Huskies, Hawks high on All-GTNS softball
After running roughshod though the Southeast Iowa Super Conference, Highland softball went nearly wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in 2A en route to earning its first state tournament bid since 2008.
Meanwhile, Mid-Prairie took down the No. 1 ranked team in 3A to earn its fifth straight state tournament appearance, where they finished fifth in 2014.
Those two schools certainly turned heads in the area, and lead the All-Golden Triangle News Service softball team.
At the helm of the All-GTNS team is Highland head coach Carrie Wieland. She has led the Huskies to two-straight undefeated seasons in the SEISC, and a fourth-place state finish this season. The Huskies’ only regular season loss was to Solon, who finished second in the 4A state tournament.
Highland graduates three seniors as the Huskies will try to make it two straight trips to the state tournament next season.
New London sophomore Morgan Christner makes her second appearance on the All-GTNS team, and was named captain of this year’s squad. Christner led her team to a 25-5 record, but fell one game short of the state tournament. She was valuable as both a pitcher and a hitter. On the mound, she won 25 games and had an ERA of 0.84. She also was a force at the plate hitting .430 with 38 RBI.
The All-GTNS infield was made up completely of sophomores, and they had a great year in 2014, posting a combined batting average of .534.
Mid-Prairie’s sophomore third baseman Amber Kral led the way with a 3A leading .583 average (good for sixth in the state, regardless of class), .662 on-base percentage (fifth in state) as well as a team-high 11 home runs, 59 RBIs and 13 doubles. Kral’s biggest day this season came when she hit three home runs and drove in nine RBIs in a doubleheader against Washington on June 25.
Kral’s teammate, sophomore shortstop Alex Rath, joins her in the infield as she batted .523 from the leadoff spot. Rath got on base at a clip of .576, and led the team in runs scored with 52. She was a huge threat once she got on base, as she swiped 44 bags on the year, good for second on the team.
Highland’s sophomore third baseman Cheyann Adamson was one of the better leadoff hitters in the state this season finishing tied for third in 2A with a .540 batting average. She also was able to generate a lot of runs for the high-powered Huskie attack, scoring a team-high 50 times and finishing second on the team with 40 RBIs. She also finished second on the team with 32 stolen bases.
Cardinal third baseman Lindsey Davis makes her first All-GTNS appearance this season. Davis helped lead the Comets to the second round of regionals with a monster offensive season. She batted .481, hit 11 doubles and drove in 28 runs. Davis sent one ball over the fence and was able to score 27 times. Next season, the more experienced Comets will look to travel further into the postseason.
In the outfield, Lexi Duwa made up the other part of the three-headed Mid-Prairie attack at the top of the order. Batting in the second spot of the lineup, Duwa batted. 438 this season and scored 44 runs, while going 47-for-47 on stolen bases this year.
Fairfield senior Sydney Burnett makes the GTNS outfield for the third year running. Burnett’s weapon is speed, and she uses it to glide through center field and on the base paths. She batted .380, along with recording a team-high 40 runs scored and 49 hits. Not only is Burnett on the All-GTNS team, she also was named Southeast Conference MVP and to the All-State team. The Trojans will have a hole at the leadoff spot next season with Burnett’s departure.
Mt. Pleasant’s Leslie Taylor rounds out the All-GTNS outfield, as she led the Panthers in nearly every batting category. Her .403 average, 26 RBIs, 37 runs, 47 stolen bases and 56 hits were all team bests for a Panther team that went 16-24 on the year.
Washington makes its first appearance on the All-GTNS team at the pitcher spot, with senior Ashley Rausch capping off her Demon career with a great season.
Rausch makes the team for the third straight season, and tossed 147 2/3 innings for Washington in 2014. Over that span, she posted a record of 13-10, a 1.80 ERA and 168 strikeouts, while opponents batted .185 off of her.
She also helped the Demons at the plate, batting .353, a team-high 30 RBIs, and tied with two others for the team high in home runs with two. Her season earned her third-team All-State honors, as well as being named All-Conference and All-District.
Highland’s first-team All-State pitcher Katie Springer took the other pitching spot on the All-GTNS team, with an impressive junior year, starting all but four games for the Huskies, going 28-3. She finished the year with a 1.76 ERA and 199 strikeouts over 183 innings this year for Highland.
The All-GTNS catcher was New London’s Emily Parks. Parks hit .430 on the year and collected 25 stolen bases for the Tigers this season.
The final New London player to make the team as a utility selection was outfielder Sami Koontz. Koontz hit a robust .526 while scoring 40 runs and stealing 32 bases.
Rounding out the All-GTNS team is Marisa Repp. The Trojan split time between catcher and first base in 2014, and had one of the best campaigns of her softball career. Repp batted .358, hit four home runs and drove in 34 to lead Fairfield in RBIs. She crossed the plate 33 times and finished with a .449 on-base percentage.
The All-GTNS softball team was selected by Allyus Fritz of the Fairfield Ledger, Aaron Viner of The Washington Evening Journal and John Rohlf of the Mt. Pleasant News.
Mid-Prairie and Highland photos courtesy Jerry Teets, Washington photo courtesy Linda Drish.