Washington Evening Journal
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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2017

All-GTNS girls’ small school team selections

By Bill Gatchel | Aug 01, 2017
Kelsey Hora

The summer sports season has concluded and now is the time where Andy Krutsinger, the sports editor for the Mt. Pleasant News, Andy Hallman, News Editor from the Fairfield Ledger and myself choose the cream of the crop for the Golden Triangle area.

Today’s focus is for girls’ softball from the area, looking at the smaller schools first.

While none of the teams made a trip to the state tournament, it was still a great year for all players.

That made the deciding process hard for the three of us.

Tomorrow, the smaller schools of the area will be the topic of conversation for the boys’ baseball teams.

Here are our picks for the 2016-17 All-Golden Triangle team for girls’ softball from the smaller schools:

Coach: As the head coach for the Highland softball team, Carrie led the Huskies to a 21-8 record this year, including 13 wins in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference (SEISC) with their only loss coming from Louisa-Muscatine.

She led the team to the second round of the postseason where they lost to Eddyville-Blakesburg.

MVP: Senior Kelsey Hora was chosen as the SEISC co-player of the year, which is why she was also chosen as the area’s Most Valuable Player.

During her career at Highland, she set the school record for career hits with 226, scored 216 runs during her career as a Husky and had 198 stolen bases.

She ended the year with a .495 batting average and has signed on to play softball at Des Moines Area Community College next year.

Pitcher: Madie Anderson, 8th, Winfield-Mt. Union: The Winfield-Mt. Union softball team won eight games this year and all eight were on the arm of eighth-grader Madie Anderson.

Anderson went 8-10 with a 2.71 ERA this season to help make W-MU into a much more dangerous team than previous years.

With just three seniors graduating from the 2017 squad, Anderson and the Wolves will be quite a handful in the years to come.

Pitcher: Megan Hoenig is a sophomore from Highland who had an 11-3 record this year and ended the season with a 2.53 ERA while walking only seven, hitting two and striking out 55 during her 116 1/3 innings pitched.

She was also chosen as first team pitcher in the SEISC All-Conference.

Infield: Senior Kaylee Linder was the Pekin Panthers’ sure-handed shortstop.

She was a menace to opposing pitchers because she always seemed to find a way on base, and often around the bases. She batted .484 with 22 steals. She drove in 15 runs and scored 42.

Infield: Aly Stokes is a sophomore from Highland who was picked as first team infield player in the SEISC.

In her 94 at-bats this season, she scored 31 runs on 41 hits and had 32 RBIs. She was 20-of-21 in stolen bases and had a .436 average.

Infield: Ellie Ledger is a sophomore from Pekin. Pekin infielders knew that Ledger would scoop up nearly everything they tossed in the neighborhood of first base.

Ledger provided plenty of pop at the plate, too, batting .395 with seven doubles and a home run. She drove in 26 runs and scored 16.

Infield: Layney Loyd is a freshman from New London. She rose up as one of the top hitters on a young New London team in 2017.

The freshman shortstop hit .394 on the year with 21 RBIs, two doubles, a triple and two home runs, hitting third for the Tigers for the majority of the season.

Loyd looks to be one of the centerpieces behind a Tiger team that is quickly seeing new blood become emerging stars in the SEISC.

Outfield: Zoey Wright, a sophomore from Pekin, began the season with a few starts at second base, and proved her versatility by switching to the outfield, where she remained for all of June and July.

Wright hit for both power and average. She slugged six homers, two triples and seven doubles.

She batted .417 and got on base at a .456 clip. She scored 37 runs and batted in 20.

Outfield: Sarah Schneider, the sophomore from Highland, was picked as first team outfield player in the SEISC after having a .438 batting average for the Huskies, going 12-12 in stolen bases and scoring 26 runs in the season.

Outfield: Abby Tornow is a senior from Mid-Prairie who only had a .299 batting average, but led the team in the most runs scored, tallying 29 for the year.

She was one of four to have 16 RBIs and was 19-for-19 in stolen bases. She was on the Golden Hawks team that ended the year with a 12-21 record.

Catcher: Abbie Miller is a sophomore from Highland who led the team in RBIs, with 41 this season.

She also led the team in home runs, putting four over the fence. Her season ended with a .426 batting average.

She was also chosen as first team utility player in the SEISC.

Utility: Avery Blauvelt is a junior from Iowa Mennonite who earned an Honorable Mention nod in the SEISC. She had a season batting average of .471 and had 14 RBIs. Her team went 6-12 this season.

Utility: Over the past few years, junior catcher Breanna Mettler has become a staple in the middle of New London’s lineup.

One of four juniors to grace the starting lineup, Mettler hit .320 with a team-leading six home runs.

The slugger also had nine doubles, one triple and 21 RBIs. She will be one of the most dangerous hitters in 2018 on a Tiger team that loses nobody from this season.

Utility: Kassidy Verrips is on the Cardinal Comets who went through some growing pains this year, but a bright spot emerged that has given Cardinal faithful hope that the program’s best days are ahead of it.

That bright spot was Verrips, who proved to be one of the best hitters in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference.

Just a freshman, Verrips hit .453 and was on base more often than not. She slugged two homers, two triples and five doubles, while driving in 18 runs and scoring 18 times herself.

She also figures to be a major contributor from the pitching rubber next season.

-The All-Golden Triangle News Service teams are selected by sports editors Andy Krustinger of the Mt. Pleasant News and Bill Gatchel of the Washington Evening Journal along with Andy Hallman, News Editor at the Fairfield Ledger.

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