Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 14, 2018

Loyd captains GTNS small school softball team

New London gets 3 players, 1 coach named; W-MU has 2 players honored
Jul 31, 2018
Photo by: file photo Layney Loyd

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


With summer sports in our rearview mirrors, it’s time again to look at the best of the best in the year that was. This week will be the release of the All-GTNS teams for the summer of 2018, starting with small school softball.

It was a big year for Henry County’s small schools, as New London and Winfield-Mt. Union were two of the best teams in the area. To top it off, the Tigers ended their season in Ft. Dodge as only GTNS small school to make it to the state tournament.

Here is the 2018 small school softball team, which features three players and a coach from New London and two players from W-MU.

Coach: Duane Blint, New London: Coach Duane Blint led his Tigers to their fourth state tournament in six years. New London put together a Cinderella run to get to the Class 1A tournament in Ft. Dodge.

The Tigers won two of their four regional tournament games via the walk-off, a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Montezuma and a thrilling 4-3 regional final win over North Mahaska. Sandwiched in between was a win over No. 8 Sigourney, a state semifinalist from the year before.

Captain: Layney Loyd, Sophomore, New London: Layney Loyd has made quite the name for herself in just three years at New London. The sophomore catcher and infielder was the leading hitter on a state-bound Tiger team.

Loyd hit .473 with eight doubles, two home runs and 30 RBIs to earn captain’s honors for this year’s small school softball squad. She’ll lead a talented group of New London underclassmen into the new era of New London softball.

Pitcher: Madie Anderson, Freshman, Winfield-Mt. Union: There aren’t many more feared pitchers in Southeast Iowa than Winfield-Mt. Union’s Madie Anderson. The freshman threw every single inning for W-MU this season.

Anderson went 11-8 with a 1.90 ERA and 249 strikeouts, which was fifth best in Class 1A. At the plate, Anderson hit .299 with three doubles and 10 RBIs.

Pitcher: Kassidy Verrips, Sophomore, Cardinal: With over 160 innings pitched, Verrips was on the mound for all but 19 innings for the Comets this season and racked up 148 strikeouts from the circle.

Part of the reason for her 9-13 record is the 52 unearned runs scored that were not counted against her pitching stats. In the batters box, Verrips led the team with a .410 batting average, a .443 on-base percentage, .590 slugging percentage and 34 hits. Kassidy also had two home runs and 17 RBI.

Infield: Chelsey Huff, Freshman, Van Buren: The soon-to-be sophomore hit an incredible .430 with a .646 slugging percentage. Huff scored 17 runs, hit eight doubles, three home runs, 15 RBI and stole two bases.

As the Warriors No. 2 pitcher, Chelsey also made 10 starts and threw 69 innings, allowing just 37 earned runs and striking out 47 while walking just 10 batters and allowing a .283 opponents batting average.

Infield: Sydni Coleman, Sophomore, New London: In just her sophomore year, Sydni Coleman blossomed into one of the best hitters in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference. Coleman hit .446 with six doubles and 17 RBIs.

Coleman was particularly good in the postseason, going 5-8 in the regional tournament and 3-6 in Ft. Dodge. She also picked up a regional quarterfinal win in the circle, holding Montezuma to just one run in a 2-1 victory.

Infield: Ellie Ledger, Junior, Pekin: Part of the game is opportunity and Ledger rarely missed hers, racking up 30 RBI from her four home runs, five doubles and 23 other hits that helped her record a .311 average with a .476 slugging percentage.

Ledger only struck out 12 times in 103 at-bats, stole a base and scored 14 runs for the Panthers.

Infield: Lydia Moses, Sophomore, Cardinal: Moses batted .321, but had a .448 on-base percentage because she found ways to get on base and score.

She hit safely 25 times in 78 at-bats and rounded the bases to score a team-high 25 times, but she also walked 14 times and was hit by four pitches, creating additional scoring chances. Moses had six doubles, 15 RBI and also stole 18 bases in 20 attempts.

Catcher: Molly Miller, Freshman, Winfield-Mt. Union: A young Winfield-Mt. Union squad needed some hitting this year if they were going to compete with the best teams in the SEISC, and they got that in spades with catcher Molly Miller.

The freshman led the team with a .388 average, eight doubles, five home runs and 25 RBIs. She’s a cornerstone member of a W-MU program that should continue their skyrocket to the top of the conference when the summer sports season rolls back around in 2019.

Outfield: Rylee Vercande, Eighth-grader, Mid-Prairie: Although the team is full of underclassmen with only six of the 14 selections upperclassmen, Mid-Prairie’s Rylee Vercande is the only selection to the team as an eighth-grader.

Vercande led the Golden Hawks, who finished with a 4-29 record, in most every offensive category. She was Mid-Prairie’s leader in runs (18), hits (42), doubles (7), home runs (2), RBI (18), stolen bases (13 in 16 attempts), batting average (. 408), slugging percentage (.533) and on-base percentage (. 438). She had a .913 fielding percentage as an outfielder with just four errors.

Outfield: Zoey Wright, Junior, Pekin: Wright will be the anchor on several Panther teams her senior season.

Wright had team-highs in batting average: .452; on-base percentage: .504; slugging: .596; runs scored: 31; hits: 47; triples: three; walks drawn: 11; and stolen bases with 27 in 29 attempts. She also had six doubles, a home run and 20 RBI while only striking out 10 times in a team-high 104 at-bats.

Outfield: Hannah Heiserman, Senior, Van Buren: Heiserman batted .420 with a .447 on-base percentage while slugging .568.

The recent graduate had a team-high 37 hits, 10 doubles and 20 RBI. Hannah also hit a home run, stole a base and struck out a team-low three times in 88 at-bats.

Utility: Avery Blauvelt, Senior, Iowa Mennonite: Avery Blauvelt excelled in her final season at Iowa Mennonite School. The senior’s .429 batting average, .694 slugging percentage, 13 RBI and .508 OBP were tops on the team. She had 21 hits in 49 at-bats with seven doubles and two home runs. The catcher had a .934 fielding percentage.

Utility: Abbie Miller, Junior, Highland: An early-season injury relegated Highland’s Abbie Miller to the role of designated hitter for much of the year. The junior excelled in the role, leading the Huskies (14-13) in at-bats (87), hits (27), home runs (4), RBI (30) and SLG (. 517). She hit six doubles and carried a .310 batting average.

Utility: Camryn Blint, Senior, New London: The New London softball team wouldn’t have ended their season in Ft. Dodge without senior pitcher and infielder Camryn Blint. Blint hit .352 with four doubles and 14 RBIs this year, and also shined in the circle going 10-4 with a 3.17 ERA and 102 strikeouts.

Blint saved her best stuff for the regional tournament. She won three tournament games in the circle including a three-hit shutout over No. 8 Sigourney in the regional semifinals. Blint also scored the game-winning run in the Tigers’ walk-off win over North Mahaska in the regional final.

The All-GTNS small school softball teams were selected by Justin Webster of the Fairfield Ledger, Douglas Brenneman of the Washington Evening Journal and Andy Krutsinger of the Mt. Pleasant News.

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