Narrowing down the All-Area team is a tough process, but one that has to be done. Morris turned things around and went from a team that won eight games in 2013 to a 21-game winner this year and a sectional finalist before losing to eventual Class 3A state runner-up Manteno. Gardner-South Wilmington won its sectional for the second straight year, while Minooka went from Class 4A champion to a loss in the regional title game. Newark was upset in its regional, while Seneca and Coal City were not as strong as they have been in the recent past.
There were many players deserving of mention in the area, and here they are.
Abby Burns, freshman, P, Morris: Went 18-8 for sectional finalist Redskins with 1.62 ERA. In 173 innings, struck out 173 and held opponents to .213 batting average. Also hit .275 with four doubles and 10 RBIs. In four post-season games, went 3-1 with 1.68 ERA. Coach Jen Lowery: “Abby showed great composure, both offensively and defensively.”
Lauren Severson, senior, 3B, Morris: Hit .354 with 2 home runs, 22 RBIs, 8 doubles and 2 triples... Will play at Augustana next year. ... Coach Jen Lowery: “Lauren is a well-rounded athlete with a great work ethic and great leadership skills.”
Maddy Feeney, senior, OF, Morris: Hit .340 with .441 on-base percentage as leadoff hitter. Stole 9 bases and scored 24 runs with 11 RBIs and 3 triples. ... Will play at Murray State next season. ... Coach Jen Lowery: “Maddy has great speed on the base path and in field. She has a great work ethic.”
Emily Moore, sophomore, C, Morris: Hit team-leading .360 with 3 homers and 24 RBIs. Coach Jen Lowery: “Emily is very athletic, has a great attitude and a desire to learn.”
Leah Lines, junior, SS, Morris: Hit .316 with 16 runs, 12 RBIs and 6 doubles. Coach Jen Lowery: “Leah is a great leader with great hands and fundamentals defensively. She also has a consistent bat offensively.”
Emily Foley, junior, P, Gardner-South Wilmington: Hit .584 with 13 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and 38 RBIs. Pitching record of 20-7. In 149 2⁄3innings, struck out 129 with a 2.47 ERA. Coach Jon Posing: “Emily has been one of the top hitters in the area all year. She has been terrific both on the mound and at the plate. She is definitely one of the top softball players in this or any area.”
Maranda Residori, sophomore, 3B, Gardner-South Wilmington: Hit .434 with 8 doubles, 4 triples 4 home runs, 33 RBIs and 24 runs scored. Coach Jon Posing: “After a relatively slow start, Maranda was one of our most productive hitters. She drove in the only run in the regional championship. She switched from catching last year to third this year, and was solid.”
Lexi Posing. junior, OF, Gardner-South Wilmington: Batted .430 with 6 doubles, 4 triples, 2 home runs, 25 RBIs and 36 runs scored. Coach Jon Posing: “Lexi is a prototypical 2 hitter. She is patient at the plate, can bunt, can hit, and is one of our fastest players. She is a terrific baserunner, and usually scores when she gets on. She has also driven in a lot of big runs from the 2 spot. Defensively, she plays an excellent centerfield and made only one error.”
Kylie King, sophomore, C, Gardner-South Wilmington: Hit .449 with 3 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, 20 RBIs and 33 runs scored. Coach Jon Posing: “Kylie had to miss all of last year with an injury, and started out a little slow this year because of it. Once she found her stroke, she pounded the ball. She does a terrific job of slowing down the opponents running game.”
Makenna Emerson, sophomore, Coal City: Hit .421 with 13 doubles, 7 home runs, 38 RBIs.
Sarah Radtke, senior, 3B, Seneca: Hit .486 with 12 doubles, 3 triples, 9 home runs, 44 RBIs, 6 stolen bases.
Meghan Quirk, senior, SS/P, Minooka: Hit .327 with 8 doubles,. 2 triples, 2 home runs, 13 RBIs. Went 11-7 with 2.33 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 117 innings. Coach Mark Brown: “Meghan did not see much playing time last year. This year she batted close to .400 and was a captain and the conference MVP. She is a line-drive hitter who struck out only a handful of times.”
Alyssa Hajduk, sophomore, OF, Minooka: Hit .400 with 4 doubles, 6 triples, 3 home runs, 26 RBIs. Coach Mark Brown: “Alyssa led us in almost every offensive category. She played right field this year and will be our center fielder the next couple of years. She moved from hitting leadoff to hitting third. She has quick bat speed. She pitched some buig games, too.”
Marissa Burns, senior, 2B, Minooka: Hit .345 with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 21 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Coach Mark Brown: “Marissa was on varsity three years and was a huge part of our success last year. She is one of the best defensive second basemen in the state. She hit for average and power and could get a bunt down. She is a five-tool player.”
Caroline Erickson, Junior, 3B, Newark: Hit .522 with 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 29 RBIs. Coach Brian Holman: “Caroline was a 3-year starter and was our best player offensively and defensively.”
Megan Malone, Senior, OF, Newark: Hit .462 with 10 doubles, two triples, three homers and 21 RBIs... Three-time All-Little Ten Conference... Coach Brian Holman: “Megan has been one of the best all around hitters in the conference over the last three years. She only struck out twice in 22 games this year.”
Sophie Barna, junior, SS, Gardner-South Wilmington: Hit .402 with 6 doubles, 2 triples 18 RBIs and 19 runs scored. Coach Jon Posing: “Sophie is the teams’ most vocal player. She is one of the team leaders, and does a great job. She has had a great year. She is a very tough out.”
Shelby Hoddy, sophomore, P/1B/3B/OF, Newark: Hit .446 with two doubles, two triples, one homer and 15 RBIs... Went 8-4 on the mound with 2.30 ERA. Had 88 strikeouts against 35 walks in 68 innings... Coach Brian Holman: “Shelby led us in every pitching category and was our most improved player. She did a little bit of everything, including leading the team in sacrifices.”
Caroline Brown, senior, P/!B., Minooka: Hit .306 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 21 RBIs. Went 3-1 on the mound with 5.09 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 22 innings.
Geri Westerhoff, senior, 1B, Minooka: Hit .322 with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs and 16 RBIs.
Lexi Trompeter, junior, SS, Seneca: Hit .427 with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 33 RBIs, 8 stolen bases.
Jenni Nugent, junior, DP, Seneca: Hit .431 with 10 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, 18 RBIs, 11 stolen bases.
Karlie Cade, sophomore, 2B, Seneca: Hit .375 with 22 runs, 8 stolen bases.
Rachel Sangston, freshman, P, Seneca: Went 17-9 with 3.12 ERA. Hit .258 witih 4 doubles, 1 home run, 13 RBIs.
Paige Hacker, freshman, OF, Seneca: Hit .327 with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 24 RBIs, 7 stolen bases.
Taylor Vandenberg, freshman, 1B, Seneca: Hit .304 with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 28 RBIs.
Taylor Meents, sophomore, Coal City: Hit .339 with 8 RBIs.