Krause, Peschong wrap up successful seasons
For Spirit Lake's Paige Krause and Okoboji's Mikkinzie Peschong, the accolades continued to roll in due to the impressive seasons they put together on the softball diamond this summer.
Krause, a junior power hitter with a keen eye at the plate, was selected first-team All-State in Class 3A by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association less than a week after being named All-District. She became the first Indian since 2006 to earned such a prestigious accolade, with Katie Brown and Rachel Gerking being the last two Spirit Lake players to capture first team honors. Brown swept both the Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year awards in 2004 and '06 and was named first-team All-State four times, while Gerking was named the Offensive Player of the Year in '05 and named to the first team on three occasions.
"Paige was a tremendous asset to our team this year," said first-year Spirit Lake coach Rachel Gerking. "When her bat was up in the lineup, every one of her teammates had all the confidence in the world that she was going to get the job done. She always did what she was asked from the coaches. The most impressive part about Paige this season was the fact that if she happened to get out, which didn't happen very often, she went back in the dugout with a positive attitude and concentrated on her next at bat, rather than dwelling on the past. Paige is an incredibly talented player and I can honestly say that she is one of the best high school hitters I have seen."
The utility infielder/pitcher made a name for herself as one of the top hitters in the state after tying Spirit Lake's single season home run record of 13 set by former Iowa standout Katie Brown. Krause finished fourth in the state in that category and has a realistic shot to break Brown's all-time home run mark next season.
"Obviously Paige had a huge year offensively," Gerking said. "To top that off she did an excellent job on the mound. Even though pitching would not be her first choice of where to play, she never complained and wanted to do whatever it took to help the team. She did an excellent job closing out games. In my mind she was first-team All-State as utility because she was truly a utility player. Regardless of if she was playing short, first or on the mound, she was helping our team immensely."
The first team All-Lakes Conference shortstop also racked up 50 or more RBI's for the second straight season -- driving in 61 -- which placed her in the top-10 in the entire state. Over the past two seasons, Krause ranks third in Iowa with 119 runs batted in. Krause etched her named in the record books in two other hitting categories this season, erasing Gerking's school marks for slugging percentage (.917) and runs scored (54). She also finished the year with 29 of her 51 hits going for extra bases, smacking 12 doubles and four triples.
"There is no doubt that Paige continually improved as the season progressed," said Gerking. "A huge part of her game that she improved was her mentality in the box. She became an incredibly smart hitter as she knew what pitches she was looking for with what counts. Realizing that she was talented enough to be patient and wait for a pitch that she could hit hard, allowed her to crush the ball in a very high percentage of at-bats. She grew into an incredible leader and continually had a positive attitude on the field."
State runner-up Solon swept the Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year honors, with Kara Misel earning the offensive accolade and Arran Weeces being named the top pitcher in Class 3A. Ballard's Staci Sniezek captured Coach of the Year honors after the Bombers downed Solon 5-4 in the title game.
To view the full list of teams in all five classes, go to www.ighsau.org and click on the "2012 IGCA All-State Softball Teams" link.
IGCA All-State teammates Kendall Bosch and Emily Kirchner of Estherville Lincoln Central were also on the 2A Northwest All-District team along with Krause. ELC's Megan Anderson was selected as the Coach of the Year.
Peschong, who was named to the Class 2A All-District team by the IGCA, earned her reputation in the pitcher's circle after being selected as an All-Siouxland recipient for the second consecutive year. The strikeout artist won 13 games and ranked fifth in her conference with a 3.03 ERA. The strong-armed right-hander had the most strikeouts in the Siouxland with 141, registering nearly one per inning after tossing 150 1/3 frames this season.
Offensively, Peschong led the Pioneers with 10 doubles and 21 runs batted in.
Emmetsburg's Faith Schmidt, North Union's Allie Ingalls and Western Christian's Jasmine VanderZwaag joined Peschong as the top pitchers in this region in 2A. North Union also landed catcher Cheyanne Boland and infielder Collete Haag on the team while Art Ingalls was tabbed the Coach of the Year.
IGCA ALL-STATE SOFTBALL
Pitcher -- Kenzie Ihle (Ballard); Alex Yacko (West Burlington); Kendall Bosch (ELC); Arran Weeces (Solon); Cailey Schlenker (Bondurant-Farrar). Catcher -- Katie Roseland (East Marshall); Krysta Tutsch (Assumption). Infield -- Annie Stolte (Ballard); Mallory McArtor (Mid-Prairie); Emily Kirchner (ELC); Bobbie Jo Burrows (Bondurant-Farrar); Kara Misel (Solon); Alyssa Whitmore (East Marshall). Outfield -- Tarah Hunt (MOC-FV); Jessica Hilbrands (GLR/CL); Courtney Coffin (West Burlington); Amanda Busta (Forest City); Taylor Nearad (Solon). Utility -- Paige Krause (Spirit Lake); Grace Hall (Ballard); Kelsey Townsend (PCM); Danielle McIntosh (Clarke).
Pitcher -- Erin Housch (Monticello); Lindsay Barnhart (Iowa Falls-Alden); Libby Bemis (Clarke); Haley Long (East Marshall); Olivia Luger (Mid-Prairie). Catcher -- Cheyenne Wilcke (OA-BCIG); Lexi Ackerman (GLR/CL). Infield -- Emmie Linien (Mid-Prairie); Chelsea Whitmore (East Marshall); Kassidy Van Voorst (BH/RV); Mackinzie Bigbee (Williamsburg); Abbey Meyer (Cascade); Jensen Boger (OA-BCIG). Outfield -- Samantha Kirby (Humboldt); Emily Branskey (Solon); Ashley Burroughs (Bondurant-Farrar); Maddie Wilkin (CPU); Selena Reinhart (Gilbert). Utility -- Leah Rushman (Davis County); Jennifer Kennedy (Greene County); Ashley Rosenstiel (Oelwein); Claire Willenbring (Dyversville Beckman).
Pitcher -- Cassidy Wilcke (OA-BCIG); Joanna Heemstra (BH/RV); Maddison Daniels (Northeast); Emily McDonald (MOC-FV). Catcher -- Erin Buehler (Crestwood); Monserrat Fiueora (BH/RV). Infield -- Leah Duffe (Wilton); Danielle Bianchi (Saydel); Taryn Barz (Hampton-Dumont); Tara Selvy (Albia); Jesica Rogers (Osage); Riley Hale (West Burlington). Outfield -- Sidney Weldon (Albia); Miranda Schouten (North Polk); Brittney Hammond (Iowa Falls-Alden); Jordan Aitchison (Monticello); Daneshia Snitker (Waukon). Utility -- Aleenah Marcucci (Northeast); Olivia Stacevich (Centerville); Bryce Holmgren (Roland-Story); Avery Carter (Wilton); MacKenzie Holmes (Atlantic).
Player of the Year -- Kara Misel (Solon)
Pitcher of the Year -- Arran Weeces (Solon)
Coach of the Year -- Staci Sniezek (Ballard)
IGCA ALL-DISTRICT SOFTBALL
Pitcher -- Kendall Bosch (ELC); Cassidy Wilcke (OA-BCIG). Catcher -- Cheyenne Wilcke (OA-BCIG); Monserrat Figueroa (BH/RV); Lexi Ackerman (GLR/CL). Infield -- Paige Krause (Spirit Lake); Emily Kirchner (ELC); Jensen Boger (OA-BCIG); Kassidy Van Voorst (BH/RV); Kelsey Ackerman (GLR/CL); Brook Jacobsma (MOC-Floyd Valley); Mackenzie Holmes (Atlantic). Outfield -- Jessica Hilbrands (GLR/CL); Tarah Hunt (MOC-Floyd Valley); Nicole Ewoldt (BH/RV). Utility -- Moriah Bohlmann (Carroll Kuemper).
Coach of the Year: Megan Anderson (ELC).
Pitcher -- Mikkinzie Peschong (Okoboji); Faith Schmidt (Emmetsburg); Allie Ingalls (North Union); Josie Brackey (Lake Mills); Jasmine VanderZwaag (Western Christian); Tayler Rohwer (Alta-Aurelia). Catcher -- Cheyanne Boland (North Union); Josie Lambert (Prairie Valley). Infield -- Collete Haag (North Union); Clara Pearson (Prairie Valley); Marissa Childress (West Lyon); Chandler Johannsen (Sioux Central). Outfield -- Anna Mallen (West Hancock); Sarah Mallen (West Hancock); Hailey Frazier (Pocahontas Area/P-P); Ashley Toms (South Central Calhoun); Casie Rehder (South O'Brien); Jessica Stofferan (HMS).
Coach o the Year: Art Ingalls (North Union).