The 2008-09 softball team was presented a commendation by Student Body President Kyle Malinowski for distinguished athletic talent and teamwork.
“I gave the commendation to the softball team as a symbol of congratulation for their outstanding achievements last year,” Malinowski said. “The successes of the basketball and soccer teams are very well known because they traditionally take place during the heart of the regular school year. However, the success of the softball team took place while finals were going on and students were leaving school, so no one really knew of their outstanding performance last year.”
Commendations are special awards that are handed out only after long contemplation and large amounts of support from the Senate and student leaders, Malinowski said.
“They are a very powerful symbol and tool to recognize and hold high the values and achievements that students at Bradley, and other entities at Bradley, do to serve the student body,” he said.
Malinowski said he chose the softball team because of its amazing season last spring.
“They had 26 victories, ending the regular season in the midst of a 10-game winning streak,” he said. “They won the Missouri Valley Conference for the first time in their program’s 30-year history and went on to play in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever.”
Along with these accomplishments, a Bradley softball player was also named MVP of the MVC Tournament, and many others were highlighted as being named to the All Tournament Team and as scholar athletes.
Softball coach Amy Hayes said receiving the commendation was a huge honor for the team.
“While we’ve had successes in the past, we’ve never been recognized like this,” she said at the commendation ceremony last Monday. “I think this is a great thing for Kyle to have done. We intend to make this a legacy of winning in the program here at Bradley.”
While commendations have been given out at Bradley before, such as one signed by former University President Aaron Freeman that is housed in the waiting room of the Health Center, Malinowski said he will only hand another one out if the situation warrants, and if he is captivated and inspired like he was by the softball team.
Malinowski said he thinks the best part of the commendation ceremony is publicity following it.
“The ceremony and publicity allow for people to learn more about this campus, and to link students to athletes and athletes back to the general student populace,” he said. “That’s how it should always be done. As the Student Senate, we should be the unifiers and not the dividers. I think this commendation has assisted in helping with that goal.”