PLU finished with a 39-6 record, eclipsing by 10 the previous program record for victories in a season.

The Lutes were seeded 10th entering the 16-team tournament and then went on to win all five of their games at the event held in Oklahoma City, Okla. Catcher Karen (Beller) Stout, inducted into the PLU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, was named the tournament Most Valuable Player after going 10-for-17 with two home runs and seven runs batted in. Her two-out, two-run double was the difference in the title game victory. Gerri Jones threw 25 innings at the national tournament and didn’t allow a run over the final 20 2/3 innings. She threw a complete-game shutout in the championship. Joining those two on the all-tournament team were first baseman Diana Brummer and designated hitter Jacki Norvell. Leading up to the title game, PLU recorded wins over Tarkio State (10-0 in five innings), IUPUI (8-7), Kearney State (1-0 in nine innings with Stout hitting the decisive home run), Minnesota-Duluth (4-0).

In leading the team with a .452 batting average, six home runs and 38 runs batted in, Stout became PLU’s first softball player to earn first team All-America recognition. The pitching staff put together a 0.76 earned run average and Jones compiled a 20-2 record in the pitcher’s circle. Head coach Ralph Weekly was named NAIA Coach of the Year.

Team members were Angela Aardahl, Dawn Woodward, Chrissy Alton, Tiffany Sparks, Holly Alonzo, Andrea Barbier, Laurie Ross, Theresa Tibbs, Brenda Morgan, Diana Brummer, Karen Stout, Jackie Norvell, Sue Schroeder, Machelle Gielarowski, and Gerri Jones. The coaches were Ralph Weekly, Dave Zine and Karen Kvale.

Karen Kvale Weekly (Softball 1984-87)

Arguably one of the finest dual-sport athletes in Pacific Lutheran athletic annals, Karen Kvale Weekly was a softball and women’s basketball standout in the mid 1980s.

Kvale became the first Pacific Lutheran softball player to receive All-America recognition when she earned second team All-America honors in 1987 after helping lead the Lutes to an appearance at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament. Only one year earlier, Kvale had her best season in helping lead Pacific Lutheran to its first-ever trip to nationals. A shortstop, Kvale compiled a .978 fielding percentage, committing just two errors in 93 total chances, and she hit .424 while also driving in 30 runs.

During her Pacific Lutheran softball career, Kvale received first team all-district recognition three times and first team all-conference honors four times. Not only was Kvale a standout on the softball field, she also received honors for her work in the classroom, earning NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete accord after her junior and senior years.

While all four PLU teams for which she played compiled winning records, Kvale participated at a time when Pacific Lutheran was playing significantly fewer games than it has in recent years. Though many of her season and career records have been surpassed, she remains the season leader with 19 sacrifice hits and the career standard bearer with 46 doubles and 45 sacrifice hits. Additionally, she still holds PLU softball career records for assists with 331 and fewest errors with 11.

Kvale also played basketball for three seasons at PLU, scoring 744 points in 87 games and ranking 10th on the career lists in both field goals attempted and field goal percentage. Her best numbers came during the 1983-84 season when she averaged 10.4 points and 2.9 assists per game.

1992 Softball Team

Pacific Lutheran put together its longest winning streak of the season – five games – when it mattered most, and as a result the Lutes won the 1992 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics softball championship.

The 1992 season was marked as much by inconsistency as it was by outstanding talent that, in the end, came to the forefront. The Lutes, who finished the season with a 34-14 record, hadn’t won more than four games in a row until the NAIA national tournament, which was held in Pensacola, Fla. On the other hand, PLU lost two games in a row on only one occasion.

After winning the conference and district titles, the Lutes lost to Pacific (Ore.) in the bi-district tournament, necessitating an at-large bid to the NAIA championships. That’s where they Lutes put it all together. They raced through the tournament field undefeated, beating St. Francis (Ill.), Jamestown (N.D.), Hawaii-Hilo and Huntingdon (Ala.) prior to facing Kennesaw State (Ga.) in the title game. Facing the tournament’s top-seeded team, the seventh-seeded Lutes built a 3-0 lead and then withstood a seventh-inning rally to win the title game, 3-2.

Pitcher Becky Hoddevik was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after pitching all 33 innings for the Lutes. Joining her on the all-tournament team were catcher Toni Castrey, infielders Tristin Castrey and Brenda Dobbelaar, and outfielder Leta Baysinger.

Baysinger earned first team All-America honors for the second consecutive season as she led the Lutes with a .437 batting average, 11 doubles, seven triples and seven home runs. Keri Allen, who played second base, earned first team All-America recognition after hitting .399 with nine doubles and six triples. Designated player Jeanine Gardner received honorable mention accord, and head coach Ralph Weekly was named NAIA Coach of the Year.

Team members were Tristin Castrey, Jeanine Gardner, Krista Larson, Leta Baysinger, Martha Enyeart, Amie Grunwald, Becky Hoddevik, Toni Castrey, Kim Peccia, Brenda Dobbelaar, Jenny Radke, Carla Lohn, Keri Allen, Kellye Krug, Stefanie Johnston, Holly Lane, Jenn Flaskerud, Jenny Gilbert, Erika Norris, Tanya Dufrense, Andrea Farquhar, Stacy Lanning, Anne Schmidt, Shauna Gibson, and Heather Overman. The coaches were Ralph Weekly, Greg Farias and Karen Stout Beller.

Ralph Weekly

Ralph Weekly built the Pacific Lutheran softball program into a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) power, leading the Lutes to a pair of national championships in three title-game appearances.

In nine seasons at the helm of the program, Weekly led his PLU teams to a record of 300 wins and 94 losses against intercollegiate competition. During that time the Lutes won eight conference and district championships on the way to appearing at the NAIA national tournament on eight occasions. The Lutes won NAIA national championships in 1988 and again in 1992 and also placed second in 1990. A total of 10 different players earned first team All-America honors, with two of those athletes recognized twice, while Weekly coached at Pacific Lutheran.

Plenty of national honors came to Weekly during his nine-year PLU tenure. He earned NAIA National Coach of the Year honors during the two championship seasons, was named the National Softball Coaches Association Small College Coach of the Year in 1993, and received NAIA West Region Coach of the Year recognition from 1986-90 and again from 1992-94.

While at Pacific Lutheran, Weekly also served as a football assistant coach in charge of special teams, including during PLU’s 1987 and 1993 national championship seasons. 

Weekly left PLU after the 1994 season to take over the program at NCAA Division I Tennessee-Chattanooga, where he coached for five seasons. He moved on to the University of Tennessee in 2002 and in 11 seasons has averaged more than 46 wins per season while leaving the Lady Vols to national runner-up status in 2007 and to a pair of three-place finishes in 2005 and 2006.

A 2011 inductee into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, Weekly has compiled more than 1,000 wins as a college softball head coach. He has also served in various capacities with USA Softball Women's National Teams.

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