Not even a pair of nagging injuries could keep Abby Humphrey from earning all-Big Eight Conference first-team honors in softball.
The Janesville Craig sophomore overcame a shoulder and hand injury to hit .395 for the Cougars, while anchoring the middle of the infield at shortstop.
Verona outfielder Molly McChesney and pitcher Meghan Anderson shared player of the year honors.
Todd Anderson, who led Verona to an undefeated conference season, was coach of the year.
Humphrey, who moved up from the second team a year ago, impressed her coach Kristen Worm with her ability to fight through the pain.
“Abby sucked it up and was our leader on the field,” Worm said. “There were a couple of games where she couldn’t even hold the bat her hand was so swollen, but she still made things happen both at the plate and defensively.
“I think the biggest compliment I can give her is that she really thrived under pressure. She wanted to be up in those big situations. I’m just grateful we’ve got two more years with her on the team.”
McChesney hit over .650 in leading the Wildcats to the Big Eight title, while Anderson was dominating on the bump. The senior no-hit defending Division 1 state champion Sun Prairie, which is back to defend its title this weekend.
A number of Janesville players earned second-team honors.
Janesville Parker’s battery of senior pitcher Chelsea Naber and sophomore catcher Alexys Luek made second team, along with sophomore infielder Ally Rosga.
Craig senior Keeley Cox was a second-team outfielder.
Honorable mention honors went to Craig seniors Amanda Carlson, Paige Peloquin, Katie Kealy and junior Katelyn Palmer.
Parker senior Julianna Getka, sophomores Lydia Quade, Jazz Demrow, Grace Williams and junior Taylor Barfield also earned honorable mention.
FIRST TEAMP—Meghan Anderson, sr., Verona; Maddie Gardner, jr., Sun Prairie
C—Katie Pederson, soph., Verona; Olivia Hebert, soph., Middleton
INF—Alyssa Bostley, soph., Verona; Kasie Keyes, jr., Verona; Grace Radlund, soph., Sun Prairie; Grace Hiber, sr., Sun Prairie; Abby Humphrey, soph., Craig
OF—Molly McChesney, sr., Verona; Sabrina Reuter, sr., Sun Prairie; CC Hiorns, soph., Middleton
UT—Natalie Bittner, soph., Beloit; Eden Welling, soph., La Follette
SECOND TEAMP—Chelsea Naber, sr., Parker Jacey Walker, jr., Beloit
C—Chloe Knoernschild, fr., Sun Prairie; Alexys Luek, soph., Parker
INF—Ally Rosga, soph., Parker; Sydney Toman, soph., Verona; Natalie Frisch, jr., Memorial; Brynn Swanson, soph., Beloit; Ari Brown, sr., Beloit
OF—Kiannah Langham-Oliver, jr., East; Lily Frisch, sr., Memorial; Keeley Cox, sr., Craig
UT—Ari Balas, sr., West; Alina Yazek, sr., Verona
Co-Player of the Year—Molly McChesney and Meghan Anderson, Verona
Coach of the Year—Todd Anderson, Verona
HONORABLE MENTIONCraig—Katelyn Palmer, jr.; Amanda Carlson, sr.; Paige Peloquin, sr.; Katie Kealy, sr.; Parker—Lydia Quade, soph.; Julianna Getka, sr.; Jazz Demrow, soph.; Grace Williams, soph.; Taylor Barfield, jr.
FINAL STANDINGSVerona, 18-0; Sun Prairie, 15-3; Beloit Memorial, 14-4; Janesville Parker, 11-7; Middleton, 9-9; Janesville Craig, 8-10; Madison Memorial, 7-11; Madison East, 3-14; Madison La Follette, 2-15; Madison West, 2-16