DES MOINES - You know a softball program is good when they can reach the regional championship level two years in a row as well as winning back-to-back conference championships.
The Anamosa softball program is that good.
Yes, the Raiders have accomplished a lot each of the last two seasons, including posting a 13-2 record this past summer and coming a win away from reaching their first state softball tournament since 1996.
To be that good the team also needs good players, and the Raiders have been blessed with some amazing talent, and four of those phenomenally gifted superstars were named to class 3A All-State teams by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association (IGCA) recently.
Senior Ellie Tallman, one of the greatest shortstops to ever wear the Blue and White, was named a class 3A first-team selection while junior Grace Lubben, one of the slickest centerfielders in the game, earned a spot on the IGCA’s All-State second-team.
Senior Kalli Minger and freshman Emily Watters were both named third-team picks, giving the Anamosa program a whopping four players named to All-State teams, the most the Raiders have had named all in the same season since, well, maybe ever?
Tallman brought back visions of another All-State Anamosa superstar shortstop from 1995-1999 era in Andrea Eilertson, who went on to play her collegiate softball at the University of Kentucky.
Tallman, a Minnesota State commit, led the Raiders hitting a sensational .571 this past summer while also adding a .600 on-base percentage, 15 runs batted in, 21 runs scored, one home run and 17 stolen bases.
While Tallman was amazingly efficient at the plate, her skill in the field was just as important anchoring the Anamosa infield from her shortstop position each of the past four years.
What Tallman did in the Raider infield, Lubben did for the outfield, patrolling center field with the greatest of ease as one of the best in all of Iowa.
While Lubben made a habit of chasing down opponent fly balls, she could also hit it pretty good offensively, too, drilling softballs at a .468 clip with a team-best five home runs, a number that tied for eighth overall in all of class 3A. Lubben also tallied 18 RBIs and was a perfect 13-for-13 stealing bases.
Minger, one of the greatest pitchers in a long and impressive line of Raiders hurlers over the years, had a phenomenal senior season logging 89 innings during the COVID-19 shortened summer finishing with a 12-1 record, 1.34 earned run average and 113 strikeouts while issuing a mere 20 walks.
Watters, who made an instant impact in 2019 as a mere eighth grader, raised her game to yet another level in 2020 and proved her amazing versatility helping out the Anamosa team wherever she was needed.
Watters played first base, pitcher and even catcher this past summer, and as valuable as she was in the field, the freshman was simply incredible at the plate tallying a .532 batting average with 18 RBIs, 14 runs scored, two home runs and swiped 12 bases as well.
Joining Tallman on the IGCA’s class 3A All-State first-team were: Jena Lawrence, sr. (Albia), Alex Beard, sr. (Albia), Kameryn Etherington, sr. (Algona), Anna Wohlers, jr. (Davenport Assumption), Olivia Engler, jr. (Atlantic), Alyse Harvey, jr. (Benton Community), Brooke Zylstra, sr. (Boyden Hull-Rock Valley), Tarah Wehde, sr. (Camanche), Claire Matthews, jr. (Centerville), Sara Keeler, sr. (Creston), Laken Lienhard, sr. (Crestwood-Cresco), Ellie Jacobson, sr. (Humboldt), Kendal Clark, jr. (Humboldt), Jenna Sprague, so. (Mount Vernon), Hannah Foster, jr. (North Polk), Lauren Summers, fr. (West Burlington), Haylee Lehrman, sr. (West Liberty), Austyn Crees, sr. (West Liberty), Peyton Driscoll, fr. (Williamsburg) and Jill Holub, sr. (Williamsburg).
Earning second-team class 3A All-State honors with Lubben were: Lauren Loken, so. (Davenport Assumption), Olivia Wardlow, jr. (Davenport Assumption), Madison Botos, jr. (Atlantic), Kiana Fjeldheim, sr. (Bishop Heelan), Lizzy Blum, sr. (Boyden Hull-Rock Valley), Emma Bolton, jr. (Clarke-Osceola), Sara Faber, sr. (Clear Lake), Gracie Hagle, sr. (Creston), Tatum Dunlavy, 8th (Estherville), Mady Lange, sr. (Humboldt), Carlin Smith, so., MOC Floyd Valley), Nicole Sullivan, sr. (Mount Vernon), Nadia Telecky, so. (Mount Vernon), Sydney Anderson, jr. (North Polk), Ellie Owens, sr. North Polk), Riley Johannes, fr. (PCM Monroe), Chloe Johnson, sr. (Red Oak), Reagan Faber, fr. (Roland Story), Hilary Wilson, fr. (Solon), Logan Kelley, 8th (West Burlington) and Aubray Walters, sr. (Williamsburg).
Joining Minger and Watters on the class 3A All-State third-team were: Danica Workman, jr. (Albia), Lillian Etherington, fr. (Algona), Emma Townsley, 8th (Benton Community), Angel Shaw, fr. (Bishop Heelan), Ysaballa Berja, jr. (Centerville), Kaleigh Friend, fr. (Des Moines Christian), Madysen Wade, sr. (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Freemont), Emalee Davis, jr. (Eddyville-Blakesburg-Freemont),Allie Jo Zieser, sr. (Independence), Kenzie Fischels, sr. (Independence), Delanie Niemeyer sr. (MOC Floyd Valley), Maia Bentley, so. (Mount Vernon), Addi Vorm, jr. (Nevada), Nichole Gilbert, sr. (Shenandoah), Dana Den Herder, sr. (Sioux Center), Karli Olsen, sr. (Spirit Lake), Sophia Kreutner, fr. (Vinton-Shellsburg), Annika Headington, jr. (Waukon), Reagan Engberg, so. (West Burlington) and Renae Schaper, sr. (West Marshall State Center).
Williamsburg’s Adam Berte was named class 3A Coach of the Year after guiding the Raiders to the state tournament championship game before being handed a 1-0 setback against Albia.