St. Charles East
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The Saints' senior catcher could impact a game both at the plate and behind it. Chosen to the Upstate Eight Conference River Division all-conference team and the John Fehlman All-Star game, Basic hit .330 with 34 hits, 21 RBI and 3 home runs. Capped her career going 3-for-4 with a home run, 3 RBI and throwing out two runners trying to steal second at the St. Charles North regional. "I couldn't be more proud of that kid," Saints coach Kelly Horan said. "She's going to be missed. Those are tough shoes to fill no doubt."
St. Charles North
The No. 3 hitter and shortstop for the North Stars batted .391 with 3 home runs and 23 RBI to earn her spot on the Upstate Eight Conference River Division team. "She came to us already very skilled and has been instructed a high level by her travel coaches, but she was still willing to be coached and she worked hard at improving defensively at a new position for her," North Stars coach Tom Poulin said. "She can hit for power, is a gap-to-gap hitter, a very good bunter and really developed mentally as a hitter this season. Mickey is a great teammate, keeps everyone loose and makes sure to enjoy her time out there, which is contagious and makes my job easier. She is a joy to coach."
If you could look up impact freshman season in the dictionary, there would be a picture of Kuefler smiling. Led the area in virtually every offensive category including batting average (.544), hits (62) and RBI (52) and was second in runs (43). "It's very hard to put into words," Kaneland coach Brian Willis said. "I certainly didn't expect it, her father (Mike) is my assistant coach and he didn't expect it. She came out at the start of the season guns blazing and never really slowed down. Only a few games she didn't have a hit and they (hits) weren't cheap. She hit the ball hard."
No center fielder made the plays like this Middle Tennessee-bound senior. The unanimous all-DVC selection missed the final 4 games after being injured against Wheaton North but still batted .494 with 29 runs and a school-record 22 steals. "LaRi is a very special player, one that comes along only once every 10-20 years," West Aurora coach Randy Hayslett said. "She made a catch against Naperville North that was perhaps the best catch I've ever seen on a softball or baseball field. We should have made an instructional video on LaRi's outfield play. From the angles she took to the amount of ground she covered, along with her ability to get into proper positioning to make a dead-on accurate throw each and every time was a thing of beauty -- that you never got tired of watching."
St. Charles East
Of all the honors for the Saints junior shortstop, the top one might have come from the coaches in the Upstate Eight Conference who voted her the River Division's Most Valuable Position Player. Perez has good speed and set the tone for the Saints offense, almost always turning a walk or single into a double or triple by quickly stealing a base or two timing her jump perfectly. Led the area in steals with 38 -- 12 more than the runner-up -- including 6 in a memorable victory against Fremd when she also drove in the winning run. Finished with a .325 average, 42 hits and 30 runs scored. "What a momentum starter to have her get on because it's pretty much she gets on and she's at two," Saints coach Kelly Horan said.
St. Charles North
Rabin did it all for the UEC River champion North Stars, winning 10 games with a 2.20 ERA while igniting the offense with a .447 average, 26 stolen bases, 51 hits and 32 runs to gain all-conference honors. "Sabrina was our most productive player across the board this season," North Stars coach Tom Poulin said. "She really did a great job transitioning from a role player last season to a captain and someone we depended on heavily this season. Her work ethic is incredible and she earns everything that she receives. She is a leader on a daily basis and the perfect representative of our program. She excels in the classroom, on the playing field and serves as a role model for the others in the program."
This junior center fielder and Dayton-commit had all eyes on her this spring -- and pitchers making sure they didn't give her anything good to hit -- after blasting 18 home runs as a sophomore. Ryan finished with 3 home runs as a junior with 38 RBI -- third-best in the area -- plus a .393 batting average, 46 hits, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 8 stolen bases and .615 slugging percentage. Made the Upstate Eight Conference River Division team. "Katie played through a back injury with no complaints," Bulldogs coach Ashley Szymski said. "You have such a standout season everyone knows who you are. She still did very well at the plate."
Geneva has had a number of great hitters through the years but this junior third baseman did something no Viking has before when she drove in a program-best 36 runs. Searcy also ranked among the area leaders with her .368 batting average, 5 home runs, 10 doubles, 22 runs and .653 slugging percentage. Earned Upstate Eight Conference River Division all-conference honors. "Kirsten is among the most talented kids I have coached," Geneva coach Greg Dierks said. "She has hit for average every year and her power numbers have consistently improved along the way. She has a strong and very accurate arm at third base."
A three-time All-Area player and this year's captain of the All-Area team, Vest returned from missing most of her junior year to lead the area with 20 wins for the conference and regional champion Knights. Vest was just as important at the top of the Kaneland lineup with her area-best 47 runs scored on 53 hits with a .448 batting average. Will play next year at Waubonsee Community College. "An all-around good kid, good person, good athlete," Kaneland coach Brian Willis said. "She'll be very difficult to replace not only as an athlete but as a leader and a player on the team."
One of the best stories this spring was Villarreal's comeback from an ACL injury that cost this shortstop her sophomore season after she had burst onto the scene as a freshman starter at Batavia. Villarreal led off and hit .385 with 39 runs and 7 doubles. Perhaps just as impressive were the 22 walks she coaxed that combined with her potent bat gave her a .577 on-base percentage. "Sami never missed a game or practice all season," Batavia coach Ashley Szymski said. "Both (Villarreal and fellow all-conference teammate Katie Ryan) were dedicated to the Bulldog program."
2012 Softball All-area roster
Player School Pos. Yr.
Casey Basic St. Charles East C Sr.
Mickey Goetz St. Charles North SS So.
Paige Kuefler Kaneland 3B Fr.
LaRi Mitchell West Aurora CF Sr.
Lexi Perez St. Charles East SS Jr.
Sabrina Rabin St. Charles North P/CF So.
Katie Ryan Batavia CF Jr.
Kirsten Searcy Geneva 3B Jr.
* Delani Vest Kaneland P Sr.
Sami Villarreal Batavia SS Jr.
Player School Pos. Yr.
Emily Brodner St. Charles North C So.
Lanie Callaghan Kaneland CF So.
Katie Callahan Aurora Central C Sr.
Shannon Caliri St. Charles North P Sr.
Anna Geary Geneva CF Fr.
Allyson O'Herron Kaneland SS Jr.
Shannon Pedersen St. Charles East P/1B Sr.
Samantha Phelps Rosary 3B So.
Ryanne Rokos Batavia OF/2B Fr.
Cara Smoczymski Rosary P Jr.
* -- Honorary captain
Katie Coleman (Batavia, sr., P); Tess Hupe (St. Charles East, so., CF); Madeline Merritt (Rosary, sr., 2B); Kate Peterburs (St. Charles East, so., 3B); Kaitlyn Waslawski St. Charles North (St. Charles North, fr., 2B); Bridget Weitzel (Geneva, jr., LF); Elena Wright (Geneva, sr., SS).
Gabi Alfaro (Aurora Central, fr., INF); Dani Blake (Aurora Central, sr., OF); Sarah Collalti (St. Charles East, so., OF); Haley Contorno (Kaneland, so., 1B); Amanda Ebert (Geneva, jr., OF); Kelly Gordon (Geneva, jr., 2B); Molly Jordan (West Aurora, jr., 1B); Olivia Lorenzini (St. Charles East, jr., OF); McKinzie Mangers (Kaneland, sr., C); LaDesha Nelson (West Aurora, sr., OF); Katie Neubauer (Batavia, sr., P/3B); Alexis Roach (Kaneland, so., OF ); Sarah Ryan (Aurora Central, sr., P); Ally Wayzer (West Aurora, jr., 3B).
Kaneland, St. Charles North
Teams to watch in 2013
St. Charles North, Kaneland, St. Charles East