Luther Prep’s softball team had two players on the second team all-conference list and two others receive honorable mention in Capitol North voting held recently.
Senior shortstop Ally Goba and freshman pitcher Andrea Bortulin garnered second-team honors.
Goba hit .308 in Capitol play with an on-base percentage of .400 in addition to playing a big role defensively in the middle of the infield.
“She was a solid contact hitter in the middle of our lineup, tying for the team lead in walks and fewest strikeouts,” Luther Prep softball coach Nick Trebesch said. “She showed great discipline in the box. She is a terrific bunter, a threat on the basepaths as she never was thrown out in eight attempts and set a great leadership example as one of our captains.”
Bortulin started all but one conference game, striking out 22 over 57 2/3 innings of work.
“Andrea Bortulin was our team MVP and had a tremendous impact on our turnaround this season,” Trebesch said. “She showed a ton of poise in the circle and in the box as our number three hitter. She gobbled up lots of innings and kept us in lots of games by throwing strikes and trusting her defense to support her and make plays to record outs.”
Senior center fielder Sarah Thede and senior catcher Hallie Fury were named to the honorable mention list.
Thede hit .345 and scored a team-high six runs in league play.
“Sarah Thede patrolled center field and covered a lot of ground,” Trebesch said. “Her hustle and arm strength prevented numerous extra-base hits this season. She hit cleanup for us and we will miss the pop in her bat as well as the range she provided in the field. She was the team leader in RBIs and stolen bases.”
Fury hit .294, drove in six runs and stole double-digit bases.
“Hallie Fury was our other captain and both will be missed,” Trebesch said. “She did a great job behind the plate of communicating to the infield between batters and pitches.
“She also was a good table-setter atop our batting order and stole 10 bases to give us opportunities to score in the first inning of several games. She consistently hit the ball hard on her way to leading us in doubles.”
Five L-Cats on first team
Three seniors and two sophomores picked up first-team all-Capitol North nods for the Lake Mills L-Cats following the 2019 softball season.
Lexy Topel, Jessie Clift and Briana Jessie began their careers when the L-Cats were regular bottom dwellers and left the program nipping at the heels of a Poynette softball team that has won back-to-back WIAA Division 3 state championships.
“It was a nice meeting of talent and passion for the game of softball,” Lake Mills softball coach Jim Clift said. “I was really proud of their hard work and effort that they put into this program.”
Sophomores Taylor Roughen and Ellie Evenson joined the trio of seniors as top-12 players in the league. Roughen emerged as the second-best pitcher in the league behind Capitol North Player of the Year Casey Fountain. Roughen closed the year with an ERA hovering around 2.00.
“Taylor’s performance always speaks for itself,” Clift said. “Taylor, I guarantee you, is going to keep pushing herself harder and harder for higher achievements. She’s a great competitor and she has ice water in her veins. She never gets shook up on the mound. As nice of a year as she had, she’s rewritten the pitching record book.”
Evenson might have been the under-the-radar selection to the first team for the L-Cats.
“I was very pleased for Ellie, she surged late in the season. One of her very good traits is that she is a very, very steady worker,” Clift said. “She is constantly trying to improve her game. When she practices, she’s one of those athletes who is trying to get better all the time. That translated into her performances. She had a couple of nice, clutch hits. She was one of the few girls to actually get a bat on Fountain and I think that really helped her.”
Freshman Tessa Kottwitz was the only other Lake Mills player to earn recognition. Kottwitz was named honorable mention.
“She has speed to burn. She has to be one of the fastest girls in the conference,” Clift said. “She is a very savvy softball player offensively and defensively. She knows how to run the bases well and when to test the defense. I’m very excited for how her career will unfold too.”
Gnabasik, Krieser on first team for Lakeside
Sophomores Kylee Gnabasik and Olivia Krieser each earned first-team all-Capitol North for their efforts with the Lakeside Lutheran Warriors.
Gnabasik was the primary pitcher for the Warriors, but her total contributions offensively helped earn her claim one of the spots as a top-12 player in the conference.
“She was a solid pitcher for a third-place team, yet a third-place team that had tight games with the second-place team,” Lakeside Lutheran softball coach Matt Doering said. “She does what she needs to do to keep her team in games and win games. Then offensively, she had some really good games and a monster game against Columbus.”
Krieser was a steady force for the Warriors at the plate to earn her spot as a first-teamer. Krieser hit for a .457 average in conference, scored 14 times and hit seven doubles.
“She hit the ball hard all year and was consistent against everyone, it wasn’t just a few teams,” Doering said. “I think that was the biggest reason for her recognition.”
Juniors Ryann Burger and Grace Thomas each earned second-team recognition.
Burger hit for a .364 average and led the team with 18 RBIs in conference. She hit seven doubles and two home runs.
“Ryann Burger had a monster year for us,” Doering said. “She really hit the ball hard and I think that was the recognition for her. She had two home runs and seven doubles.
“She had 18 RBIs on 12 hits, so that shows that she was clutch with her hits.”
Thomas put together a solid season as well with a .441 average, though she only had two extra-base hits and six RBIs. Thomas scored 10 times and only struck out twice.
“Grace is kind of quiet and unassuming and she did a lot of solid things,” Doering said. “She played a solid second base for us and did a good job putting together good at-bats. I thought she was solid for us and was really happy that the other coaches recognized her role for us.”
Having four underclassmen earn all-conference should bode well for the Warriors moving forward in a league with perennial power Poynette and the emerging force across the street in Lake Mills.
“We’re going to miss our seniors, they played key roles for us this year. It’s nice to have a good core coming back,” Doering said. “We had a solid year. All of our losses were to quality teams. It’s a state champion in Poynette, Lake Mills is a solid team … I feel like we had some tough losses, but they were to solid opponents. It was a good reflection on the effort the kids put in throughout the season.”
Poynette won the conference with a 10-0 record followed by Lake Mills at 7-3, Lakeside Lutheran at 6-4, Columbus at 4-6, Luther Prep at 2-8 and Lodi at 1-9.
CAPITOL CONFERENCE NORTH DIVISION
2019 ALL-CONFERENCE SOFTBALL
2019 Capitol Conference North Softball Player of the Year — Casey Fountain, Poynette
2019 Capitol Conference North Softball Pitcher of the Year — Casey Fountain, Poynette
Casey Fountain, Poynette, junior
Briana Jessie, Lake Mills, senior
Molly Anderson, Poynette, junior
Lucy Cuff, Poynette, junior
Zoie Ramberg, Poynette, junior
Taylor Roughen, Lake Mills, sophomore
Olivia Krieser, Lakeside Lutheran, sophomore
Lizzie Schwenn, Poynette, junior
Kylee Gnabasik, Lakeside Lutheran, sophomore
Ashley Hellenbrand, Poynette, senior
Lexy Topel, Lake Mills, senior
Jessie Clift, Lake Mills, senior
Ellie Evenson, Lake Mills, sophomore
Hally Norman, Columbus, senior
Ryann Burger, Lakeside Lutheran, junior
Brianna Kowald, Poynette, junior
Jaden Kolinski, Lodi, sophomore
Grace Thomas, Lakeside Lutheran, junior
Megan Boettcher, Columbus, senior
Mikayla Armatoski, Columbus, senior
Lexi Thurston, Columbus, senior
Claire Smedema, Columbus, sophomore
Dylann Harrington, Lodi, freshman
Andrea Bortulin, Watertown Luther Prep, freshman
Ally Goba, Watertown, Luther Prep, senior
Tessa Kottwitz, Lake Mills, freshman
Sarah Thede, Watertown Luther Prep, senior
Hallie Fury, Watertown Luther Prep, senior
Katie Stoltenberg, Lodi, junior