2019 ALL-AREA SOFTBALL

FIRST TEAM

2019 ALL-AREA PLAYER OF THE YEAR

KATIE VIRGIN • LOURDES

Senior • First Base

Stats ‘n notes: Class AA First Team All-State, Academic All-State, All-Section 1AA, All-HVL; .468 avg., 37 hits, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR, 41 RBIs, 30 runs, 24 walks, 11 strikeouts, .734 SLG pct., 1.315 OPS. … Did not commit an error as a senior. … Committed to play at University of St. Thomas. … Helped Eagles win a Class AA state title, going 25-3. … Set program season records for RBIs (41), walks (24) and fewest errors (0). … Set program career records for home runs (12), walks (53) and fewest errors (6). … More than 100 career hits. … Senior captain played in the Minnesota Softball Coaches Association All-Star Series on June 9. … A repeat First Team All-Area selection.

BELLE BERG • CHATFIELD

Senior • Shortstop

Stats ‘n notes: All-Section 1AA, All-Three Rivers Conference, played in Minnesota Softball Coaches Association senior All-Star Game series; five-year starter; repeat First Team All-Area player; committed to Luther College. “Belle has started at shortstop since the eighth grade,” coach Jerry Chase said. “She has a strong arm and quick release that sets her apart from other shortstops. Belle will be a difficult player to replace.”

EMILEE BURINGA • ST. CHARLES

Junior • Catcher

Stats ‘n notes: Three-time Class AA First Team All-State, All-Section, All-Three Rivers Conference. … .521 avg., 4 HR, 31 stolen bases. … Helped the Saints go 16-8 and come within one win of the Section 1AA final four. … “Emilee’s arm strength at catcher shuts down opponents’ running game,” coach Mike Buringa said.

LEXI CHASE • CHATFIELD

Junior • Pitcher

Stats ‘n notes: Class AA First Team All-State, All-Section 1AA, All-Three Rivers Conference, Academic All-TRC; 118.2 IP, 15-4, 202 K, 23 BB, 19 ER allowed, 1.12 ERA, 3 perfect games, 3 no-hitters; .541 avg., 46 hits, 2 HR, 21 RBIs, 25 runs. “Lexi is the core of the team,” coach Jerry Chase said. “She pitches and bats leadoff. Lexi is the team leader and captain. She is a player-coach on the team, leading the girls in drills in practice. Next spring, Lexi will lead the team in her sixth season as a starting pitcher.”

HAILEY EHLERS • RED WING

Junior • Catcher

Stats ‘n notes: Class AAA All-State Second Team, All-Big Nine Conference; .444 avg., 6 HR, 21 RBI, 25 runs. “Hailey improved her hitting to go along with her already great defensive abilities,” coach Jon Bohmbach said. “She has a strong arm that kept many teams from running against us. She is the top catcher in one of the top conferences in the state."

ISABEL NORTHROP • COTTER

Senior • Pitcher

Stats ‘n notes: Class AA First Team All-State, All-Three Rivers Conference; 19-3, 0.64 ERA, 132 IP, 254 K, 19 BB, 12 ER allowed; .322 avg., 28 hits, 20 RBIs, 5 doubles, 3 HR; repeat First Team All-Area player. … Defeated Farmington (Section 1AAAA champion) 3-2. … Only pitcher to shut out Lourdes (2-0 in a Section 1AA finals game). … Struck out 20 batters in a game (vs. Lewiston-Altura) and 19 in a game (vs. P-E-M).

OLIVIA PASSE • W-K

Senior • Second Base

Stats ‘n notes: Class A Second Team All-State. … Class A Academic All-State. … One of six seniors on the Falcons’ roster this season, Passe was a leader in the field and at the plate. … Helped Wabasha-Kellogg finish 13-11 overall and earn the top seed in the Section 1A East playoffs.

NATALYE QUAM • Z-M

Senior • Catcher

Stats ‘n notes: Class AA All-State Second Team, Academic All-State, All-HVL. … .373 avg., 25 hits, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 11 RBIs, 15 runs. … Repeat First Team All-Area player. … Helped Zumbrota-Mazeppa go 19-5. … “Natalye has been the starting catcher for three years and will be hard to replace behind the plate. She has a very accurate arm so teams were unable to steal bases against us."

AVERY STEFFEN • Z-M

Sophomore • Pitcher

Stats ‘n notes: Class AA All-State Second Team, All-HVL; .443 avg., 35 hits, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 5 home runs, 19 RBIs, 30 runs; 17-5, 1.54 ERA, 203 K; helped Zumbrota-Mazeppa finish 19-5; repeat First Team All-Area player. “Avery is a very good all-around player, but plays mainly (pitcher),” coach Kevin Nelson said. “She is as good of a hitter as Z-M has had since I have been here. She hits for power and can hit to the opposite field, and she has great speed on the bases. She will be a very tough out for teams the next two years."

ANNA TAYLOR • LOURDES

Senior • Pitcher

Stats ‘n notes: Class AA All-State honorable mention, All-Section 1AA, All-HVL, All-State Tournament Team, Academic All-State. … 25-3, 1.46 ERA, 182 K, 178 IP for Class AA state champion Eagles; .404 avg., 36 hits, 10 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 25 RBIs. … Set program season records for wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and ERA. Allowed just 11 runs in 9 postseason games. “Anna commanded the circle with her off-speed pitches,”coach Becky Macken said. “She was a joy to watch going down the stretch this year.”

• • • • •

SECOND TEAM

NORA BAER • LAKE CITY

Junior • Third Base

Stats ‘n notes: All-Section 1AA, All-Hiawatha Valley League; .403 avg., .455 OBP, .576 SLG, 24 hits, 2 HR, 12 RBIs, 16 runs. “Nora is a steady ball player who goes about her business without a lot of fanfare or accolades. Her fielding and hitting are consistently solid,” coach Mike Johnson said.

ABBY BREUER • CANNON FALLS

Freshman • Pitcher

Stats ‘n notes: All-Section 2AA, All-HVL; .322 avg.,.978 OPS, 19 hits, 10 doubles, 2 HR, 16 RBIs, .939 fielding pct.; 12-6, 1.87 ERA, 273 K (447 career K), 59 BB. “Abby is truly a two-way player,” coach Tom Langfeldt said. “Offensively, while her average dipped a bit, Abby led the team in RBIs and slugging percentage."

DANI DEMING • RED WING

Senior • Center Field

Stats ‘n notes: .416 avg., 13 doubles, 21 runs, 15 RBIs; All-Big Nine Honorable Mention. “Dani is a quiet leader who led us in doubles and was in the top-three in almost all offensive categories against top pitchers in the state. She will be missed in center field next year."

RAEGAN EICKHOFF • STEW.

Junior • Pitcher/3B

Stats ‘n notes: .373 avg., 19 hits, 8 doubles, 1 HR, 16 RBIs, 9 runs; 38.2 IP, 36 K, 2.35 ERA; All-HVL, All-Section 1AA, team co-MVP.

MEGAN JOHNSON • Z-M

Senior • Second Base

Stats ‘n notes: All-Hiawatha Valley League; .386 avg., 27 hits, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 18 RBIs, 19 runs.

ASHLEY KROM • LOURDES

Senior • Third Base

Stats ‘n notes: All-Section 1AA, All-HVL. … .427 avg., 38 hits, 10 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HR, 30 RBIs, 33 runs, 13 BB, 1.155 OPS. “Ashley is the best third baseman in the state,” coach Becky Macken said. “She is fearless at third. She has an outstanding glove and an accurate cannon.”

KENIDI McCABE • M-C

Soph. • Shortstop

Stats ‘n notes: .487 batting avg., .544 OBP, 38 hits, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 20 RBIs, 11 walks, 13 stolen bases; All-Southeast Conference, All-Section 1A. “Kenidi is a strong shortstop,” coach Kati Bergey said. “She covers a lot of ground with a strong arm. Offensively, she is tough to get out. She hits for average, power and she has speed.”

MARIAH PALMBY • D-E

Soph. • Pitcher/OF

Stats ‘n notes: .421 avg., .482 OBP, 32 hits, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 20 RBIs, 21 runs; All-Three Rivers Conference, All-Section 1AA for Dover-Eyota, which finished one win shy of the Section 1AA final four.

MARGARET ROGERS • LOURDES

Senior • Center Field

Stats ‘n notes: Academic All-State, All-Section 1AA, All-HVL, All-State Tournament Team. … Set program season records for at-bats (102) and runs scored (35). … More than 100 career hits. … A team captain as a senior. … .431 avg., 44 hits, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 23 RBIs, 35 runs, 1.120 OPS, 15 stolen bases.

ALYSSA USTBY • LOURDES

Junior • Shortstop

Stats ‘n notes: All-Section 1AA, All-HVL, Academic All-State. … .366 avg., 34 hits, 3 doubles, 3 triples, 1 HR, 12 RBIs, 33 runs, 22 stolen bases. … Member of Lourdes’ 100-hit club for her career. … Set program record for steals in a season (27) in 2018. … “Alyssa can flat-out fly and play defense like no one at Lourdes ever has,” coach Becky Macken said. “She is the best athlete we have ever coached … and an exciting player to watch.”

HONORABLE MENTION

Blooming Prairie: Maya Lembke, Jr., C (.329 avg., .788 OPS, 26 hits, 9 doubles, 18 RBIs); Julia Worke, Jr., SS (.319 avg., .931 OPS, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 17 RBIs); Marti Snider, Jr., CF (4 doubles, 11 RBIs, 15 runs); Riauna Bishop, Jr., P (11-11, 135.1 IP, 96 K, 3.05 ERA).

Cannon Falls: Kayley Frenette, Fr., CF (All-HVL, All-Section 2AA; .400 avg., 22 hits, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 11 RBIs, 20 runs, 1.031 OPS).

Dover-Eyota: Amanda Franke, Jr., SS (.368 avg., 28 hits, 5 doubles, 3 triples, 17 RBIs, 26 runs; All-TRC, All-Section 1AA); Tarrin Stephens, So., P (All-TRC HM; .383 avg., 23 hits); Mahala Anderson, Jr., OF (.386 avg., 28 hits, 6 doubles, 2 HR, 14 RBIs, 13 runs; All-TRC HM); Abigail Heinzelman, So., IF (.373 avg., 28 hits, 6 doubles, 3 HR, 20 RBIs, 17 runs; All-TRC HM).

Mabel-Canton: Lexi Thorson, Sr., 1B (.388 avg., .444 OBP, 26 hits, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 20 RBIs, 7 stolen bases).

Pine Island: Sydney Andrist, Sr., 1B/3B (.273 avg.; All-HVL, All-Section 1AA; .955 fielding pct.).

Red Wing: Meg Grove, Jr., 1B (.349 avg., 6 doubles, 21 RBIs); Abby Boxrud, So., OF (.362 avg., 14 SB, 21 runs).

Schaeffer Academy: Anna Lash, Jr., P/OF (.488 avg.; All-SEC honorable mention); Julianne Waggie, Jr., SS (.412 avg., .643 OBP).

Stewartville: Taylor Smith, Sr., P/OF (7-5, 75 IP, 90 K, 2.80 ERA; .333 avg.; All-HVL, team co-MVP).

Zumbrota-Mazeppa: Matti Stensland, So., 3B (.348 avg., 22 hits, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 20 RBIs, 13 runs).

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Sports Reporter

Jason has been a Post Bulletin sports reporter and columnist since 2004 and covers high school football, volleyball, softball, golf, hockey, junior hockey and auto racing. He is a 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota.