The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

July 26, 2012

Rebels earn top Big East honors

Eversmeyer, 4 players reap rewards

BELLEVUE — Northeast, which tied for the Big East Conference title, had a league-high four players make the all-conference first team.

The Rebels’ had eight of their 10 starters receive postseason recognition.

“It’s obviously a big honor,” Northeast coach Travis Eversmeyer said. “We got a lot of respect from our conference opponents. To have eight make all-conference is pretty impressive. I think the other two were deserving, as well. The four first-teamers is the most I’ve ever had, and that’s pretty exciting.”

Eversmeyer was also recognized, being named Coach of the Year.

“We had to replace five starters, so there was a lot unknown,” Eversmeyer said. “We knew we had talent and the girls bought into our philosophy of playing small ball. The credit goes to the girls. They worked hard to get better every day.”

Leading the way for Northeast was eighth-grader Aleenah Marcucci, who also led the way for the conference as far as batting average is concerned. In her first season of high school softball, Marcucci batted .583, almost .100 higher than the second-place finisher. She tied for the lead with 20 runs scored and led the conference with 14 stolen bases. She was successful in all her steal attempts.

“She stepped on the scene big time,” Eversmeyer said. “She wasn’t starting at the beginning of the year, so she turned out to be a big surprise. She only bunted at the beginning of the year. But then when her speed pulled the defense in, she could hit it back through the middle. She got a lot better as the year went on. I’m excited to have a leadoff hitter for the next four years.”

Pitcher Maddison Daniels was also selected to the first team for the Rebels. She went 9-2 in Big East games with an ERA of 1.76. Her nine wins led the conference and her ERA was second best.

“She was a rock for us all season,” Eversmeyer said. “She gave us a chance to win every game. She wasn’t overpowering, but she didn’t walk many people and gave our defense a chance to make plays.”

A pair of Northeast seniors earned first-team recognition on the right side of the infield — Carlie Dever at first base and Sammi Farrell at second.

“They both played solid in the lineup for four years,” Eversmeyer said. “They’re both great leader. They saw the opportunity to have a good team with the eighth- and ninth-graders, so they took them under their wings and helped them out.”

Farrell batted .425 in conference play and had the second-highest on-base percentage in the conference at .549. She scored 14 runs and drove in seven.

“As a five-year starter, Sammi progressed a lot, from honorable mention to the first team for the first time,” Eversmeyer said. “I think it helped her being able to play second base — her natural position — with Maddison here. Her hitting really improved this year.”

Dever, selected to the first team for the third straight year, hit .380. She drove in 13 runs and scored 12.

“Carlie is going to be hard to replace,” Eversmeyer said. “Not only is she a three-time first teamer, but she’s our all-time leader in fielding percentage at .997.”

Lisbon, which tied Northeast for the league title, had three players named to the 13-player first team. Lisbon junior Ali Givens was named the MVP and was selected to the first team for the third straight year. She batted .478, drove in 18 runs and scored 20.

Another repeat first-team selection was Preston junior shortstop Cassie Aldis. Aldis batted .439 and scored 13 runs. She also went 4-2 in the pitchers circle.

Joining her on the first team from the Trojans is junior catcher Emily Rittmer. Rittmer batted .468 and led the conference with five home runs. She scored 20 runs.

The other repeat first-team selection was Calamus-Wheatland senior outfielder Lori Meyer. Meyer batted .471 and led the conference with 20 RBIs.

Camanche had one first team selection — junior Sydney Grell. She had the second-highest batting average (.488) and earned a spot as a utility player. Grell scored 11 runs and drove in 17.

Marquette Catholic — which won six of seven playoff games and finished fifth in Class 1A — had both junior Sarah Lampe and freshman Blake Banowetz selected to the first team. Lampe, an outfielder, led the team with a .388 batting average and 15 runs scored. Banowetz, the third baseman, hit .323 and had the fifth-highest on-base percentage at .533.

Three players — Bellevue outfielder Kelsey Ernst, Northeast third baseman Brooke Puckett and Preston pitcher Lizzie Meier — were named to the second team for the second consecutive year.

ALL-BIG EAST CONFERENCE SOFTBALL

First team

Pitchers — McKenna Kilburg (Lisbon) soph.; Maddison Daniels (Northeast) jr. Catcher — Emily Rittmer (Preston) jr. First base — Carlie Dever (Northeast) sr. Second base — Sammi Farrell (Northeast) sr. Shortstop — Cassie Aldis (Preston) jr. Third base — Blake Banowetz (Marquette) fr. Outfield — Sarah Lampe (Marquette) jr.; Zeva Light (Lisbon) jr.; Lori Meyer (Calamus-Wheatland) sr. Utility — Sydney Grell (Camanche) jr.; Aleenah Marcucci (Northeast) 8th; Ali Givens (Lisbon) jr.

Second team

Pitchers — Lizzie Meier (Preston) soph.; Danielle Bender (Marquette) jr. Catcher — Kelsi Griffiths (Lisbon) soph. First base — Brittany Frey (Lisbon) jr. Second base — Lindsey Grams (Camanche) soph. Shortstop — McKenna Luepker (Calamus-Wheatland) soph. Third base — Brooke Puckett (Northeast) sr. Outfield — Morgan McAleer (Northeast) jr.; Paige Felderman (Lisbon) soph.; Kelsey Ernst (Bellevue) jr. Utility — Abagale Pewe (Calamus-Wheatland) jr.; Baylie Parson (Northeast) fr.; Bella Berthel (Marquette) fr.

Honorable mention

Bellevue — Brenda Anderson (fr.). Calamus-Wheatland — Tessa Kauffmann (soph.). Camanche — Julia Moore (soph.). Lisbon — Cassidy Moore (fr.). Marquette — Justine Kalmes (fr.). Midland — Shannon Pestka (fr.). Northeast — Addie Oberman (soph.). Preston — Ryleigh Keeney (jr.).

Most Valuable Player — Givens (Lisbon).

Coach of the Year — Travis Eversmeyer (Northeast).

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