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Prep Sports

Herald-News Softball All-Area First Team

Lockport's Alyssa Drogemuller watches the flight of her base hit against Thornwood High School at the IHSA 4A Regional game May 21, 2019 at Lockport High School in Lockport.
Lockport's Alyssa Drogemuller watches the flight of her base hit against Thornwood High School at the IHSA 4A Regional game May 21, 2019 at Lockport High School in Lockport.

Carly Alvers

Lincoln-Way Central

Infielder

Only a sophomore, Alvers continues to post numbers that are much more recognizable to a player with a bit more experience under her belt. Alvers posted a robust .461 average this season with 17 extra-base hits, including six home runs. She also drove in 36 runs and crossed the plate 28 times.

Hannah Antzoulatos

Joliet Catholic

Infielder/Outfielder

Antzoulatos seemed to be almost a lock for multiple hits every single time she stepped onto the field. And she didn’t settle for singles either, as the Hilltopper offense was partly fueled be her in the team’s regional-title season. Antzoulatos was a third team all-state Class 3A choice by the Illinois Coaches Association.

Lauren Blaskey

Plainfield Central

Outfielder

Blaskey led the Wildcats in many offensive categories, including batting average (.390) and on-base percentage (.425). In doing so, she became the Wildcats’ major threat to try to keep off the bases. Opponents had varying levels of success in doing this as she had eight doubles and two home runs to go along with 21 runs scored.

Kennedy Dransfeldt

Morris

Infielder

Dransfeldt was exactly what her team needed in the leadoff role, as she finished the season with a solid .402 batting average. She also was active on the base paths, stealing 11 bases and scoring 19 runs. She was an Illinois Coaches Association Class 3A third team All-Stater.

Alyssa Drogemuller

Lockport

Pitcher/Outfielder

Drogemuller had a truly stunning offensive season, as she reached a relatively rare hitting plateau by collecting 50 hits in a season. They were far from empty hits, as she had eight doubles, three home runs and 41 runs batted in. She finished with a .549 batting average and an off-the-charts .636 on-base percentage.

Danielle Drogemuller

Lincoln-Way East

Pitcher/Infielder

Drogemuller often found the zone in the circle and at times seemed almost impossible to generate much offense against. She finished the season with 17 wins and struck out 161 batters in only 125 innings of work. She also contributed with the bat, crunching five home runs.

Alyssa Dyhr

Plainfield East

Pitcher

Dyhr, a North Florida recruit, was a huge part of the Bengals making an unexpected run into the sectionals. Dyhr recorded 113 strikeouts and posted a 2.86 ERA against a totally stacked schedule in one of the premier higher-classification conferences in the state. She was selected as her squad’s MVP.

Savannnah Fierke

Joliet West

Pitcher/Infielder/Outfielder

Fierke, the Herald-News Player of the Year, had a season that has set the bar extremely high for her remaining two seasons of high school softball. Fierke truly was exceptional in the regular season and finished with nearly 300 strikeouts. She was even more spectacular in the postseason, posting a 0.43 ERA in Joliet West’s run to the Class 4A State Tournament.

Madison Fraser

Joliet West

Outfielder

Fraser was a very sound offensive threat for the Tigers, most notably providing a power punch. Fraser swatted eight home runs to lead Joliet West, a team that showed that capability consistently. Nearly a quarter of Fraser’s hits on the season landed on the other side of the fence.

Gabriella Gedville

Lincoln-Way Central

Outfielder

Gedville, a Winona State commit, was an on-base machine for the Knights, as she posted a .543 on-base percentage. She also converted a lot of those trips on base directly into runs scored as she crossed the plate 32 times. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more capable leadoff hitter than Gedville.

Paige Geraghty

Lincoln-Way East

Outfielder

Geraghty was a multidimensional offensive threat, hitting both to get on base and for power. The .457 batting average is more than noticeable, but when combined with a .713 slugging percentage, you can see how dangerous and offensive player she was. She also was dynamic on the base paths, with 35 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.

Morgan Gersch

Joliet West

Catcher/Infielder

Gersch provided plenty of offense for Joliet West, connecting for 16 extra-base hits on the year (eight doubles, three triples, five home runs), and that was a huge part of the Tigers finishing third at the Class 4A State Tournament. Her biggest value may have been serving as the batterymate for Fierke; when paired, they were an incredible opposing team run neutralizer.

Samantha Gwiazda

Peotone

Infielder

Gwiazda may not have fit the classical mold of a leadoff hitter, but she certainly had no aversion to getting on base. She finished the season with a stunning .614 batting average that included a .640 on-base percentage. She provided 15 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs out of the leadoff slot, while playing a spectacular shortstop for the Blue Devils.

Antoinette Hill

Reed-Custer

Pitcher

The Purdue University recruit continued to be a major workhorse for the Comets pitching staff as she racked up 209 strikeouts on the season. While the circle was where she made her most notable contribution, she also provided plenty with the bat as she belted seven doubles and seven home runs while hitting .337 and 21 runs.

Lexi Krause

Lincoln-Way East

Infielder

Krause was a dynamic offensive player for the Griffins, hitting .418 with some punch. She also connected for nine doubles and three home runs, showing her ability to provide a little thunder as well. Krause also was a very solid defender, helping to anchor the Griffins infield and keep opponents in check.

Jen Krizka

Joliet Catholic

Catcher

There weren’t very many hitters in the area much more imposing than Krizka, an Oakland University commit. Krizka hit at a .600 clip this season, and the extra-base ability (15 doubles, 10 home runs) and run-producing capabilities (50 RBIs) were basically unmatched in the area for the Class 3A Illinois Coaches Association first team pick.

Katie Kucharski

Wilmington

Pitcher/Infielder

Kucharski’s stat line on the season both as a pitcher and a hitter almost looks like a misprint, but it isn’t. She recorded 19 victories in the circle while striking out more than a batter an inning from the circle and was an absolutely dominant hitter, posting a .564 batting average with 17 doubles and six home runs.

Sam Mallinder

Plainfield North

Pitcher/Infielder

Mallinder was another pitcher who survived the rigors of a brutal Southwest Prairie Conference schedule and came out the other side. Her 1.78 ERA was the second-best mark in school history, and she recorded nine victories. She also contributed six home runs and 26 RBIs with her more than potent bat.

Nina Mardjetko

Lemont

Pitcher/Infielder

Mardjetko started 19 games this season, recording 12 wins, and allowed only 38 earned runs in 22 games appearing in the circle. Odds are, if you faced Mardjetko, you were going to have a hard time getting much going. She also recorded 111 strikeouts. Pitching wasn’t the only element to her game either, as she hit .357 with 21 RBIs.

Maggie O'Brien

Lemont

Infielder

O’Brien was a consistent offensive force for the Indians, leading the team with an impressive 41 hits. She also turned a lot of those hits into RBIs, as she stacked up 31 of those as well. Extra-base power came in the form of doubles, as O’Brien’s total of 12 was one of the area’s better efforts.

Larissa Ortiz

Romeoville

Infielder/Outfielder

Ortiz was an absolute hitting machine for the Spartans, nearly finishing the season with a better-than .500 batting average before ending with a .492. She also posted a .537 on-base percentage. Ortiz hit for power, finishing with 12 extra bases (seven doubles, five home runs).

Haley Panfil

Lockport

Outfielder

Panfil got on base frequently (.440 batting average) and finished it off by scoring runs at a truly epic rate as she crossed the plate a whopping 52 times. She wasn’t just terrorizing foes with singles, either. She crushed a team-high 12 doubles and added a pair of triples and a pair of home runs to her final counts.

Ashley Platek

Lincoln-Way Central

Pitcher/Infielder

Platek was a productive contributor both pitching and hitting for the Knights. On the mound, Platek picked up eight victories and posted a 1.52 ERA without a loss. At bat, Platek had a knack for the extra base hit, as she rapped nine doubles and swatted three home runs. Platek is a Grand Valley State commit.

Lauren Russell

Joliet West

Infielder

Russell proved to be an excellent anchor for the Joliet West infield, but that wasn’t the only place where she added significant value to the Tigers’ cause. She finished the season with 42 hits and 28 RBIs, providing assistance to the Tigers in multiple ways in the process. She was also one of six Joliet West players to score at least 20 runs.

Molly Ryan

Lincoln-Way West

Infielder

Ryan, a Toledo University recruit, is one of those rare hitters who can hit for both power and average, and she did so with consistency. Ryan posted a very impressive .742 slugging percentage that allowed her to connect for eight doubles and seven home runs while driving in 31. She was also very solid at finding ways to get around the bases, scoring 37 runs.

Shannon Smith

Providence

Catcher/Infield

Smith was an absolutely punishing hitter for opponents to have to deal with and had a real propensity for driving in runs, as she helped push 54 runs across the plate while scoring 43 runs herself. She also clubbed nine home runs as she posted an off-the-charts slugging percentage of .822. Smith was the Providence Team MVP and also was the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Red Division MVP as well.

Teagan Sopczak

Providence

Infield/Outfield

Sopczak was an offensive force for the Celtics, as she rapped hits over and over again against opponents, collecting 43 singles on the season and posting a .439 batting average. Serving as an outstanding on-base threat, Sopczak crossed the plate 43 times as she constantly seemed to find a way to make her presence felt on the basepaths.

Adelina Staden

Plainfield East

Infielder/Outfielder

Staden, only a sophomore, made a statement that she’s a player to look out for over the next few seasons. Staden reached base at an impressive .491 clip, which was by no means empty, as she rapped eight doubles and belted six home runs. At one point this season, she collected nine hits in nine consecutive bats.

Amanda Weyh

Lincoln-Way Central

Pitcher/Outfielder

When Weyh was in the circle, it wasn’t a question if how many runs she’d allow; the question was whether or not she’d allow any runs at all. Weyh put together a 13-1 season with a microscopic 0.45 ERA. Her success wasn’t limited to the circle, either, as she clubbed eight doubles and connected for seven home runs while hitting at a .430 clip.

Emma Young

Lincoln-Way West

Outfielder

Young found all sorts of way to get herself on the basepaths as she posted a .558 on-base percentage to go with a very robust .495 batting average. It was far from an empty average, as she rapped 12 doubles and slugged three home runs. The sophomore’s .758 slugging percentage sets a lofty bar for the final two years of her high school career.

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