Kotecki/Marquardt Earn M&O MVP Honors for CougarsIssue Date: June 28, 2018
Cougars Lead First Team All-Conference Balloting
The 2018 all conference softball list were realized and taking the most outstanding player of the year awarded to Annabelle Kotecki of Coleman for her stalwart play in the circle for the Cougars.
"It was another exciting season for Coleman Softball, said Coleman head coach Jean LeVash. "Who would have thought 5 or six years ago we would be experiencing the success we have had these past couple of years. Our future continues to look bright all because we have players that have "bought' into the program and continue to work hard every day in order to become better."
But she wasn't the only Cougar to grace this year's list. She was joined by teammates Kailey Klimek at catcher, Caitlin Huberty and Lauren Osterberg at infield and Kyla Manning from the outfield.
Kotecki taking the MVP shouldn't surprise too many people out there that have seen her over the past four years. She has been consistent the whole time. She amassed strikoutouts in a way that made it look easy and she always kept her cool even when facing the toughest hitters.
"What made Annabelle special on the field was her competitiveness along with her ability to stay calm," said LeVash. "Her determination and focus was a big part of our success. Her unselfishness inspired her teammates to go all out and have her back every game. Annabelle played at such a high level, she will go down as the single best pitcher in Cougar history. She definitely has set the bar high for our up and coming pitchers. She will be a player we will reference a lot to the young players as we move forward in our program."
LeVash continued, "She was just a great role model, hard worker with a great attitude! She was a privilege to coach and will be a hard one to replace."
Not only did Kotecki pitch well, (1.15 ERA) her batting average this year was .600.
Kotecki's hard work and determination were not limited to the field of play. Always a hard worker, lead by example," said LeVash. "She never took time off in practice. Utilized every second we had to always work on something. If it wasn't pitching, she would be taking extra swings off the tee or in the cage. She worked year round on her game and it showed."
LeVash eneded by mentioning what she will miss most about this All-Star pitcher, who trailed down to Wisconsin Dells recently to partake in the Wisconsin Senior All-Star game.
"We are very proud that she won the MVP back to back years. It is hard enough to win it one time let alone twice," said LeVash. I was a little surprised that she wasn't a unanimous selection this year. I still can't figure that one out. What I will miss most about her is her stability. Annabelle brought stability to our program. Every day you pretty much knew what you were going to get. There were very few surprises."
What made the Coleman crew so special this year was the way their defense played against the toughest competition in the area.
"Our defense was phenomenal. At one point we had a 113-12 earned run differential," said LeVash. "Kailey Klimek who was rock solid behind the plate was nearly unstoppable. She only had a couple of balls get past her this year. She held runners on base. She had a few pick offs, threw out a number base runners. Not many people tried running on her this season. Kailey was also dangerous with the bat. She had the walk off Home Run to beat Peshtigo in 9 innings. She batted .500 this year and was second on the team in RBI's with 20. Annabelle Kotecki lead with 24."
What made that defense work was a whole dugout filled with players ready for the challenge and the all-conference list bore this out. Three of those fantastic defensive starters found their way onto the list along with their mound ace.
"Caitlin Huberty was so solid at short stop for us this year and turned out to be a great lead off hitter for us as well," said LeVash. "Nothing got by Caitlin defensively. Her fielding % was .907. Caitlin's hard work in the off season is really starting to pay off. Caitlin is the model player for where our program hopefully continues to head. A defensive standout but is now starting to show case her offensive talents as well."
The Coleman outfield didn't lack talent either this year and Kyla Manning led that crew with a first team election.
"Kyla Manning is a great athlete and one of the best outfielders in the conference," said LeVash. "Kyla covers a lot of ground in the outfield. She has that ability to take away base hits from kids. She has a sure glove and a great arm. She had a game winning putout from centerfield to home plate in the post season. She has the ability to run balls down with a terrific arm. She had a good season offensively as well. She batted .509 and scored 28 runs. Kyla was noted for both her glove and her bat."
Covering the gap between second and first was second baseman Lauren Osterberg who was quick and made clean play all season long. "Lauren was another one of our real solid baseman and at second rarely made mistakes. She had 11 assists, 23 putouts and no errors. She had a fielding % of 1.000. She was outstanding defensively. Lauren and Caitlin formed a nice 1-2 punch up the middle for us."
Wausaukee took the second most east on the first team bench with the election of four of their Rangers.
Senior Maddison Renikow was posted on the team for her play on the infield while Kaelyn and Madelyn Schlies both bagged first team spots for the outfield.
"Maddison was a tremendous leader this year," said Wausaukee head coach Sue Stoltenberg. "She played at a very high level all season. She totally embraced being a senior on this team this season. I know that she enjoyed the season, it's just a shame that we had to scrap 13 games. She will be tough to replace, just a solid solid player for us."
Stoltenberg went on to talk a little about her outfield players this season, "Both Schlies girls are developing into very strong softball players. They have solid softball instincts and just keep getting better.
Very pleased with how Madelyn has anchored centerfield and will continue to grow in confidence the next two years. Kaelyn is a highly versatile player, one of our top hitters and I am looking forward to having her playing for us the next two years."
Wausaukee secured the utility player for the first teamer with the selection of Allison Versaskas.
"So very happy for Allison this season," said Stoltenberg, "She stepped up and played a very versatile role for us. She is that type of team player. She knows that she will be our go to person in the circle for us, and she will do an awesome job. The future of Rangers looks to be strong with our returning players and incoming freshmen."
Niagara Added Allison Wells to the First team list while Marley Carviou joined the first team at pitcher.
Crivitz Leads First Team Voting With Five Selections
The All-Conference voting was released and the Coleman Cougars and Crivitz Wolverines came away with the largest share of elections. But it was Coleman who topped the charts with the selection of mound ace Austin Marquardt as the year most value player.
As far as elections went, Crivitz bagged the most with five members of the Wolverines squad appointed to the team. Coleman named three, Wausaukee added two while Niagara placed one on the team. Lena/STAA also had one player posted onto the first team.
Crivitz had a tremendous season this year and it showed in the All-Conference voting. And only two of those were seniors, so the future looks bright for the Wolverines.
Crivitz Head Coach Jeff Dorschner took time to explain what made these players some of the best in the area this season.
"Charlie really figured things out in the later part of basketball season and that carried over throughout the spring. His presence and approach improved. He's always been one of the better athletes on the field, said Crivitz head coach Jeff Dorschner. "This year he just put things together and we really relied on him."
Also making the first team was Jakob Voss who distinguished himself as a dangerous bat and shortstop.
"Earning a first team spot for Voss meant completing the conference trifecta, as he was also a first-teamer in both football and basketball, something not many players have accomplished throughout the years, said Dorschner. "Always a steady glove in center, Voss improved at the two spot in the lineup, giving the Wolverines a solid stick near the top of the order.
Dorschner went on to say how reliable Voss has been, "For four years, it was nice to know he'd catch the ball anytime it was hit his way. He led by example and played the game the right way. Very high character and someone that will truly be missed."
Also earning first-team honors for the Wolverines was junior infielder Aaron Tormey along with sophomore infielder Jaden Werner and sophomore outfielder Dawson Andrist.
"Werner and Tormey formed a talented double-play threat up the middle, siad Dorschner. "With Werner at shortstop when he wasn't on the mound and Tormey playing second and succeeding at the lead-off position."
Though the team may not have been loaded with seniors, the Wolverine's looked as if they had more than enough leadership.
"Though neither one of those two were seniors, there was a lot of experience there and they both had great seasons," said Dorschner. "Aaron was the tone-setter at the lead-off spot and was a very smooth infielder. Jaden is a natural athlete that likes to compete. He was asked to do a lot as just a sophomore, but he always kept a cool demeanor and had great success both on the mound and in the field."
Dorschner wrapped up by mentioning how much he saw Andrist improve, "I was also pleased with the growth and development of Andrist, who never committed an error and made many challenging plays in the outfield while also providing a consistent bat to the lineup."
Coleman took the Most outstanding player award with the election of Austin Marquardt. The mound ace was never far from a strikeout while manning the mound and for his deadly accuracy the M&O honored him with this year's top spot on the list.
Austin was our team leader," said coach Kent Casper. "He really showed the younger guys how baseball is supposed to be played."
Joining Marquardt was Cole Woulf who earned his spot for the infield with some exceptional play at shortstop and Blake Former for the outfield.
"We were young this season, but still managaed to produces a super season."
Wausaukee had two of their top Rangers honored on this season's first team list with the elections of Matthew Delfosse at pitcher and Kyle Struve at infield.
Niagara's Zac Prideaux was the lone Badger representing the northern marinette county bats.
Lena/STAA's Jack Farley also found his way onto the list for his determined play over the season.
Recent stories, opinions and photos