Megan Baczewski HuntleyHuntley's sophomore third baseman had an exceptionally productive year in helping the Red Raiders to a 20-win season. She hit .421 with 4 home runs and 16 RBI, added 10 doubles and 2 triples and had a .472 OBP and a .695 slugging percentage. "Megan in her sophomore season really contributed in the second half of the season," said Huntley coach Mark Petryniec. "Her power numbers increased from her freshman season and she will be a staple in our lineup the next two seasons."
Emily Borg JacobsJust a sophomore, Borg became one of the area's top power hitters this season, helping her team to another winning season at 17-14. Hit .392 with 8 home runs and 27 RBI. Also had a, 461 OPB and a .716 slugging percentage. "What impressed me the most was her power and average and identifying good pitches to hit," said Golden Eagles' coach Jeremy Bauer. "She became a good contact hitter and didn't just go for the home run all the time."
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Kelly Bremer ElginA repeat all-area choice, this Maroon senior tore out and threw away a 35-year old page in the Elgin record book by hitting .518 to set a new EHS single-season record. She also 6 home runs, 34 RBI, 14 doubles, an .894 slugging percentage and a .586 OBP whole striking out just 8 times in 85 at-bats. Also did a commendable job behind the plate with a young pitching staff. "It was quite the feat considering some of the players we've had come through Elgin High," said Maroons' coach Dr. Nick Bumbales of the batting average record. "She's a pure hitter and a tremendous clutch hitter. She hit over .700 with runners in scoring position. She is a very positive kid and a very good leader and she did a great job behind the plate."
Alyssa Buddle South ElginThe 2013 all-area captain, this James Madison recruit had another stellar season in leading the Storm to an 18-win year. Hit .366 with 9 home runs and 37 RBI and also drew 28 walks. Had an .854 slugging percentage, adding 12 doubles. A three-time all-area selection, she also did an outstanding job again behind the plate. "She was a leader for us all season," said South Elgin coach Stephanie Katzenberger. "She showed her leadership this year more than any other year. She was a really effective leader and that says a lot about her character. She called pitches for us all year and she knows how to control a game behind the plate. She's the best high school catcher I've ever seen."
Amy Clemment Cary-GroveThe Trojans' senior second baseman combined with shortstop Jamie Deering to become one of the better middle infield combinations in the area. In addition to playing a steady second base for her 19-win team, Clemment hit .345 with 8 RBI and 28 runs scored from the leadoff position. She had a .467 OBP and struck out only 9 times in 112 plate appearances. Also drew 19 walks. "She's 5-foot tall and was the perfect leadoff hitter," said Trojans' coach Tammy Olson. "She drew a lot of pitches and scored a lot of runs. She may be small but she's a smart kid and she'd go through a brick wall for you."
Jamie Deering Cary-GroveAlong with senior 2B Amy Clemment, Deering formed one of the better middle infield combos in the area. A four-year starter and three-time all-Fox Valley Conference player, Deering also became a better hitter each year, finishing this season with a .424 batting average, 5 doubles, 18 RBI and 31 runs scored. Led her team with 42 hits. Had a .467 OBP and struck out only 3 times in 117 plate appearances. "When Jamie came up to the varsity she had never played second base in her life and then she moved to shortstop and became a tremendous player for us," said Cary-Grove coach Tammy Olson. "She hit .211 as a freshman so she more than doubled her average in four years. She made a huge impact for us and was extremely versatile as a hitter. She really picked up her game as a leader and with her personal skills."
Jasmine Deleon St. EdwardThe Green Wave's senior second baseman may have been one of the most improved players in the area. In addition to playing a steady second base for her 18-win team, she hit .379 with 4 doubles, 4 triples, 17 RBI, a .413 OBP and a .495 slugging percentage. Also scored a team-high 30 runs. "Jasmine was one of our senior leaders," said Green Wave coach Jaci Corn. "She is a self-motivated player and works extremely hard. Her enthusiasm really brought the team together and we'll really miss her." Will attend and play for Elgin Community College next year.
Anna Eckholm ElginA three-time all-area selection, this Elgin senior was one of the more versatile players in the area, capable of playing any of the nine positions if needed. Had another strong year at the plate, hitting .426 with 7 home runs and 24 RBI. Also had 14 doubles and 2 triples, a .765 slugging percentage and a .455 OBP. Struck out only 7 times in 115 at-bats. "She's just a solid softball player who can play multiple positions," said Elgin coach Dr. Nick Bumbales. "Each year her stats got better. She hit for power, has speed and a strong arm. Just a very good player."
Sara Finn HampshireOne of the speediest players in the area, this Hampshire senior led the area with 40 stolen bases while being thrown out just once. At the plate the Whip-Purs' shortstop, who will play at UW-Whitewater next year, hit an even .500 with 2 home runs, 19 RBI, 12 doubles and 6 triples from the leadoff spot. She had a .547 OBP and a .738 slugging percentage while leading her team in hits (63) and runs scored (58) for the 21-14 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division co-champs who won the program's first conference title since 1981. "Sara is definitely a big presence to lose both offensively and defensively," said Hampshire coach Stacey Stepek. "She led our team in average, runs scored, stolen bases and OBP. That's a big leadoff spot to fill for next year. We'll also miss her leadership. She had an outstanding season and she's definitely a great catch for Whitewater."
Katie Fornoff BartlettJust a sophomore, Fornoff did an outstanding job in the leadoff position this season, helping Bartlett to a 27-8 season. She hit .405 with 2 homers, 12 RBI, 5 doubles and 4 triples while scoring a team-high 40 runs. Only struck out 9 times in 111 at-bats and had a .472 OBP. "Katie really grew into her game this year," said Hawks' coach Jim Wolfsmith. "She really ignited our offense. Her speed causes trouble with her ability to hit into the gaps. She's a tremendously gifted softball player."
Brooke Gaylord Burlington CentralRockets' senior left-handed pitcher, a repeat all-area selection, went 11-6 in the circle for her regional championship 22-10 team. Also hit .351 with 4 homers and 27 RBI. "The bigger the game the better she played," said Burlington Central coach Wade Maisto. "Her hitting would get better and her pitching would get better." Will continue her career at Loras College in Iowa. "I think she'll do real well at Loras," Maisto said.
Kayla Haberstich BartlettA repeat all-area selection, Bartlett's senior shortstop had another outstanding season, hitting .413 with 5 home runs and 21 RBI, 8 doubles and a team-high 18 stolen bases. Had a .483 OBP and a .654 slugging percentage while striking out only 4 times in 104 at-bats in helping her team to a 27-8 record. "She was the rock of our infield," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "We'll find out next year how much we took her for granted. She would get to balls no one else would and she had a cannon for an arm. She was such a clutch hitter." Set the Bartlett career record for home runs with 22 and RBI with over 100. "She was a rock for us for three years," Wolfsmith said of the Dayton recruit.
Bekah Harnish Burlington CentralOne of the area's top catchers and hitters, this Burlington Central senior had a stellar season in helping her team to a 22-10 season and a regional championship. Hit .538 with 7 homers and 33 RBI from the leadoff spot. A three-time all-area selection, she also scored 51 runs and struck out just 4 times in 106 at-bats. "Bekah was the complete all-around softball player," said Burlington Central coach Wade Maisto. "There's nothing she doesn't do well. She's a great baserunner and a great defensive catcher as well as an outstanding hitter." Will continue her career on scholarship at Northern Illinois where, Maisto says, "I would expect her to contribute right away."
Emily Kisch Burlington CentralJust a sophomore, this repeat all-area selection went 9-4 in the circle for the 22-10 regional champion Rockets, while also hitting .350 with 3 homers, 34 RBI and 8 doubles. "She pitched some great games and had some nice offensive numbers," said BC coach Wade Maisto. "She's the type of player who can play multiple positions and she will only get better as she gets older."
Alyssa Lach JacobsA three-time all-area selection, this Jacobs senior led the area in home runs with 14 and in RBI with 46 while hitting .546. The Butler signee also had a .609 OBP and a 1.124 slugging percentage and struck out only 3 times in 118 plate appearances. Added 10 doubles, 2 triples and 37 runs scored and also pitched at times. "She's a competitor and she wanted to win and she'd do whatever she needed to do, whether that was play third base or pitch," said Jacobs coach Jeremy Bauer. "Her hitting speaks for itself. She continued to work on her hitting all four years here as she proved to be a Division I player."
Sam McLean Crystal Lake SouthThe honorary captain of the 2014 all-area team, this Gator senior left-handed shortstop hit .554 with 6 home runs, 35 RBI, 7 triples, a .579 OBP, a .901 slugging percentage and only 4 strikeouts in 107 plate appearances. "She can hit a home run or she can bunt for a hit," said Gators' coach Scott Busam. "She's the best opposite field hitter I've ever coached."
Courtni Neubauer Burlington CentralThe Rockets' junior outfielder became a threat to steal and take extra bases every time she got on. Hit .482 and had 28 stolen bases from the No. 2 spot in the lineup for the 22-10 regional champion Rockets. "She's a hard worker," said BC coach Wade Maisto. "You won't outwork Courtni at a practice. If you wanted to practice for six hours, she'd practice for six hours. She always wants to get better and she just enjoys playing the game. She's very fast. When she'd get on base we could usually count on her scoring." Scored 30 runs this season.
Holly Pagan BartlettBartlett's senior pitcher did it all with her right arm and her bat. Finished the season with a .359 batting average, 8 doubles and 22 RBI as well as a .416 OBP. In the circle, the Purdue-Calumet recruit was 19-6 with a 1.95 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 158 innings in helping her team to a 27-8 season. "She grew into what we always expected of her as a pitcher," said Hawks' coach Jim Wolfsmith. "She was a bulldog on the mound and she hit the ball real well. She drove in runs for us and was very consistent in the five spot. She's got a nice future ahead of her."
Dana Paul BartlettBartlett's senior catcher became one of the top receivers in the area and had the uncanny ability to pick runners off base at any given moment. Playing the last two weeks of the season with a broken finger, she still hit .359 with 3 homers, 25 RBI, 5 doubles and only 8 strikeouts in 103 at-bats. "She shut down other teams' running games in warm-ups," said Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith. "Only elite runners tried to run on her. When Kaylyn Zierke got hurt and we put Dana back there last year we knew we had no worries. And, she added a solid bat for us this year." Will continue her career at Eckert College in Florida.
Jennah Perryman ElginA two-time Elgin MVP, this repeat all-area selection hit .423 with 6 home runs and 23 RBI, 12 doubles, a .495 OBP and an .826 slugging percentage while striking out just 12 times in 86 at-bats. "She was a great team leader," said Elgin coach Dr. Nick Bumbales. "I was overly pleased with her leadership skills. She did a tremendous job. In my 26 years at Elgin High she is probably the best all-around player we've had and we've had some really good players in the past." Perryman will continue her career at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she will be reunited with her All-America sister, Hannah, the 2012 all-area captain.
Grace Pilz Cary-GroveThe Trojans' junior waited in the wings behind all-area catcher Sarah Leudo and when Pilz got a chance to play more last season due an injury that moved Leudo to 3B, she gave Cary-Grove fans a glimpse of what was to come. In a full-time role this season, she capably managed the inexperience C-G pitching staff while also hitting .382 with a home run, 5 doubles and 23 RBI. Had a .407 OBP and struck out only 8 times in 109 plate appearances. "Grace waited her turn and gave us a preview of what was going to happen when we had injuries last year," said Trojans' coach Tammy Olson. "She was really consistent this year. She called the game and gained confidence with her leadership. She hit really well this year."
Ryann Scully St. EdwardThe Green Wave's junior catcher was a rock behind the plate and excelled with the bat all season for her 18-win team. She hit .383 from the leadoff spot and had 17 doubles, 4 triples and 17 RBI. Also led the team in walks with 15, had a .473 OBP and a .649 slugging percentage and scored 29 runs. "As a junior Ryann became a team leader," said St. Edward coach Jaci Corn. "Behind the plate she took on a more vocal role as well as becoming a more solid all-around catcher. She was a steadying force on our team and came up with several multiple hit games."
Shannon Walsh HuntleyHuntley's leadoff hitter, this junior did her part in helping her team to a 20-win season. She hit .433 and had a team-high 55 hits and 36 runs scored. Also stole an area-high 36 bases in 40 attempts and had a .500 OBP. "Shannon did a fabulous job in the leadoff spot for us this season," said Red Raiders' coach Mark Petryniec. "During her first year slap hitting she led our team in average and stolen bases. We look forward to her continuing to improve and contribute even higher numbers next season."
Cassidy Westlund South ElginJust a sophomore, Westlund became one of the more feared hitters in the area. Ended the season hitting .479 with 9 homers and 49 RBI. Had a .872 slugging percentage and scored 32 runs. "She pounded the ball," said South Elgin coach Stephanie Katzenberger. "She has such natural hand speed. She hit for power, hit for average and scored runs. Being a DP takes a lot of extra character and she did a really good job staying on point and taking extra swings between innings."
Haley Widmayer HampshireAfter not seeing much pitching time as a sophomore, Widmayer became one of the more effective pitchers in the area this season, leading the Whip-Purs to a 21-14 season and a co-championship in the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division, Hampshire's first conference title in softball since 1981. She went 19-11 with a 3.27 ERA and 230 strikeouts in 192 innings. At the plate she hit .402 with 9 doubles and 29 RBI. Also struck out only 8 times in 139 plate appearances and scored 39 runs. "Haley really stepped it up this year," said Hampshire coach Stacey Stepek. "She didn't throw live a lot last year and to see what she did this year was so impressive. She never lets things get to her. She's always smiling and encouraging her teammates."
Lindsay Zdroik St. EdwardOne of the budding stars of the area, this Green Wave sophomore had a breakout season both in the pitchers circle and at the plate in leading her team to an 18-win season. Went 13-11 with a 2.17 ERA and an area-high 232 strikeouts in 145 innings and just 19 walks. At the plate she hit .530 with 4 homers, 32 RBI, 14 doubles, 4 triples and just 7 strikeouts in 83 at-bats. Had a .589 OBP and a .940 slugging percentage. "Lindsay brought her game to a different level this year," said St. Edward coach Jaci Corn. "Her presence in the circle became more dominant and she gained more confidence in her game every time out. She also elevated her offensive game and became one of the best hitters in the area."