Stillwater graduate Karissa (Hoehn) Junker will be among this year’s induction class of the St. Cloud State University Athletic Hall of Fame. The hall of fame festivities will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23.
Karissa, who resides in Lindstrom, ranked among the nation’s elite NCAA Division II softball pitchers during her college career at SCSU from 1997 to 2000.
She gained All-America status twice during her college career and was a four-time All-North Central Conference award winner and a three-time NCC Most Valuable Pitcher award winner. Karissa helped guide SCSU to the 1998 NCC title and three NCAA tourney bids.
Karissa owns virtually all of SCSU’s pitching records including most career strikeouts with 1,381 and most career victories with 113. Karissa led the nation in strikeouts with 442 in 277.2 innings as a senior.
After graduation from SCSU, Karissa has served on the coaching staffs at UW-River Falls, Grace Brethern High School (Calif.) and as a volunteer coach for LARA in Chisago Lakes. She continues to work as a private pitching coach to teach the game to the next generation.
As a prep, Karissa led the Stillwater softball team to its first two state championships in 1995 and 1996. She was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player and earned all-conference and all-state honors while leading the Ponies to a 25-2 record. She struck out 22 batters and allowed just four walks with a 1.50 ERA in 20 innings during Stillwater’s state tournament run.
Karissa was even more dominant as a senior in 1996, allowing just one earned run and three overall in 23 appearances that season. She faced 450 batters in 150 1/3 innings during the regular season and playoffs and racked up 277 strikeouts while issuing just 20 walks.
Then in the state tournament, she struck out a state tournament record 16 in a victory over Eagan and 39 overall in the tournament to finish with a state record 316 for the season.
Karissa, who also batted .273, was named the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. She was also a 2004 inductee into the Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame and a 2016 inductee into the St. Croix Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
SCSU athletes joining (Hoehn) Junker in this year’s class will be Scott Ergen (men’s cross country and track), Chris Fleischer (women’s soccer), Sandra Fuchs Notsch (women’s track and field), Keith Heckendorf (football) and Bret Hedican (men’s hockey). Former football coach Noel Martin will also be inducted into the hall of fame and Bill Radovich, who was the Vice President of Administrative Affairs for 20 years, will receive the Distinguished Service Award.
The festivities at SCSU on Sept. 23 will begin with a social at 2 p.m., followed by the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in the University’s Atwood Ballroom.
The 2017 inductees will then be introduced at halftime of the SCSU-Augustana football game, which begins at 6 p.m. on the turf at Husky Stadium.
This will mark the 30th induction ceremony since the Hall of Fame was formed in 1982. This class will bring the total Hall of Fame membership to 195 individuals and three teams.