The former Putnam standout garners all-conference honors

KALAMAZOO, Michigan - Mandi Sayres, who made a name for herself in softball at Putnam, had a tremendously successful year in her first season of softball at Western Michigan University, a NCAA Division I school that competes in the Mid-American Conference.

A 2005 graduate of Putnam, Sayres was the only freshman to start full-time for Western Michigan this spring.

And Sayres was an impact player as the Broncos' starting shortstop, finishing third on the team in batting average (.292) and runs scored (21), and finishing up with the fewest strikeouts (10 strikeouts in 89 at bats) of any starter on the team.

Western Michigan had a successful season in 2006, capturing its third Mid-American Conference regular season title, its third conference West Division title, and finishing runner-up in the conference's championship tournament. The team finished with a 34-14 record (18-4 in conference), recording its 11th 30-win season.

Sayres was especially tough in conference games, where she earned a .354 batting average, with 12 runs scored.

Sayres' contributions to the Bronco success story did not go unnoticed. The Putnam graduate was selected second-team all-conference, she made the conference all-freshmen team, and she was named Mid-American Conference Rookie of the Year.

Sayres was a four-year starter at Putnam. She earned first-team all-league honors three seasons, and batted better than .400 in both her junior and senior seasons.

She was named team MVP two seasons, and was selected Putnam's best offensive player in 2004, and the Kingsmen's best defensive player in 2005. Putnam's softball team won three league titles during Sayres' four seasons as a Kingsman.

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