OTTUMWA-The seven individuals who will be inducted into the Indian Hills Athletic Hall of Fame have been announced by the college.
This year’s inductees include representatives from four different decades of Indian Hills athletics and all enjoyed continued success at their respective four-year schools.
This is the sixth year for the IHCC Athletic Hall of Fame with 28 former athletes and coaches and three individuals inducted the past five years as Indian Hills honors those who have helped bring athletic excellence and distinction to the college.
The following individuals make up the 2017 Indian Hills Athletic Hall of Fame class:
Deb (Baetsle) Sullivan, Softball (1990-92)
Baetsle was a standout in the early years of the IHCC softball program and became the college’s first first-team softball All-American following her sophomore season when she batted .424 and was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in Region XI. As an IHCC freshman, the Keota native hit .463 and was the starting first baseman on the All-Region team, an honor she repeated the next year. After graduating from Indian Hills, Baetsle had two superb seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American squad twice. She is still the Mavericks’ career leader in batting average (.450) and on-base percentage (.499) and ranks second in slugging percentage (.733). The former Warrior star hit .400 as a junior and .488 as a senior at UNO and is still listed among the top three in single-season stats in eight different offensive categories.
Kelly Conrad, Athletic Director (1998-2005)
Conrad led the IHCC athletic department during a period of unprecedented success for the college with the softball, baseball, golf, volleyball and basketball teams all making multiple national tournament appearances under his guidance. The basketball team won three consecutive national titles, the only Division I school to ever accomplish that feat; the golf squad won the school’s first national crown in 2000; the baseball team made consecutive trips to the JUCO World Series, finishing fourth in 2004; the volleyball squad made its first-ever trip to the national tourney; and the softball team qualified for the national tournament eight years in a row and was a program-best fourth in 2005. Conrad, a superb athlete at Melcher High School and Simpson College, oversaw an IHCC program that had 40 All-Americans and 58 Academic All-Americans during his tenure. He retired from Indian Hills as Dean of Students in 2013.
Dave Froelich, Baseball (1975-77)
In his freshman year, Froelich had a pitching record of 7-2 for an Indian Hills team that won more games than any previous baseball squad in school history and came within one game of qualifying for the JUCO World Series. Following that campaign he was named to the All-Region and All-District teams and earned Honorable Mention All-American honors. He fashioned a 1.92 ERA and hurled a perfect game for one of his seven wins. The next year, as a sophomore, Froelich, a Mandan, N.D. product, was 4-0 for the Falcons before an arm injury cut short his season. The righthander then put together a 21-3 record in two seasons at the University of New Orleans and established the Sun Belt Conference record for career shutouts, blanking seven foes as a junior and five as a senior. He was named the team and conference pitcher of the year twice. Froelich’s pro career started after he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1979. He was named to the Northwest League All-Star team during his time in the minors.
Dwight Hardy, Basketball (2007-09)
Hardy started all but one game in his IHCC career and the sharp-shooting guard had a memorable performance in the national tournament as a freshman, averaging nearly 30 points in four games. After coming to Indian Hills from the Bronx, N.Y., Hardy was a two-time first-team All-Region XI choice and an Honorable Mention All-American after his first season. He remains the all-time IHCC leader in 3-pointers in a season (102) and career (173) and in career 3-point percentage (.434), and he graduated seventh on the all-time scoring list. At St. John’s University, playing in the Big East Conference, Hardy averaged 10.5 points as a junior and 18.3 as a senior, when he was named to the league’s all-conference first team and was one of 20 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding player. After averaging 14.6 points for his career at SJU, Hardy embarked on a professional career that finds him still playing in a league in Turkey where he was named to the All-Star team this year. He received MVP honors in Italy in 2013, averaging more than 22 points a game for Pistoia Basket.
Beth Karabensh, Softball (1995-97)
A two-time All-Region and All-American performer, Karabensh was a key part of IHCC teams that went 118-18 over a two-year period. She was a first-team All-Region pick in both years at Indian Hills and was named a second-team All-American each year, while being chosen as the team MVP as a sophomore. A decade after leaving IHCC, Karabensh is still second all-time in career RBIs and is second and tenth in RBIs in a single-season. Her 90 runs-batted-in in 1997 ranked in the top 10 in that category in the NJCAA record book. She is also number-two in school history in both single-season and career on-base percentage. On the softball career leaderboard, Karabensh is also second in walks (73) and fifth in hits (170) and triples (13). After leaving Indian Hills, Karabensh continued her education and softball career at Colorado State University, where she was selected as an Academic All-Mountain West Conference member after her senior year.
Mitch Knox, Baseball (1983-85)
One of the top sluggers in school history, Knox capped his Indian Hills career by being named to the JUCO World Series all-tournament team and the NJCAA All-American first team. That followed a sophomore campaign in which he batted .492 with 25 homers, 15 doubles and 70 RBIs. As a freshman, the standout from Wisconsin hit .415 and slammed 16 home runs. He was picked for the All-American second team and was an All-Region and All-Sub-Regional choice. Knox left IHCC as the single-season leader in homers, RBIs and hits and his 41 career homers were also first. He continued his long-ball exploits at the University of Kentucky where he belted 19 homers and drove in 61 runs with a .720 slugging percentage as a senior, and ended his two-year UK career tied for fourth all-time in home runs and ninth in slugging percentage. Knox was the first baseman on the All-Southeastern Conference second team following his final season with the Wildcats.
Jennifer Sabourin, Softball (1997-2010)
Sabourin has left an indelible mark on the IHCC softball program as a player, assistant coach and head coach. Her two years as a Warrior player saw the team win 129 of its 141 games. She was an All-Region pick both seasons and a first-team All-American as a soph. Sabourin, a native of West Branch, holds down top-five spots on the single-season leaderboard in seven different offensive categories and is in the top five in three career stats. She followed up her IHCC career with two solid seasons at Union University in Tennessee, playing on the National Christian Conference Athletic Association national champs in 2001 and being selected as an NAIA All-American. As an assistant softball coach, Sabourin helped lead Indian Hills to a pair of national tourney berths and, filling in one season as the interim head coach, she piloted the Warriors to a 42-15 mark. She has also served IHCC as an assistant volleyball coach and is currently the school’s Director, Student Services, Housing and Retention.
The induction ceremony for the seven individuals who will be joining the IHCC Athletic Hall of Fame will take place at halftime of the Feb. 18 basketball game with Marshalltown.