Switch doesn't bother Craig's Hughes
JANESVILLE In 2012, Alison Hughes was an outfielder for the Janesville Craig High softball team.
One season later, she was arguably the best shortstop in the Big Eight Conference.
Hughes, a sophomore, was voted first-team all-conference after batting .346 with 17 runs, three doubles and 12 stolen bases.
What was perhaps most eye-opening, however, was Hughes' .960 fielding percentage.
"I think what really got her all-conference was that she had 100 chances defensively and had 60 assists and 36 putouts," Craig coach Dan Bayreuther said. "She only had four errors. For a shortstop, that's a pretty good percentage."
Bayreuther had hopes that Hughes would take over as the starter at shortstop, and it only took a couple of practices to see that plan come through.
"She played outfield last year, but she just came in the first day of practice like that job was hers," Bayreuther said. "We finally told her she had to quit diving because she was banging up her knees. But after two days, we knew we had a shortstop."
Not included in the official statistics are how many would-be hits that Hughes took away with extraordinary fielding.
"She made numerous diving plays, and in my opinion I think she was the best shortstop in the league," Bayreuther said. "I think we had the best second base-shortstop combo. They were very good up the middle."
Kylie Clark, the Cougars' sophomore second baseman, was voted second-team all-conference. Janesville Parker junior Hannah Muehlenkamp joined her as a utility player.
Parker sophomore Sidney Litke and Craig senior Leigh Grall, juniors Sarah Holford and Kayley Hackett and sophomore Sydney Cramer earned honorable mentions.
Pitchers—Nicole Newman, jr., Madison La Follette; Kristen Hoppman, sr., Sun Prairie.
Catchers—Brooke Varian, so., Madison West; Cheyenne Holmes, jr., Sun Prairie.
Infielders—Alison Hughes, so., Janesville Craig; Leah Wolff, sr., Middleton; Katelyn Huemmer, sr., Sun Prairie; Nicole Hoffmann, sr., Sun Prairie; Claudia Kepler, sr., Verona.
Outfielders—Briana Peterson, sr., Sun Prairie; Leslie Banzhaf, jr., Verona; Emily Pomykalski, sr., Middleton.
Utility—Jenna Dammen, sr., Sun Prairie.
Pitchers—Miranda Morrison, sr., Madison East; Emma Ray, jr., Verona.
Catchers—Amy Lanzendorf, so., Madison La Follette; Nicole Neitzel, fr., Verona.
Infielders—Kylie Clark, so., Janesville Craig; Bridget Jost, sr., Madison Memorial; Shleby Ballweg, fr., Middleton; April Hommerding, so., Sun Prairie; Bailey Buisker, jr., Verona.
Outfielders—Heidi Morrical, sr., Sun Prairie; Kori Keyes, so., Verona; Victoria unez, so., Madison East.
Utility—Hannah Muehlenkamp, jr., Janesville Parker.
-- PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kristen Hoppman, sr., Sun Prairie.
Catchers—Sarah Holford, jr., Janesville Craig; Jessi Bowden, jr., Madison East.
Infielders—Kailene Davies, so., Beloit Memorial; Kiana Smith, sr., Beloit Memorial; Leigh Grall, sr., Janesville Craig; Kelly Austin, so., Madison East; Taylor Maiar, sr., Verona.
Outfielders—Sydney Cramer, so., Janesville Craig; Sidney Litke, so., Janesville Parker; Mary Ottelien, jr., Madison East; Taylor Phillips, jr., Madison East; Arianna Sweeney, sr., Madison La Follette; Anna Seelow, jr., Madison La Follette; Anna Seelow, jr., Madison La Follette; Zoe Sprout, jr., Madison Memorial; Alyssa Lutz, sr., Madison Memorial; Heather Rudnicki, fr., Verona.
Utility—Courtney Schindler, fr., Beloit; Kayley Hackett, jr., Janesville Craig; Riley Zempel, fr., Madison La Follette; Fiona Statz, so., Madison West; Ashley Brooks, jr., Middleton; Stephanie Keryluk, so., Verona; Bea Kealy, jr., Verona.