ANAMOSA - As one of the best teams in the River Valley Conference (RVC) each of the past two years, the Anamosa softball team has been well represented on All-RVC teams.
But nothing quite like this summer.
“Last year I was a little disappointed when it came to our all-conference selections, but that’s certainly not the case this year,” said Raider softball coach Brad Holub, as a whopping nine Anamosa softball players earned All-Conference awards, including a special mention honor for senior Maggie McQuillen, who missed the entire 2020 campaign due to a serious car accident back in March.
“This year I felt we got what we deserved. The girls had another great season and I thought we were represented well on All-Conference teams. We all know Maggie would have been on this list with her teammates if not for the car accident, so it was great that the conference honored her like this.”
The Raiders tied with Northeast placing not only the most players on the All-RVC elite team (5), but the most all-conference selections in the league overall (9) during a 2020 campaign that once again saw Anamosa claim a North division championship, though the league didn’t officially credit teams with titles due to the COVID-shortened schedule this summer.
Seniors Kalli Minger (pitcher), Ellie Tallman (infield) and McQuillen (special mention) as well as junior Grace Lubben (outfield) and freshman Emily Watters (utility) were all named to the RVC’s elite team while senior Autumn Kirby (outfield), junior Lexi Bright (infield) and freshman Joslin Banowetz (utility) were All-North division picks by the coaches. Junior Kylie Chapman was named an honorable mention selection.
Minger, a Mount Mercy signee who closed her career as one of the greatest pitchers in program history, was simply phenomenal in 2020 posting a miniscule 1.34 earned run average with 113 strikeouts in 89 innings pitched in the circle while logging a 12-1 overall record.
Tallman also leaves the Raider program as one of the best to ever play the game after a summer that saw the talented Minnesota State commit hit a blistering .625 in conference play, score 17 runs and drive home 15 more against league foes.
But that was just one part of Tallman’s outstanding all-around game, she also fielded her shortstop position to near perfection displaying range and a powerful arm that turned could-be hits into routine outs time and again.
Lubben gave Anamosa another powerful bat (.474 average with 15 runs scored and team-high 17 RBIs in league play) and glove chasing down fly balls from her centerfield position making incredible plays look seamlessly easy.
Watters burst onto the scene as an eighth grader a year ago and raised her game to yet another level in 2020 hitting .541 against RVC pitching with 15 RBIs and 10 runs scored. Watters also proved she could pitch too, as in limited duty fanned 13 batters in a mere five innings of work with a 0.00 ERA while also playing first base and catcher in the Anamosa infield.
Bright also handled first base and catching duties while hitting .379 in the RVC while Kirby had her finest season coming through with a .353 average against league foes.
Banowetz, making the jump to the varsity level for the first time, adjusted quickly drilling softballs at a .333 clip against RVC pitching while also giving the team another solid glove at third base.
Chapman was solid defensively at second base all summer long giving the Raiders arguably the best infield in the entire conference.
Joining the five Raiders on the All-RVC elite team were: pitchers- Minger, Janey Gingerich (West Liberty) and Madison Kluever (Northeast); catchers- Austyn Crees (West Liberty) and Bree Mangelsen (Northeast); infielders- Tallman, Haylee Lehman (West Liberty), Alexis Ehlers (Northeast) and Annie Gahan (Iowa City Regina); outfielders- Lubben, Chloe Wells (Wilton), Neveah Hildebrandt (Northeast) and Nikki Henson (West Branch); utility- Watters, Finley Hall (West Liberty), Claire Abbott (Northeast) and Tarah Wehde (Camanche).
Joining the three Anamosa stars on the All-North division team were: pitchers- Devin Simon (Cascade) and Kendall Smith (North Cedar); catchers- Aubrey Carstensen (Camanche) and Shannon Morris (Cascade); infielders- Bright, Audrey Morris (Northerast), Valerie Spooner (Northeast) and Lauren Snyder (Camanche); outfielders- Kirby, Claudia Noonan (Cascade), Julianna Penniston (Bellevue) and Jaelyn Aitchison (Monticello); utility- Banowetz, Makenna McDonald (Northeast), Jamie Robertson (Camanche), Reese Cox (Monticello) and Kassidie Galloway (North Cedar).
Earning honorable mention status with Chapman were: Grace Madlock (Wilton), Savannah Meinert (Durant), Emma Sueppel (Iowa City Regina), Maddy Hatfield (West Branch), Rylee Vercande (Mid-Prairie), Morgan Wendel (Tipton), Brooklyn Buysse (West Liberty), Mallory Steiner (Monticello), Kaylee Hansen (Northeast), Kennady Bigwood (Camanche), Julia Ludwig (Cascade), Brianna Laughlin (Bellevue) and Alyssa Hefflefinger (North Cedar).
Northeast’s Travis Eversmeyer, who guided the Rebels to the class 2A state softball tournament, was named North division Coach of the Year.
Earning All-RVC South division honors were: pitchers- Mila Johnson (Wilton) and Kaiya Luneckas (West Branch); catchers- Emily Coss (Wilton) and Allie Poston (Durant); infielders- Mallory Lange (Wilton), Mackenzie Heise (West Branch), Isabel Morrison (West Liberty) and Elly Gahan (Iowa City Regina); outfielders- Payton Ganzer (Wilton), Kira Schult (Durant), Macy Daufeldt (West Liberty) and Peyton Souhrada (Wilton); utility- Kylie Schult (Durant), Emma Nibaur (Iowa City Regina), Sailor Hall (West Liberty), Hayley Madlock (Wilton) and Lexi Klinkkammer (West Branch).
West Liberty’s Chad Libby was named South division Coach of the Year.