High school softball: Meet our All-Area team

High school softball: Meet our All-Area team

**Madison Bauer | Watseka | Junior | 1B** Bauer showed signs of becoming an offensive force last season and fully blossomed into an elite hitter this spring. The junior brought her batting average up nearly 70 points from the previous year to .457. She provided the Warriors with 11 doubles, two triples and five home runs while setting a program record with 47 RBI, which tied for fifth most in the area. **Camryn BeDell | BBCHS | Sophomore | SS** The Boilermakers' offense made major strides this spring thanks in large part to BeDell's emergence at the top of the lineup. The sophomore provided a much-needed spark with a .457 batting average, nine doubles and 32 runs scored. She became an important piece in a young and talented core that helped BBCHS to 22 wins. **Molly Cann | Herscher | Sophomore | 1B** Cann joins teammate Gabby Schultz in earning All-Area honors for the second-straight season to begin her varsity career. Much like her freshman campaign, Cann continued to terrorize opposing pitchers to the tune of a .509 batting average with 17 doubles, six triples and 30 RBI. She also was deadly on the base paths with 55 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. **Summer Cramer | Watseka | Sophomore | SS** The Warriors put up some huge run totals throughout their 22-win campaign and part of the credit has to go to Cramer. The speedy sophomore made life miserable for the opposition with an on-base percentage above .600 and 36 steals in 38 attempts. She finished fifth in the area with a .529 batting average and fifth in runs scored with 49. Abby Edwards | Dwight | Sophomore | SS/P Edwards stepped up to the plate early in the season against Bishop McNamara as Dwight coach Eric Black said "This one here is the real deal." He wasn't kidding. Not only did Edwards lead the area with 11 homers, but she also batted .528 with seven doubles, four triples and 43 RBI. She also excelled in the circle with a 1.97 ERA to help lead the Trojans to a SVC title. Makenna Emerson | Coal City | Senior | SS Emerson was already Coal City's top player in 2015, but she took her game to the next level during her senior season. Her batting average jumped from .366 as a junior to .538 this spring, which was third-best in the area. Emerson also turned into an extra-base hit machine with 17 doubles, seven triples and two homers on her way to driving in 47 runs. She struck out just twice. Taylor Hotaling | Watseka | Junior | P Taylor Bauer's graduation appeared to leave Watseka with a major void in the circle, but Hotaling proved to be more than a capable replacement. The junior set a school record with 225 strikeouts and tied another mark with 20 wins. Hotaling turned a 2.82 ERA in 183 2/3 innings pitched and helped her own cause offensively with 33 RBI. Chloe Jefferson | Herscher | Freshman | 3B/C As if the Tigers weren't already loaded with offensive talent, coach Mike Cann found himself with another major weapon in Jefferson. The freshman sure didn't play like one as she excelled in the cleanup spot with eight doubles, four triples and 44 RBIs. She also connected for seven home runs, including impressive shots against St. Joseph-Ogden and Peotone. Allie Johnson | Peotone | Senior | P The UTEP-bound senior nearly carried the Blue Devils to the Class 2A state finals despite receiving limited offensive support. Johnson, a first team member on the Class 2A Illinois Coaches Association All-State Team, was close to unhittable at times with a staggering 381 strikeouts in 186 2/3 innings on her way to a 1.58 ERA. Despite suffering the loss in 11 innings, her 23-strikeout no-hitter at the Rosemont Super-Sectional will remain one of the most memorable performances in area history. Taylor Johnson | Beecher | Junior | C Johnson's home run rate fell this season, but that was hardly any fault of her own. Opposing pitchers were going out of their way to make sure the Wisconsin commit didn't burn them. Still, the three-time All-Area member swatted nine homers to bring her career total to 42. She added 13 doubles and three triples on her way to driving in 45 runs. She was voted a first team member to the Class 2A Illinois Coaches Association All-State Team. Bethany Junker | Grant Park | Sophomore | SS A light schedule limited Junker to only 62 at-bats this spring, but she once again did more than enough to earn All-Area honors. The sophomore's .677 batting average led the area by a wide margin and was a 201 point increase from an already impressive freshman season. Junker made the most out of her at-bats with 12 doubles, four triples, two homers and 20 RBI. She also scored 36 runs and picked up 23 stolen bases. Kate Landis | Beecher | Sophomore | SS Beecher's leadoff hitter and defensive wizard at shortstop came through with her second-straight All-Area campaign. Already one of the best defenders in the area, Landis took her offensive game to the next level in 2016. She scored 57 times and drove in 47 on the strength of a .483 average with 13 doubles, four triples and four home runs. Matti Lanie | Momence | Sophomore | C Injuries plagued Momence for the majority of the spring, but Lanie stepped up wherever she was needed by coach Katie Denny. The sophomore shifted from outfield to catcher and also moved from the No. 3 spot to leadoff hitter. None of it seemed to bother Lanie, who batted .488 with 40 runs scored, 19 stolen bases and 16 extra-base hits. Dezi Leonard | Dwight | Senior | P/1B Leonard is off to play college softball at Lake Land College but not before she turned in one more All-Area caliber season. The senior was a key cog in Dwight's run to the SVC championship, both at the plate and in the circle. Not only did she post a 9-4 record and 1.54 ERA, Leonard also contributed a .434 batting average with 11 doubles, three homers and 24 RBIs. Taylor Meents | Coal City | Senior | OF The Coalers seemed to be putting up double digits on the scoreboard every night and Meents was a big reason for the team's prolific offense. The senior turned in a .454 batting average and was nearly unstoppable once on the base paths. Meents stole an area-best 43 bases in 45 attempts and finished fourth with 53 runs scored. Grace Schroeder | Iroquois West | Junior | SS It has been a long time since Iroquois West was competitive, but the Raiders are heading in the right direction with Schroeder leading the way. Already a star on the basketball court, the junior's athleticism shined as she improved her batting average by more than 200 points from last season to bat .520. She collected eight doubles, eight triples and two home runs to help drive in 24 runs. Gabby Schultz | Herscher | Sophomore | SS Schultz burst onto the scene in 2015 as one the area's top threats as a freshman. The sophomore picked up right where she left off this spring on the way to her second-straight All-Area appearance. Schultz settled into the No. 3 spot in the order for the Tigers and batted .508 with 16 doubles, five homers, 46 RBIs and 47 runs scored. Morgan Scivally | Herscher | Freshman | P It's tough for any pitcher to get through the Interstate Eight schedule, which makes Scivally's freshman campaign all the more impressive. She posted a 16-3 record to go along with a 2.52 ERA. Scivally also had no problem striking the opposition out with 145 in 122 innings pitched. Her performance in the circle was a major reason why the Tigers captured their first I-8 title in program history. Sara Serena | Kankakee | Sophomore | P It seemed like a tough task for Serena to improve on the tremendous All-Area campaign she posted as a freshman. It turned out not to be a problem at all. The talented sophomore blew away her 2015 numbers with a .596 average to go along with 17 doubles, 17 triples, five homers and 58 RBIs. She was also terrific in the circle with a 2.20 ERA and 184 strikeouts in 153 innings. Miranda Southall | Wilmington | Senior | P All you need to do is watch Southall run the bases one time to realize the type of special athlete she is. Wilmington's ace went toe-to-toe with the Interstate Eight's best and often came out on top. The senior posted a 17-5 record on the strength of an area-best 1.37 ERA with 132 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings. Southall also was terrific at the plate, hitting .500 with 15 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs. Shelby Stauffenberg | Bishop McNamara | Junior | C While Bishop McNamara actually struggled offensively more than past seasons, Stauffenberg kept the Irish rolling all the way to the Class 3A Elite Eight. A first team member to the Class 3A Illinois Coaches Association All-State Team, the junior batted .484 and was near the top of the area in doubles (18), home runs (9) and RBIs (50). Alex Storako | Bishop McNamara | Sophomore | P Storako really broke out during McNamara's run to the Class 2A state finals in 2015, and the sophomore picked up right where she left. She was particularly impressive in the Irish's run to the Class 3A Elite Eight with dominant performances against Joliet Catholic, Herscher, Tinley Park and Lincoln-Way West. She finished the season with a 1.85 ERA and 201 strikeouts. Offensively, she hit .433 with 19 extra-base hits and 35 RBI out of the cleanup spot. Miranda Wehrle | BBCHS | Sophomore | 3B While teammate Camryn BeDell was busy getting on base, Wehrle was busy bringing her home. Bradley-Bourbonnais' cleanup hitter provided her team with some much-needed power in the middle of the lineup. The sophomore smacked 11 doubles, two triples and eight home runs on her way to 32 RBIs and was a major component in the team's 22-win season. Kenna Wilkey | Reed-Custer | Junior | P The Northwestern commit came roaring back after missing the second half of her sophomore season because of injury. Reed-Custer became a legitimate threat to reach the Class 2A state finals as Wilkey became stronger as the season progressed. A first team member on the Class 2A Illinois Coaches Association All-State Team, Wilkey finished with a 1.50 ERA and struck out a ridiculous 260 batters in 126 2/3 innings. She also contributed offensively, hitting .485 with 15 doubles, four homers and 25 RBIs. Sydney Zupan | Beecher | Senior | 3B Teams were often looking to pitch around Taylor Johnson, and Zupan consistently made the opposition pay for putting runners on base in front of her. The senior slid perfectly into the No. 3 spot in Beecher's order and led the team with 50 RBIs while batting .413 with 15 extra-base hits. She also combined with shortstop Kate Landis to form the best defensive left side in the area. Special mention: Madison Bainbridge, Beecher; Caitlin Engelking, Bishop McNamara; Paige Glass, Herscher; Magan Harris, Watseka; Baylee Hull, Bishop McNamara; Ramsey Johnson, Manteno; Kate Johnstone, Wilmington; Cheyenne Koehne, Manteno; Kendra Loy, Kankakee; Kelsey Post, Herscher; Maranda Residori, Gardner-South Wilmington; Haley Schreiner, Trinity; Nicole Schuldt, Donovan; Savanah Stluka, Beecher; Jordan Thweatt, Peotone. Honorable mention: Adrienne Adams, Donovan; Kennedy Bauer, Watseka; Kelsey Berndt, Peotone; Bailey Bernicky, Trinity; Leah Campos, Coal City; Tayler Fairley, Iroquois West; Carly Ford, Bishop McNamara; Alanna Glogowski, Kankakee; Emma Hafner, Wilmington; Blaire Harseim, Coal City; Olivia Jackson, Kankakee; Kylie King; Gardner-South Wilmington; Lori Kucharski, Wilmington; Mad Kuipers, Trinity; Megan Lanie, Momence; Lanie Malone, Manteno; Shelby Marchionda, Peotone; Ariel Medina, Iroquois West; Caitlin Meyer, Manteno; Savannah Mims, Iroquois West; Abby Olsen, Coal City; Hallie Outsen, Herscher; Elle Palan, Grant Park; Sydney Perkins, Gardner-South Wilmington; Sydney Reams, Momence; Molly Rodosky, Dwight; Bri Smith, Reed-Custer; Ashton Thomas, Kankakee; Kaycie Wenzel, Manteno; Reilley Williams, Reed-Custer; Leslie Youskevtch, Coal City; Kylie Zawisza, Manteno.

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