Herald Staff Report
Aleenah Marcucci, the only eighth-grader on last year's All-Big East first team in softball, took another big step this season, being named the conferences's Most Valuable Player.
Marcucci, the first-team shortstop, broke the Northeast school record for hits this season. In conference play, she finished with a .510 batting average.
Conference champion Marquette Catholic put four players on the first team, including a pair of repeat selections: sophomore third baseman Blake Banowetz and senior outfielder Sarah Lampe. Banowetz was Marquette's top hitter with a .419 average, with a league-high four home runs and 13 RBIs, while Lampe batted .407 and led the league with 18 stolen bases.
Senior pitcher Danielle Bender and catcher Bella Berthel, selected as a utility player, also were honored for the Mohawks. Berthel batted .286 with 13 RBIs, while Bender was 5-2 with a league-leading 0.96 earned-run average.
Marquette's Melissa Sturm was named Coach of the Year.
Preston's Lizzie Meier was the other first-team pitcher after going 8-5 with a 2.26 ERA.
Conference runner-up Camanche was represented on the first team by senior Sydney Grell and junior second baseman Kylie Vogel. Vogel ranked fifth in the league with a .412 average, while Grell, a repeat performer on the first team, batted .417 with a homer and 10 RBIs.
Other repeat selections from last year's first team were Preston catcher Emily Rittmer, and Lisbon's Ali Givens, who made the first team for the third year in a row. Rittmer batted .457 in league play with a homer and 12 RBIs. Givens batted .244 and had a 3-3 pitching record with a 1.45 ERA.
Rounding out the first team were Northeast first baseman Brittany Stoll (.340), Northeast outfielder Addie Oberman (.417) and Bellevue outfielder Kelsey Ernst, who led the league with a .652 batting average.
ALL-BIG EAST SOFTBALL
Pitchers — Lizzie Meier (Preston), Danielle Bender (Marquette Catholic).
Catcher — Emily Rittmer (Preston).
Infielders — first base, Brittany Stoll (Northeast); second base, Kylie Vogel (Camanche); third base, Blake Banowetz (Marquette Catholic); shortstop, Aleenah Marcucci (Northeast).
Outfielders — Sarah Lampe (Marquette Catholic), Addie Oberman (Northeast), Kelsey Ernst (Bellevue).
Utility players — Bella Berthel (Marquette Catholic), Ali Givens (Lisbon), Sydney Grell (Camanche).
Golden Awards — Cassie Aldis (Preston), McKenna Kilburg (Lisbon).
MVP — Marcucci.
Coach of the Year — Melissa Sturm (Marquette Catholic).
Pitchers — Abbie Pewe (Calamus-Wheatland), Morgan Mussmann (Camanche).
Catcher — Kelsi Griffiths (Lisbon).
Infielders — first base, Brittany Frey (Lisbon); second base, Jaelyn Diercks (Calamus-Wheatland), third base, Cassidy Moore (Lisbon); shortstop, Nicole Blum (Marquette Catholic).
Outfielders — Shannon Pestka (Midland), Zeva Light (Lisbon), Jaylen Snowbarger (Calamus-Wheatland).
Utility players — Maddison Daniels (Northeast), Theresa Koos (Marquette Catholic), Brooke Krogman (Preston).
Katherine Herrig (Marquette Catholic), Baylie Parson (Northeast), Ryleigh Keeney (Preston), Bailey Moellenbeck (Calamus-Wheatland), Lindsey Grams (Camanche), Kayla Bisinger (Midland), Carly Rubel (Bellevue), Alexa Moothart (Lisbon).
Final conference standings
Marquette Catholic 12 2
Camanche 10 4
Northeast 9 5
Preston 9 5
Lisbon 8 6
Calamus-Wheatland 6 8
Bellevue 2 12
Midland 0 14