Two of the most dominate female student-athletes in their respective sports and a conference championship basketball team highlight the class of 2017-18 for the Truman Athletics Hall of Fame.
Elizabeth Economon (softball) and Sara Murray (women’s soccer) combine for more than 228 wins for the Bulldogs, eight NCAA tournament appearances, and each holds numerous school records in their respective sports as they both played for Truman from 2001-2004. They were honored as part of Homecoming 2017, Oct. 13-14, in Kirksville.
Economon was a three-time All-American for the Truman softball team and helped lead the team to two regular season and two Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association tournament titles, along with four straight NCAA Division II regional appearances.
She was the MIAA Freshman of the Year in 2001 and Most Valuable Player in both 2002 and 2003. Economon still holds Truman career records in runs scored, hits, home runs, total bases, runs batted in and walks and holds single-season records in doubles, home runs, walks and batting average. Her 61 walks issued to her in 2004 are still tops in the MIAA and listed among the most issued in a single season for all of Division II.
As a member of the Bulldogs, the teams she played on went 157-58-1 and she personally hit .431 with 50 home runs, 193 RBIs and had a career on-base percentage of 52 in 213 games played.
Economon was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and was the 2004 Truman Outstanding Female Student-Athlete. She was the first full-time assistant coach at Truman, having served for two years before moving on to New Mexico and Southeast Missouri State as an assistant coach. She became a head coach at Pittsburg State in 2012. She spent five seasons in the dugout for the Gorillas and amassed a 204-131 record with four All-Americans and 37 All-MIAA players. Economon joined former teammate Kristi Bredbenner’s staff as an assistant coach at Wichita State University this fall.
Murray was the first, first-team All-American for the Truman women’s soccer team and repeated that feat in back-to-back seasons in 2003 and 2004. She was a four-time, first-team all-region and All-MIAA selection and earned conference Freshman of the Year accolades in 2001 and Most Valuable Player in 2003.
Murray and the Bulldogs were nearly unstoppable with a 71-9-5 overall record, with four of the losses coming in each season during the NCAA Division II tournament, and an even more impressive 48-1-3 conference record.
She still holds the entire career scoring records for both Truman and the MIAA. She tallied 59 goals, 42 assists for 160 points and was only the 13th player in Division II history to achieve at least 40 goals and 40 assists during their career.
Murray holds three of the top five, including the top two, single-season scoring marks at Truman with 18 goals in 2003, 17 in 2001 and 15 in 2004. She is tied for second in career games played with 85.
Murray was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and the 2004 recipient of the Ken B. Jones Award that was given to the overall top male and female student-athlete in the MIAA. She was the second Bulldog to earn that prestigious award and first female student-athlete.
After graduation, Murray served with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps and aided recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina in the gulf coast. She then went into medical school at the University of Minnesota, followed by seven years at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently working at Washington University in St. Louis finishing up her surgical training in minimally invasive surgery.
The 1978-79 Bulldog men’s basketball team won the MIAA regular season championship with a 9-3 record and posted a 20-8 overall mark. Up until that season, it was only the third 20-win campaign in school history and, prior to last year’s Bulldogs, held the school record for scoring average at 86.4 points per game.
Head coach Willard Sims placed five players on the all-conference team, including the league’s most valuable player in Terry Bussard. Leading scorer Ved Green was also a first-team honoree as he averaged 17.7 points in 28 games played. Honorable mentions were David Winslow, Mark Sanders, Matt Maddox and Bill Woodall.
The Bulldogs finished the season ranked seventh in the NCAA Division II and earned a bid to the NCAA South Central regional in Thibodaux, La.
The team will be honored and enshrined as part of Basketball Alumni Weekend, Feb. 3, in Kirksville.