With just one senior and one junior on the roster when the season began, nobody really knew what to expect from the Wisconsin Dells softball program in 2019.
When the season wrapped up, the Chiefs finished 7-3 in the South Central Conference, just one game behind league champion Westfield, and were 11-8 overall.
The Chiefs got plenty strong individual performances this season, which showed when five different players earned All-South Central Conference honors with the league’s postseason awards were announced recently.
Leading the honors for the Chiefs was the sophomore duo of Kayla Gray and Kristina Warren, as both players were unanimous first-team selections.
It was the second year in a row that Gray was a unanimous selection. The shortstop finished with a team-best .459 batting average. She also led Wisconsin Dells in hits with 28, home runs with four, RBI with 21, runs with 20 and in on-base percentage at .535. Her eight strikeout were also the fewest on the team.
Warren also had a big season for the Chiefs, as the outfielder batted .333 this spring. Her five doubles led the team, and her 20 runs scored tied Gray for the team lead. Warren also had eight walks, a .408 on-base percentage and just nine strikeouts.
Sophomores Gracie Walker and Maddie Jones, and senior Gracy Myklebust were all named second team selections in the South Central Conference.
Walker was the team’s No. 1 pitcher this season. In 116 1/3 innings pitched, Walker finished with an 11-6 record and had a 2.83 earned run average, while walking 58 and striking out 110. Walker also had a pretty good season at the plate, finishing with a .321 batting average. Her two triples were the most on the team, and she also drove in 15 runs.
Jones, who played in the outfield a year ago, moved behind the plate to be the team’s starting catcher this season, a position where she earned second team All-SCC honors. Jones hit .397 this spring with a .449 on-base percentage. She had just nine strikeouts, five doubles, a triple, one homer and 18 RBI.
Myklebust, who was the team’s lone senior, was a second team infielder. She finished with a .290 batting average, and finished with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 18 runs scored.
ALL-SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE SOFTBALL
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Hannah Hockerman, Jr., Westfield.
FIRST TEAM: Catchers – *Taylor Bignell, Jr., Westfield; Baylee Babcock, Jr., Mauston. Designated player – Peyton Hiller, Sr., Adams-Friendship. Infielders – *Marissa Harnisch, Jr., Nekoosa; *Kenzie Ralls, Sr., Wautoma; *Tayha Reetz, Jr., Westfield; *Kayla Gray, So., Wisconsin Dells. Outfielders – *Madison Bills, So., Nekoosa; *Abbey Weishaar, Jr., Westfield; *Kristina Warren, So., Wisconsin Dells. Pitchers – *Hannah Hockerman, Jr., Westfield; Anna Schaefbauer, So., Nekoosa; Bri Handel, Fr., Wautoma.
SECOND TEAM: Catchers – Maddie Jones, So., Wisconsin Dells; Mackenzie Koats, Sr., Wautoma. Designated player – Trista Drew, Fr., Westfield. Infielders – Kiteara Malueg, So., Mauston; Amanda Schaefbauer, Jr., Nekoosa; Brooke Blader-Lucht, So., Wautoma; Grace Myklebust, Sr., Wisconsin Dells. Outfielders – AJ Jander, Fr., Wautoma; Kyra Bula, So., Adams-Friendship; Cassandra Mortel, Sr., Nekoosa. Pitchers – Gracie Walker, So., Wisconsin Dells; Peyton Hiller, Sr., Adams-Friendship.