It has been more than 10 years since Torie [Bunzell] Kueker was dominating hitters throughout the Great Lakes Valley Conference as a pitcher at Quincy University.
Now married with two children, Kueker feels pretty far removed from those days, but they recently came flooding back with her induction into the GLVC Hall of Fame.
Kueker was one of four inducted in the 2022 class.
“It’s a pretty proud moment for me and everyone who helped me get to that point,” Kueker said. “It seems like I’m so far out of touch with it that it kind of brings me back and refreshes all the memories and all the work that took place.
“It feels really good and feels like a dream.”
The La Salle-Peru graduate pitched for the Hawks from 2008-11 where she struck out a then NCAA Division II record 1,539 batters, which remains Quincy’s career record.
Kueker also holds Quincy career records for wins (95), innings pitched (930 2/3) and shutouts (46) and single-season records for strikeouts (524), wins (30), innings pitched (307 1/3) and shutouts (14).
She recorded 10 career no-hitters and two perfect games and had a career ERA of 1.14.
Kueker helped the Hawks to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in her final two seasons, and Quincy won an NCAA Tournament game each of those years.
She was First-Team All-GLVC four times, GLVC Freshman of the Year, GLVC Pitcher of the Year twice, Midwest Region Pitcher of the Year and All-American twice.
Kueker also won the GLVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in softball and the GLVC Richard F. Scharf Paragon Award her senior year as the conference’s top female scholar-athlete.
Kueker said all her success did not come without help.
“I can remember a lot of time,” Kueker said. “I really only got about two months off through the winter before I would kick it up again. I’d practice about every night with my dad or my catcher [Putnam County graduate] Carla Passini. We would stay about an hour after practice and work on different things. Carla put in just as much if not more time than I did during the college years. My parents hauled me around for pitching lessons, signed me up for all the tournaments and exposure camps and helped me find teams for the summers.
“It was a lot of effort from a lot of different people. A lot of time and sacrifice, so I’m extremely grateful for everybody who contributed. I couldn’t have done it by myself. I know that for sure.”
Kueker was part of the 2020 GLVC Hall of Fame class but no ceremony was held in 2020 or 2021 because of COVID-19.
She was joined at the two-year delayed ceremony by her parents and Passini, then the Quincy softball coach.
“I think it was almost better that way,” Kueker said of the delay. “It gave me a little bit of time to reflect on it and really remember everything that got me to that point. The banquet was really lighthearted, I think because of everything that has happened.”