A number of Times-area softball stars have been recognized this week by the Illinois Coaches Association on the 2018 ICA All-State Softball Teams.
Headlining the list of local honorees in Class 1A was Somonauk's Tayler Fall. Fall made the ICA All-State First Team after posting a 23-5 pitching record with 145 strikeouts and a 2.23 earned-run average, also batting an area-best .614 with six home runs and 61 runs batted in.
Marquette Academy saw two players receive 1A Second Team honors, as both Allie Snook (.568 batting average, 11 home runs, 50 RBIs) and Makenna Tkach (19-6 pitching record, 1.58 ERA, 263 strikeouts; .392 batting average with 17 RBIs) were so honored. Somonauk's Jessica Christiansen (.524 batting average, 22 RBIs, 51 runs scored) also was All-ICA Second Team.
Earning Third Team 1A All-State according to the ICA were: Earlville-Leland's Emily Cook (.440 batting average, 37 RBIs), Marquette's Emily Owens (.432 batting average, 41 runs scored), the Newark pair of Sophie Schomer (.333 batting average; 18-6 pitching record with a 2.82 ERA and 148 strikeouts) and Alyssa Schofield (.473 batting average, 29 RBIs), the Serena duo of Kylie Shannon (.433 batting average, 26 runs scored) and Emily Hook (.426 batting average, four home runs and 29 runs batted in), and Somonauk's Shelby Peritore (.404 batting average, 28 RBIs).
In Class 2A, a pair of Seneca Lady Irish earned ICA First Team honors. Lyda Robinson batted .504 with 31 runs scored, 48 RBIs and 27 stolen bases for the Lady Irish to earn her First Team spot, while Taylor Bushman hit .551 with 38 stolen bases, 22 RBIs and 49 runs scored to receive First Team honors.
On the Class 2A Third Team, Woodland/Flanagan-Cornell's Emily Friese (.419 batting average, 22 RBIs; 3-4 record with a 1.45 ERA from the circle) was selected, as were Seneca's Kylie Winsor (.471 batting average, 40 RBIs) and Maggie Carpenter (.306 batting average, 27 RBIs; 18-3 pitching mark 190 Ks and a 2.67 ERA).
Ottawa's Sloan Gayan was selected to the 18-member Class 3A First Team.
Gayan selected co-MVP
Ottawa junior ace Sloan Gayan shared the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference's West Most Valuable Player honors with Sterling's Jayme Eilers. Gayan posted a 20-5 pitching record with three saves, a 1.24 earned-run average and 226 strikeouts. She was also a force at the plate, batting .479 with six home runs and 46 RBIs.
Both Gayan and Eilers were also First Team All-NIB 12 West selections. Joining them on the First Team were fellow Lady Pirates Jazzy Bowman, Bailey Simpson and Jenna Nink, along with the La Salle-Peru duo of Taylor Donnell and Kaitlyn Gibson.
Ottawa's Molly Harris and L-P's Brooke Shirley were among those receiving Honorable Mention.
Sycamore's Faith Reynolds was the NIB 12 East's MVP.
Local stars fill I-8 Teams
The Interstate Eight Conference's all-league softball teams were filled with area representatives, including First Team selections for Seneca, Sandwich and Streator standouts.
The 2018 I-8 North Team included Seneca seniors Taylor Bushman and Lyda Robinson as well as Lady Irish junior Kylie Winsor and freshman hurler Maggie Carpenter. Sandwich saw three seniors make the All-Interstate Eight North Team — Tara Bohnstedt, Megan Schwartz and Brianna Avery.
Seneca head coach Dan Stecken was chosen as the I-8 North Coach of the Year.
Streator had one player elected to the Interstate Eight South Team, with senior Aubrey Durdan chosen.
6 area players chosen All-I-8
A half dozen Times-area ballplayers were named to the 2018 Interstate Eight All-Conference Baseball Teams.
On the I-8 South Team, the Streator Diamond Dogs had a pair of representatives voted to the all-league team — senior Joey Byers and fellow 12th-grader Peyton Phillis.
In the Interstate Eight North, a trio of Sandwich players — seniors Christopher Schiera and Hayden Isham as well as junior Andrew Gipe — made the all-league team, as did Seneca senior Uriah Tobolsky.