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Northwest Herald All-Area Softball Team

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FIRST TEAM

Pitchers

Lindsay Efflandt, jr., Cary-Grove

Efflandt had another outstanding season in the circle for the Trojans. She finished with a 24-7 record, including two wins over Conant, and posted a 1.10 ERA with 206 strikeouts. She helped her own cause at the plate, batting .337 with three home runs.

Katie Kirker, sr., Jacobs

Kirker, as she has done throughout her high school career, battled injuries in the early part of the season, but rebounded to have a tremendous postseason. Kirker threw three consecutive complete-game shutouts to help Jacobs to its first sectional title. She was 6-2 with a 1.05 ERA.

Kristen Koepke, fr., McHenry

Koepke stepped in and quickly became McHenry’s go-to pitcher as a freshman. She was 19-4 with a 2.76 ERA and had 120 strikeouts in 157 innings. Koepke was one of the best-hitting pitchers as well, batting .491 with three home runs and 28 RBIs.

Lindsay Melson, sr., Marengo

Melson was the Northwest Herald Co-Player of the Year with teammate Reed Karsten. The senior put up great regular-season numbers and was even better in the postseason, leading Marengo to a second-place finish in Class 3A. Overall, Melson was 26-6 with a 1.29 ERA and 299 strikeouts.

Kirsten Stevens, jr., Prairie Ridge

Stevens again was a dominant force in the circle for Prairie Ridge. She finished the season with a record of 21-9-1 and led the area with 319 strikeouts. Stevens is a repeat All-Area first-team selection.

Catcher

Liz Adams, sr., Crystal Lake South

Adams is one of best pure hitters in the area, striking out only seven times in the past three years. She had a .490 batting average and led the Gators with two home runs and 27 RBIs. Adams, who will play for Rutgers next year, was strong defensively as well, allowing only four stolen bases.

Infielders

Stephanie Cartwright, jr., 3B, Marengo

Cartwright was a key offensive player in helping Marengo to a second straight Class 3A championship game appearance. The junior third baseman batted .356 with a home run and 31 RBIs while also recording only two errors for a .971 fielding percentage at third base.

Kara Ekx, sr., 3B, McHenry

Ekx was one of several great hitters in McHenry’s lineup. She hit .404 with five home runs and 32 RBIs while playing a solid third base with only four errors. Ekx helped lead the Warriors to a share of the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title and a regional championship.

Maggie Hansen, sr., SS, Jacobs

Hansen was one of the few seniors on a Jacobs team that came on strong at the end of the year. Hansen took over as starting shortstop and batted .320 with three home runs and 25 RBIs.

Megan Mahaffy, fr., SS, Crystal Lake Central

Mahaffy made an instant impact as a freshman, coming through with a game-winning hit in the season opener. She played a solid shortstop and also pitched in 11 games for the Tigers. Mahaffy batted .425 with 27 RBIs and five stolen bases.

Outfielders

Taylor Dunne, sr., CF, Cary-Grove

Dunne was one of the Trojans’ offensive leaders. She hit a team-leading .378 and added 30 RBIs. She also led the Trojans with 10 stolen bases, and 18 of her 42 hits went for extra bases.

Reed Karsten, sr., RF, Marengo

Karsten is the Northwest Herald Co-Player of the Year with teammate Lindsay Melson. The senior right fielder was the best leadoff hitter in the area, possessing a rare combination of power and speed. She hit .546 with three home runs and 29 stolen bases. Her 77 hits were sixth in IHSA history for a season.

Megan Semro, jr., CF, Marengo

Semro was part of a strong defensive outfield for Marengo and put up solid offensive numbers as the Indians’ cleanup hitter. The junior center fielder batted .365 with two home runs and 33 RBIs and started in the Class 3A championship game for the second consecutive season.

Flex/Utility

Sarah Leudo, jr., C, Cary-Grove

Leudo is another do-it-all catcher in the area. She led Cary-Grove with seven home runs and 33 RBIs while batting .369. Defensively, Leudo threw out eight of the 13 runners attempting to steal, as many teams chose not to test the junior catcher.

Designated Player

Mikaela Mitsch, sr., C, McHenry

Mitsch recorded one of the greatest offensive seasons in area history. The senior catcher belted 13 home runs, tied for the 13th most in IHSA history, with 47 RBIs and a .646 average. She will play next year at Heidelberg University in Ohio.

SECOND TEAM

Pitchers

Bethany Hart, jr., Marengo

Sparkle Lagerhausen, sr., Alden-Hebron

McKayla Lein, so., Jacobs

Hailee Massie, fr., Crystal Lake South

Sara McConnell, jr., Crystal Lake Central

Catcher

Riley Stanton, jr., Richmond-Burton

Infielders

Nicky Chapa, sr., 2B, Jacobs

Alyssa Lach, so., 3B, Jacobs

Sara Markelonis, sr., 3B, Cary-Grove

Randi Peterson, jr., SS, Huntley

Outfielders

Kate Didier, so., CF, Prairie Ridge

Melany Love, sr., CF, Dundee-Crown

Lisa Semro, so., RF, Cary-Grove

Flex/Utility

Larissa Pfeiffer, sr., 2B, Marengo

Designated Player

Amy Rink, sr., C, Crystal Lake Central

HONORABLE MENTION

Bre Baer, jr., 3B, Johnsburg

Tiffany Bentley, sr., SS, Hampshire

Claire Bowman, so., 3B, Prairie Ridge

Paige Busch, jr., 3B, Woodstock North

Stephanie Cherwin, sr., SS, Johnsburg

Kelsey Cichocki, jr., 1B, McHenry

Jamie Deering, so., SS, Cary-Grove

Alyssa Doomis, so., C, Prairie Ridge

Maddie Drain, so., DP, Prairie Ridge

Shannon Ellman, so. 1B, Crystal Lake Central

Brogan Etten, jr., 3B, Richmond-Burton

Sam Golf, sr., Util, Crystal Lake South

Sam Hempen, so., SS, Prairie Ridge

Jacquelyn Hengler, jr., OF, Jacobs

Jordan Hook, jr., Util., Hampshire

Jennifer Hurst, jr., P, Hampshire

Shae Karsten, jr., SS, Marengo

Abby Kissack, so., 1B, Marengo

Tara Lycos, sr., Util., Huntley

Lily Mazzanti, jr., SS, Richmond-Burton

Alexa McClaughry, jr., SS, McHenry

Sam McLean, so., SS, Crystal Lake South

Sierra Meiners, so., C/OF, Woodstock North

Christine Orndahl, sr., SS, Woodstock

Marissa Richter, jr., 1B, Prairie Ridge

Bria Romine, jr., SS, Woodstock North

Mikayla Tuszynski, jr., OF, Crystal Lake Central

Dana Walsh, fr., CF, McHenry

Taylor Ward, jr., CF/P, Crystal Lake Central

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