Janesville Craig junior makes all-conference team
Another stellar softball season has earned Gabrielle Cassady a second straight spot on the All-Big Eight Conference first team.
Cassady, a Janesville Craig High School junior, is joined on the first team by teammate Jillynn Mortensen.
Madison Memorial senior shortstop Lindsey Umberger, who will play collegiately at Tennessee Tech, was named the Player of the Year.
Cassady finished with a .351 batting average and led the Cougars with three triples, two home runs and 20 RBIs. The catcher had 120 putouts, 24 assists and ended the season with a .966 fielding percentage.
“Gabrielle’s confidence at the plate and behind the plate has really grown,” Craig coach Dan Bayreuther said. “That’s probably the biggest difference in her game right now from a year ago.
“As she continues to get better, I think you’ll eventually see her playing at the college level.”
Mortensen, a four-year starter, excelled in left field and as the team’s cleanup hitter this season. The senior hit .271 and was second on the team in RBIs with 18.
“We’re really going to miss Jillynn’s leadership,” Bay-reuther said. “She was such a big part of this team for four years, and as a senior, she was a great leader for the team this year.
“It’s great to see Jillynn named to the first team because there were some excellent players fighting for one of the three first-team outfield positions.”
Umberger was the unanimous selection as the Player of the Year. The senior led the conference in extra-base hits and is one of the top players in the state, according to Bahreuther.
“She’s the real deal,” Bayreuther said of Umberger. “I know at the district meeting to vote on all-state recognition, Umberger was listed as the No. 1 player by everybody. And that included those who hadn’t even seen her play.”
Craig freshman Haley Bayreuther, the coach’s daughter, was named to the second team after a strong season at shortstop.
The Cougars’ Audrey Freeman and Bailee Whittaker, along with Janesville Parker’s Paige Muehlenkamp, were honorable mention.
Outfield: Krystal Wojociechowski, jr., Beloit Memorial; Jillynn Mortensen, sr., Janesville Craig; Allison Van Heuklom, soph., Middleton.
Infield: Kirsten Brose, jr., Verona; Cheri Pertzborm, sr., Middleton; xLindsey Umberger, sr., Madison Memorial; Jackie Koykkar, sr., Madison Memorial.
Utility: Jillian Bauer, fr., Verona.
Catcher: Gabrielle Cassady, jr., Janesville Craig; Kristin Selbach, sr., Madison Memorial.
Pitcher: Ashley Wagner, sr., Middleton; Ali Goecks, sr., Beloit Memorial.
Outfield: Krystal Wojociechowski, jr., Beloit Memorial; Cherise Decorah, sr., Verona; Sydney Fitch, soph., Verona.
Infield: Haley Bayreuther, fr., Janesville Craig; Erica Renz, sr., Sun Prairie; Chelsey Hankins, jr., Beloit Memorial; Megan Canfield, sr., Beloit.
Utility: Michelle Heise, sr., Middleton.
Catcher: Emily Burns, sr., Sun Prairie; Alex Hegge, jr., Verona.
Pitcher: Michelle Jones, sr., Madison La Follette; Michelle Holman, soph., Verona.
x—Player of the Year.
Outfield: Brenna Jackson, soph., Madison East; Liz Yakey, sr., Sun Prairie; Katie Harnett, soph., Verona.
Infield: Bri Nickerson, sr., Sun Prairie; Haley Schreier, soph., Middleton; Alyssa Trautman, sr., Middleton; Kelsey Schmitz, jr., Madison Memorial; Katie Connell, jr., Madison La Follette; Megan Pollard, jr., Madison La Follette; Tessa Lewis, fr., Madison La Follette; Venessa Nunez, jr., Madison East; Kelsey Holmes, jr., Madison East; Jenna Beeler, jr., Beloit; Kelsey Smith, sr., Beloit.
Utility: Chelsey Rodenkirch, soph., Sun Prairie; Paige Muehlenkamp, sr., Janesville Parker; Audrey Freeman, sr., Janesville Craig.
Catcher: Nicole Masterson, jr., Beloit; Hayly Brockman, jr., Madison La Follette; Morgan Emden, jr., Middleton.
Pitcher: Bailee Whittaker, soph., Janesville Craig; Rachel DeJongh, fr., Madison Memorial; Amanda Steinman, jr., Madison West; Hanna Running, fr., Sun Prairie.