Janesville Craig’s young players produce
The future is bright for Janesville Craig’s softball program.
Three Cougars, all underclassmen, have been named to the coaches’ All-Big Eight Conference first team.
Craig High junior shortstop Haley Bayreuther has made the first team for the second straight season, while junior outfielder Stephanie Perleberg and sophomore first baseman Leigh Grall also are on the first team.
Madison La Follette freshman pitcher Nicole Newman is the Player of the Year.
Perleberg led the Cougars in nearly every offensive category. She finished with a .500 batting average for the season, including a team-high three home runs, 42 hits, 21 stolen bases and 34 runs.
“Stephanie can flat-out fly,” Craig coach Dan Bayreuther said. “If she hits the ball on the ground, you’re not going to throw her out. She reminds me a lot of (former Craig first-team all-state player) Carrie Schieve.”
Haley Bayreuther hit .410 for the Cougars with 16 stolen bases, 34 hits and a team-high eight walks. She had a fielding percentage of .931.
“Haley really came on at the end of the year,” coach Bayreuther said of his daughter. “She really played well late in the last 10 games or so, both at the plate and in the field.”
Grall hit .378 and led the team with eight doubles. She also had an impressive .982 fielding percentage.
“She’s just a ballplayer,” coach Bayreuther said of Grall. “She’s fun to watch, and defensively, there was nobody better at playing first than her. She really stepped it up this year.”
Newman, who has led the La Follette to a Division 1 sectional title game, overpowered Big Eight opponents. The righthander struck out more than 40 Janesville batters in four games.
“Newman’s the real deal,” coach Bayreuther said of Newman. “It scares me to think that we’re going to have to face her for three more years. She’s the real deal.”
Craig’s Paige Weber and Stephanie Kalish were honorable mention.
All-Big Eight softball
C—Tala Cornell, jr., Beloit; Brittany McNett-Emmerich, sr., West.
P—Nicole Newman, fr., La Follette; Maggie Scott, sr., Sun Prairie.
IF—Haley Bayreuther, jr., Craig; Chelsea Rodenkirch, sr., Sun Prairie; Leigh Grall, soph., Craig; Katelyn Huemmer, soph., Sun Prairie; Amber German, sr., Verona.
OF—Stephanie Perleberg, jr., Craig; Sam Kanak, sr., Sun Prairie; Sydney Fitch, sr., Verona.
Utility—Jillian Baure, jr., Verona.
C—Hailey Schreier, sr., Middleton; Maggie Scott, sr., Sun Prairie.
P—Hannah Running, jr., Sun Prairie; Alyssa Schulting, sr., Verona.
IF—Sarah Weiss, jr., Beloit; Leah Pulley, jr., La Follette; Malina Martini, jr., Memorial; Leah Wolfe, soph., Middleton.
OF—Michele Farino, soph., La Follette; Miranda Morrical, jr., Sun Prairie; Katie Hartnett, sr., Verona.
Utility—Rachel DeJongh, jr., Memorial.
n Player of the Year—Nicole Newman, La Follette.
Beloit—Brianna Schultz, jr.; Kelsie Duzan, jr.; Craig—Paige Weber, jr.; Stephanie Kalish, jr.; East—Lily Babler, jr.; Memorial—Gabby Grandin, sr.; Alyssa Lutz, soph.; Middleton—Emily Pomykalski, soph.
Verona, 16-2; Sun Prairie, 15-3; Madison La Follette, 15-3; Janesville Craig, 12-6; Middleton, 9-8; Beloit Memorial, 7-11; Madison Memorial, 6-12; Madison East, 4-14; Janesvile Parker, 4-14; Madison West, 1-16.