WEBSTER CITY - Now it's pretty much a formality.
Simply go ahead and put the name - Kaitlyn Biere - on one of the lines reserved for a first-team all-conference softball pitcher.
That's the way it's always been since she first put on her Webster City jersey.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City junior Kaitlyn Biere slides into third ahead of the relay throw against Clarion-Goldfield during a North Central Conference game at Lynx Field last month. Biere earned her fourth consecutive first-team all-NCC accolade in the pitcher’s circle, it was announced recently.
Biere, now a junior, notched her fourth consecutive first-team all-North Central Conference accolade from the league's coaches, it was announced recently. She was one of three Lynx players named to the top unit, and one of five team members honored overall.
Sophomore catcher Kaylee Schnathorst earned her second straight first-team award, albeit at a difference position, while freshman Mikaleh McCoy was honored for the first time.
Sophomore second baseman Abbey Fuhs earned second-team status, while junior Tiffany Constable was a third-team honoree.
Softball All-Conference Teams
North Central Conference
*Lindsay BarnhartIowa Falls-AldenJr. P
Kaitlyn BiereWebster CityJr. P
Breanna KeaneIowa Falls-AldenJr. C
Kaylee SchnathorstWebster CitySo. C
*Emily BellBishop GarriganSr. IF
*Timmi DencklauSt. EdmondSr. IF
*Taryn BarzHampton-DumontJr. IF
Lexi PeedSt. EdmondSr. IF
Brenna WetzelHumboldtSr. IF
Kenzie ShelgrenHumboldtJr. IF
Jessi TimmIowa Falls-AldenJr. IF
Kylee AlmondEagle GroveSo. IF
*Brittney HammondIowa Falls-AldenJr. OF
Josie HeeschSt. EdmondJr. OF
Sam KirbyHumboldtJr. OF
Lexie MillerEagle GroveJr. OF
Shanaya SchuttIowa Falls-AldenSo. U/DH
Mikaleh McCoyWebster CityFr. U/DH
*Denotes Unanimous Selection
Michelle RitlandHampton-DumontSr. P
Katie DonnellySt. EdmondJr. P
Kara EischenBishop GarriganSo. C
Sarah PetersHumboldtSo. C
Abbey FuhsWebster CitySo. IF
Taylor HoveyBishop GarriganSo. IF
Maddie ThomasHumboldtSo. IF
Bridget HanleySt. EdmondFr. IF
Madison MasonHampton-DumontFr. IF
Anna YungSt. EdmondFr. IF
Kelsey HoveyBishop Garrigan8th IF
Burgundy OelmannIowa Falls-AldenSr. OF
Abbey RedingBishop GarriganSr. OF
Jeni ZellerAlgonaSr. OF
Megan LouxClear LakeJr. OF
Shelby CarlsonEagle GroveSr. U/DH
Jaci StumpfSt. EdmondFr. U/DH
Addison MillerBishop GarriganSr.
Tiffany ConstableWebster CityJr.
Allie ObergSt. EdmondJr.
Kristin CondoleonBishop GarriganSo.
Megan CrailEagle GroveSo.
Conference champion Iowa Falls-Alden garnered five first-team spots, two more than runner-up Fort Dodge St. Edmond and third-place finisher Webster City.
Five players - Iowa Falls-Alden junior pitcher Lindsay Barnhart and junior outfielder Brittney Hammond; Bishop Garrigan senior infielder Emily Bell; St. Edmond senior infielder Timmi Dencklau; and Hampton-Dumont junior infielder Taryn Barz were unanimous selections to the first team.
Biere has twice been a unanimous pick, but not this season.
The right-handed hurler again possessed one of the premier arms in the conference. She posted an overall record of 17-8, and her 1.20 earned run average was second-best in the NCC. She led the league in strikeouts (183) and opponents' batting average (.164).
Biere also proved to be Webster City's most dangerous offensive weapon. Hitting out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup, she compiled a .364 batting average with two home runs, 13 doubles and 19 runs batted in.
Schnathorst - a second-team selection as an eighth-grader, followed by a first-team pick last summer, both as a center fielder - was forced to change positions to compensate for the loss of catcher Maddie Anderson, but it didn't seem to hinder her productivity. She gave the Lynx a stable presence behind the plate and still managed to hit at a .351 clip with two dingers, eight doubles and 14 RBIs. She also swiped 22 bases at the top of the order - the fourth-best total in the NCC.
Anderson, a second-team all-NCC choice as an eighth-grader in 2011, missed the entire season with a torn ACL that she suffered during basketball season this past winter.
McCoy developed into a versatile hitter out of the clean-up spot, as she could drive the ball for power or lay down a suicide squeeze bunt when the situation presented itself. She finished her rookie campaign with a .303 average, nine doubles and 27 RBIs, which ranked sixth in the league.
Fuhs and Constable, both first-time all-conference award winners, hit .267 and .243, respectively. Fuhs drove in 10 runs and collected 17 stolen bases, while Constable added eight RBIs and 13 stolen bases.