Softball All-Conference List Loaded With Toppers, Panthers

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Montgomery County players made up a quarter of the selections on this year's 40-player South Central Conference all-conference team, which was voted on by the coaches of the SCC.

Hillsboro, who went undefeated in the conference would have seven honorees, while Litchfield would have three all-conference selections this year.

Almost half of Hillsboro's all-conference picks would be first team selections as Kai Hanner, Haley Major and Katie Schaake all made the first team.

Hanner, the Toppers' St. Louis University-bound ace, would get the nod at pitcher with a record of 19 wins and four losses in her senior year. The senior hurler would post an ERA just over one with 269 strikeouts and 40 walks.

Hanner wasn't just a one trick pony though. At the plate, she was batting .505 going into the sectional, with seven home runs, 13 doubles and 57 RBIs.

The Hillsboro senior wasn't the only one in the Topper line-up with some power. Haley Major, a first team pick in the infield, would match Hanner's home run pace with seven as they shared the team lead before the HHS sophomore hit two over the fence in the sectional win over Pleasant Plains. Going into the sectional, Major was batting .471 with 29 RBIs, 54 runs scored and 18 extra-base hits.

Outfielder Katie Schaake would complete the Toppers' first team triumvirate. After missing the end of last season due to a near-fatal car accident, Schaake rebounded by batting .367 with 44 runs, 26 RBIs and 18 extra-base hits.

Shelby Houchlei and Alexis Wolf would be second team honorees for the Toppers after stellar seasons at shortstop and catcher respectively.

Houchlei batted .426 going into the sectional with 40 hits, 21 runs scored, 30 driven in and 15 extra-base hits, including five home runs. The Topper junior also showed a strong arm and good range at shortstop, especially in the sectional win over Pleasant Plains.

Wolf, a stellar defensive backstop who has been able to effectively catch one of the top pitchers in the conference, batted .262 going into the sectional with 14 runs scored and eight RBIs.

With two infielders already selected in Major (third base) and Houchlei (shortstop), along with the battery of Hanner and Wolf, Hillsboro completed the sweep of the infield as second baseman Sheridan Lyerla and first baseman Chloe Beck earned third team honors.

Going into the sectional, Lylerla batted .354 with 28 runs scored and 20 runs driven in, while Beck batted .361 with 19 runs scored and 21 RBIs.

Litchfield, who finished seventh with a 2-6 conference record, would have one second team pick and two third team honorees.

Junior outfielder Mallory Beechler was a second team pick after leading the Lady Panthers in RBIs with 13 and batting .270 on the season. Beechler also had three doubles, two triples and 16 runs scored.

Senior Lizzy Luttrell and junior Emily Senjan would be third team picks for Coach Jessica Ball. Luttrell, who will continue her softball career for Lewis and Clark Community College, batted .329 with 12 RBIs, 13 runs scored and 24 hits. She was also a key defensively, shoring up the catcher position midway through the season and only committing three errors total in 133 chances.

Senjan was Litchfield's ace both on the mound and at the plate as she pitched in 22 games for the Panthers with an ERA of 3.47 and 128 strikeouts in 111 innings. At the plate, she was even better as she led the team with a .419 average, five home runs, six doubles, five triples, ten RBIs and 22 runs scored.

Southwestern, who was second to Hillsboro with an 8-1 mark, matched the Lady Hiltoppers with seven selections each, while third place Pana (7-2) had five honorees.

Staunton, Gillespie and Roxana would have four all-conference picks each, while Vandalia matched Litchfield's three honorees. Greenville (two) and Carlinville (one) rounded out the list.

Fifteen of the 40 players on this year's all-conference list were seniors, with 11 juniors and sophomores added in as well. Three freshman also earned all-conference recognition.

South Central Conference

Softball Standings

SCC

1. Hillsboro9-0

2. Southwestern 8-1

3. Pana 7-2

4. Gillespie 6-3

5. Vandalia 4-4

6. Roxana 3-6

7. Litchfield2-6

8. Carlinville 2-7

8. Staunton 2-7

10. Greenville 1-8

South Central Conference 

Softball All-Conference

First Team

Pitcher: Kai Hanner (Sr.), Hillsboro; Bailee Nixon (Jr.), Southwestern

Catcher: Madison Klaas (Jr.), Roxana; Megan Bailey (So.), Southwestern

Infield: Rylee Jarman (Sr.), Gillespie; Haley Major (So.), Hillsboro; Olivia Stangler (Sr.), Roxana; Bri Roloff (So.), Southwestern

Outfield: Katie Schaake (Sr.), Hillsboro; Keaton Link (So.), Gillespie; Kiley Winfree (Jr.), Roxana; Mayci Wilderman (Jr.), Southwestern

DP/Utility: Josie Bouillon (So.), Southwestern

Second Team

Pitcher: Sydney Bires (So.), Gillespie; Danielle Bieber (Jr.), Pana

Catcher: Alexis Wolf (So.), Hillsboro

Infield: Shelby Houchlei (Jr.), Hillsboro; Kylie Hocq (Jr.) Pana; Abi Stalhut (Sr.), Roxana; Molly Novack (Sr.), Southwestern; Savannah Billings (Fr.), Staunton

Outfield: Mallory Beechler (Jr.), Litchfield; Brianna Sarver (So.), Pana; Kaleigh Pirok (Sr.), Staunton 

DP/Utility: Katie Hutchinson (Sr.), Greenville; Jordyn Houseman (Sr.), Carlinville

Third Team

Pitcher: Emily Senjan (Jr.), Litchfield; Sydney Baumgartner (So.), Southwestern

Catcher: Brailey Coulter (Sr.), Pana; Ashleigh Painter (Sr.), Staunton

Infield: Chloe Segarra (Fr.), Gillespie; Chloe Beck (Jr.), Hillsboro; Sheridan Lyerla (Sr.), Hillsboro; Rebecca Caldieraro (Sr.), Staunton; Abby Durbin (Fr.), Vandalia

Outfield: Lily Warchol (So.), Greenville; Alivia Reed (So.), Pana; Laura Miller (Jr.), Vandalia; Kaitlyn Mills (Sr.), Vandalia

DP/Utility: Lizzy Luttrell (Sr.), Litchfield

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