An up and down season for the Hillsboro softball team recently concluded with six members of the team received postseason honors when the All-Scenic Bluffs softball team was recently announced.
Senior second baseman Macy Mislivecek was named to the 15-player first team.
Senior catcher Morgen Rynes, senior third baseman Kelsey Skala, sophomore left fielder Mackenzie Sullivan and sophomore outfielder/pitcher Brittany Borchardt received honorable mention.
Senior outfielder Elsie Griffin was named to the eight-player all-sportsmanship team.
Mislivecek finished the season with a .326 batting average and was among the team leaders in runs scored and RBI. She was named a team tri-captain.
“After receiving honorable mention last year, Macy was finally rewarded for her defense as she was the only second baseman to earn first team honors this year,” said first-year Hillsboro head coach Mike Burch. “She also led the team with the highest batting average during conference games.”
Rynes hit .280 during conference play, but was even better known for her defensive work behind the plate. Her quick reflexes and strong arm were major deterrents to would-be base stealers. Rynes was named the team’s Most Valuable Player as well as one of the team tri-captains.
“Four catchers received first team honors and Morgen was just votes shy,” said Burch. “I truly believe that she was by far the best catcher in the league. Cashton coach Caleb Hundt was also upset that Morgen didn’t get more votes. He told me that Morgen has earned the most respect from his team this season and that she was one of the two catchers in the conference that his players were not allowed to attempt a steal on. The other was Emily Tracy of Wonewoc, who did just make first team. Softball is the only sport that Morgen plays and she is not well known especially since she didn’t catch much last year.”
Skala again started at third base this spring and finished conference play with a .216 batting average and was named a team tri-captain.
“Kelsey made a statement at her graduation party a few days prior to the all-conference voting saying, ‘All-conference is stupid. I got honorable mention last year and I was terrible,’” said Burch. “I told her that I hated to disappoint her, but that I had put her up again this year. Kelsey is a team leader on and off the field. Sometimes what you do in between plays or during practices is far more important to the team than your performance on the field. Kelsey was like having an extra assistant coach and always did her best to keep the girls focused. When our pitchers were having troubles, Kelsey was always the first to offer encouragement. She definitely deserves honorable mention, whether she believes that she’s earned it or not.”
Sullivan started in left field and led the team in overall batting average at .351 and was stellar defensively all season.
“Playing left field on this team means that you are going to see quite a bit of action and Kenzie did an excellent job, only committing two errors all year,” said Burch. “If she duplicates her performance next year, she will be receiving a first-team all-conference medal.”
Borchardt split time between the outfield and the pitching circle. She went 1–4 as a pitcher and finished the year batting .308.
“Brittany gained her first ever varsity experience on the pitching rubber this year,” said Burch. “Her first couple of outings were a little shaky with quite a few walks but as she gained more time out there, she improved tremendously. If it weren’t for the fact that she had to do most of the pitching duties for us, I’m sure she would have received quite a few more first team votes as an outfielder.”
Griffin finished the season with a .286 batting average.
One Tiger who missed out on postseason honors was sophomore Destiny Shore, who earned the team’s Most Improved Player award.
Shore made the switch from the right handed batter’s box to the left side about half way through the season,” said Burch. “She was hitting .148 through nine games before she switched to the left side. She worked hard and found her groove with the slap hitting game and wound up batting .529 in her last seven games of the season.”
Hillsboro finished the season 5–13 overall and 4–10 in the SBC (seventh place).
Cashton sophomore Lindsey Kramer was named the SBC Pitcher of the Year.
Kramer led the Eagles to a 16–3 overall record and the outright conference title with a 13–1 mark in SBC play.
Bangor junior shortstop Morgan Horstman was named the SBC Player of the Year.
She led the Cardinals to a 11–6 overall record and a 9–5 conference mark.