Northwest Herald Softball All-Area teams

Kyle Grillot - 
McHenry's Kristin Koepke celebrates with coach John DiFrancesca after a hit during during the second inning of the Class 4A sectional Tuesday in Algonquin. McHenry lost to DeKalb, 8-4.
Kyle Grillot - McHenry's Kristin Koepke celebrates with coach John DiFrancesca after a hit during during the second inning of the Class 4A sectional Tuesday in Algonquin. McHenry lost to DeKalb, 8-4.

Kristin Koepke

McHenry, jr., pitcher

Koepke was a force for the Warriors at the plate and in the circle. She hit .398 with a .442 on-base percentage while hitting five home runs and driving in 37 runs. The junior pitcher also posted a 1.98 ERA in leading McHenry to a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title with 163 strikeouts in 1622/3 innings.

Mariah Dionne

Marengo, fr., pitcher

Dionne certainly didn’t play like a freshman for a Marengo team that won the Big Northern Conference East Division title and advanced to a sectional title game. Dionne posted a 2.25 ERA and 21-5 record while recording 242 strikeouts in 174 innings. The freshman also hit .373 with three home runs and 18 RBIs.

Haley Widmayer

Hampshire, jr., pitcher

Widmayer was a big part of the Whip-Purs’ turnaround this season that resulted in an FVC Fox Division title. Widmayer hurt opposing teams with her bat and arm. She hit .402 with nine doubles and 29 RBIs while scoring 39 runs. The junior had 19 wins as Hampshire’s starting pitcher and owned a 3.27 ERA with 230 strikeouts in 1921/3 innings.

Megan Mahaffy

Crystal Lake Central, jr.,


Returning from ACL surgery didn’t hold back Mahaffy. The junior pitcher/shortstop showed why she is one of the area’s best players, hitting .409 with three home runs, 12 doubles and 32 RBIs. Mahaffy also shined in the circle, posting a 1.27 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 146 strikeouts in 121 innings.

Abby Kissack

Marengo, sr., pitcher/

first base

Kissack, a four-year varsity player for the Indians, ended her career with another great season. Kissack batted .443 with 10 home runs – three of which came during the sectional semifinal and final – and finished with 38 RBIs and 48 runs scored. She also provided veteran experience in the circle when needed, logging four saves and 70 strikeouts.

Peyton DeChant

Hampshire, fr., corner infielder

DeChant led all area players with 51 RBIs to complement her 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 37 runs scored. The freshman first baseman/second baseman also hit .529 – third highest average by any local player – with a .562 on-base percentage to pace the Whip-Purs.

Sam McLean

Crystal Lake South, sr., middle infielder

McLean set plenty of school records to end her four-year varsity career. She hit .554 with six home runs and 35 RBIs – all South records. The senior shortstop was a tough out at the plate, striking out only four times in 102 plate appearances while finishing with 36 runs scored, both of which tied school records.

Sara Finn

Hampshire, sr., middle infielder

Finn was a menace to opposing teams, especially when she got on base. She stole 35 bases and was caught stealing only once. Finn had 63 hits en route to a .500 batting average with 12 doubles, six triples and two home runs. The senior shortstop also drove in 19 runs and finished with an area-best 58 runs scored.

Alyssa Lach

Jacobs, sr., corner infielder

Lach, the Northwest Herald Player of the Year, was always a threat to punish the opposing pitcher when she stepped to the plate. Lach, a senior third baseman, hit .546 with a .609 on-base percentage to accompany an area-best and school-record 14 home runs. She also hit 10 doubles and drove in 46 runs for the Golden Eagles.

Taylor Carlson

Marengo, sr., catcher

Carlson, a four-year starter, was a key piece of Marengo’s successful season. Carlson batted .388 with a .433 on-base percentage and displayed plenty of power, collecting 10 doubles and six home runs. Carlson, a standout behind the plate, also drove in 36 runs and scored 30 runs.

Veronica Ruelius

Marengo, jr., outfielder

In 37 games for the Indians this season, Ruelius hit 14 doubles and 11 home runs, leading to a .519 batting average, .575 on-base percentage and 43 RBIs with 44 runs scored. Ruelius was just as good in right field, recording seven outfield assists and going the entire season without committing an error.

Dana Walsh

McHenry, jr., outfielder

Walsh was an important cog in a potent McHenry lineup. The junior center fielder hit .387 and posted a .434 on-base percentage with four triples and four home runs. Walsh also had 26 RBIs for the Warriors. In center field, Walsh’s defense shined, featuring an arm that could easily throw out runners.

Shannon Walsh

Huntley, jr., outfielder

Walsh, a junior center fielder, had a school-record 55 hits and 36 stolen bases to set the tone for Huntley’s offense. Walsh hit .433 and scored 36 runs for Huntley. As the Red Raiders’ leadoff hitter, Walsh also hit four doubles and had eight RBIs.

Alex Martens

McHenry, so., middle infielder

Not only was Martens’ defense superb at shortstop, her bat was an instant spark for the offense. Martens hit .518 and posted a .574 on-base percentage with 15 doubles and 31 RBIs. The combination of her offensive prowess and defense were key in helping McHenry win a regional title.

Second team

Hailey Baker

Prairie Ridge, fr., pitcher

Emily Miller

Marian Central, fr., first base

Kate Didier

Prairie Ridge, sr., first base

Stephanie Pedley

Richmond-Burton, sr., second base

Leah Secor

Marengo, fr., shortstop

Jaime Deering

Cary-Grove, sr., shortstop

Jackie Chimel

Marian Central, fr., third base

Megan Baczewski

Huntley, so., third base

Carly Mattson

McHenry, jr., catcher

Aly Snider

Hampshire, so., catcher

Katie Kroll

Richmond-Burton, sr., outfielder

Gabbi Markison

Marengo, sr., outfielder

Megan Larson

Huntley, jr., outfielder

Maddie Drain

Prairie Ridge, sr., designated hitter

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