PremiumHigh school softball: 2019 Northwest Herald All-Area teamBy ALEX KANTECKIEmailFollowJuly 3, 2019Caption• FIRST TEAM Briana Bower, Huntley, so., P – Bower, the 2019 Northwest Herald Softball Player of the Year, was 27-5 to lead the Red Raiders to the school's first state title with a 1-0, eight-inning victory over St. Charles East in the Class 4A state championship game. The sophomore posted a 1.12 ERA and 0.73 WHIP with an area-best 353 strikeouts and 30 walks in 212 1/3 innings. Bower threw two perfect games and two other no-hitters and struck out 18 in the fourth game of the season against DeKalb. In 46 postseason innings, she had a 0.91 ERA with 75 strikeouts and four walks.CaptionDelaney Garden, Jacobs, so., P – Garden had a breakout sophomore season as the Golden Eagles' most productive pitcher and batter. In the circle, Garden finished 10-9 with a 3.20 ERA and 132 strikeouts. At the plate, she paced Jacobs with a .462 batting average, tagging 13 doubles and scoring 31 runs.CaptionJamie Gatz, Marian Central, sr., P – Gatz earned All-East Suburban Catholic Conference honors and helped lead the Hurricanes to a Class 3A regional championship with a 7-6 victory against Richmond-Burton. Gatz posted a 3.64 ERA with 165 strikeouts. She piled up 10 strikeouts in a 5-3 win against Grayslake Central in the sectional semifinals.CaptionChristina Toniolo, Crystal Lake South, sr., P – Toniolo, who will play at UIC, was a big reason why the Gators finished a program-best 31-3 and won their first regional championship since 2008. Toniolo went 19-3 with a 3.04 ERA and 101 strikeouts over 110 2/3 innings. The senior hit in the heart of South's batting order and delivered nine homers, eight doubles and 35 RBIs.CaptionEllie Thurow, Woodstock North, sr., P – Thurow is a repeat first-team selection and ends her four-year varsity career with multiple school records, including 899 career strikeouts. In her final year at North, Thurow was 13-10 with a 2.27 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 269 strikeouts and 26 walks in 160 1/3 innings. She was one of North's top batters, hitting .340 with eight doubles, three home runs and 20 RBIs. Thurow will play next year at NCAA Division III Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.CaptionAlexis Pupillo, Crystal Lake South, fr., C – Only a freshman, Pupillo stepped in and led the Gators with 69 hits and 17 doubles. South's first-year catcher made only three errors in 33 games, while hitting .531 with six home runs, three triples, 43 RBIs and 46 runs. Pupillo had one of the area's strongest and most accurate arms, throwing out 12 of 18 base stealers.CaptionTeagan O'Rilley, Huntley, jr., Corner IF – O'Rilley blasted an area-high 15 home runs (breaking the school's single-season record), adding 12 doubles, 40 RBIs and 39 runs. The junior third baseman also broke the single-season team record with 31 walks. O'Rilley's last homer of the season was as big as they get, capping a 12-pitch at-bat with a grand slam against Barrington in the sectional semifinals.CaptionEmily Sulikowski, Crystal Lake South, sr., Corner IF – Sulikowski made more Gators history to finish an outstanding four-year varsity career, setting the team's single-season records for home runs (14) and RBIs (69). One of three finalists for Softball Player of the Year, the third baseman hit .496 with 11 doubles and 54 runs. The three-time All-Area first-team selection helped lead the Gators to their first Fox Valley Conference outright championship since 1986.CaptionPeyton Bannon, Richmond-Burton, jr., Middle IF – Bannon is a repeat first-team pick and was a Softball Player of the Year finalist. The Wisconsin commit hit .541 for the Kishwaukee River Conference-champion Rockets and led all local players with a staggering 1.854 OPS. In 23 games, Bannon had 14 home runs, 10 doubles, 46 RBIs and 36 runs scored. Bannon was named KRC Player of the Year.CaptionMaddie Bush, Crystal Lake South, sr., Middle IF – Bush was a highlight play waiting to happen in the field, but the senior did plenty with the bat, too. Bush hit .495 and was second on the Gators with 16 doubles, along with 46 RBIs and 38 runs. She struck out only four times all year and made only four errors in 150 total chances at second base.CaptionEmmie Farnam, Prairie Ridge, sr., OF – Farnam, who will play at Northwestern next spring, was the Wolves' top hitter, leading the team with 14 home runs, 31 RBIs and 37 runs scored in 24 games. Farnam, who makes her second straight All-Area first-team appearance, finished with a .513 batting average and 1.771 OPS, along with nine doubles, nine steals and 18 walks.CaptionMaggie Finnegan, Marian Central, sr., OF – Finnegan was a tough out atop the Hurricanes' lineup, hitting .435 with eight homers, five triples and eight doubles. Marian advanced further than any previous Hurricanes team, winning its first regional title since 2006 and losing to Marengo, 3-2, in a sectional final. The Penn State commit added 37 runs scored and 13 steals and is making her second straight appearance on the All-Area first team.CaptionHannah Ritter, Marengo, sr., OF – Ritter is a repeat first-team pick and led the area in batting average (.556), runs scored (66) and stolen bases (39 for 42). The senior had 16 doubles, two triples, two homers and drew 33 walks batting leadoff for the Indians, who captured their 13th straight regional title. Ritter didn't commit an error in center field and will play next year at D-III Wisconsin Oshkosh.CaptionJocelyn Currie, McHenry, jr., UTIL – Currie led the Warriors with 60 hits and a .492 batting average, driving in 34 runs and scoring a team-best 37. Currie added an area-best 18 doubles and four home runs to help lead McHenry to its third consecutive regional title and seventh in eight seasons. The Warriors finished 23-13 and improved by nine wins from 2018, taking third place in the FVC. • SECOND TEAM Brooke Behrens, Marengo, so., P Katie Del Re, Hampshire, jr., P Julia Druml, McHenry, jr., P Emma Hill, Cary-Grove, sr., P Alyssa Pearson, McHenry, sr., P Lauren Aubry, Marengo, sr., C Grace Kutz, Huntley, sr., Corner IF Kate Linkletter, Johnsburg, so., Corner IF Brooke Kuffel, Crystal Lake South, so., Middle IF Kelly Johnson, Cary-Grove, jr., Middle IF Sarah Bowen, Hampshire, sr., OF Jenna Golembiewski, Marian Central, so., OF Adriana Montewska, Johnsburg, sr., OF Sofia Tenuta, Huntley, sr., UTIL • HONORABLE MENTION (In alphabetical order) Katie Armstrong, Jacobs, sr., 1B Tori Boysen, McHenry, sr., C Frankie Cruz, Cary-Grove, jr., C Jess Cruz, Crystal Lake Central, sr., C Carys De Lucia, Richmond-Burton, so., 1B-3B Zoe Deeringer, Alden-Hebron, sr., P Cady English, Dundee-Crown, sr., OF Molly Fitzgerald, Marian Central, so., 3B Kate Funk, McHenry, sr., 1B Hailey Geske, Crystal Lake Central, jr., 1B-3B Morgan Haefling, Hampshire, sr., SS Abby Hartmann, Woodstock North, jr., OF Grace Houghton, Marengo, sr., OF Reese Hunkins, Huntley, fr., 2B Baylee Kassel, Crystal Lake South, jr., 1B Jesse Klicker, Richmond-Burton, so., 3B-P Kylie Leverenz, Prairie Ridge, sr., SS Sarah Lynch, Jacobs, so., OF Kendra Mitchell, Huntley, sr., OF Morgann Paaske, Crystal Lake Central, sr., P Megan Patterson, Johnsburg, so., C Emily Pena, Jacobs, sr., C Kaitie Regnier, Richmond-Burton, sr., 2B Bella Spittler, Richmond-Burton, jr., OF Miki Snider, Hampshire, so., 3B-1B Kyra Swartz, Crystal Lake South, jr., OF Jenna Turner, Marengo, so., SS Chloe Vermett, Woodstock North, sr., 3B Katy Wieczorek, Cary-Grove, jr., 3B Meet the 2019 Northwest Herald Softball All-Area team.