Anderson, Myers, Flaws, Nerland all on NCC first team
WEBSTER CITY – Webster City might not have won the North Central Conference softball title this summer, but the Lynx earned the respect of a champion.
Webster City joined league winner Fort Dodge St. Edmond with four players on the all-conference first team, it was announced recently. Runner-up Humboldt received nods.
Lynx senior infielder Maddie Anderson was a unanimous choice to the top team, ending her career with all-conference honors at three different positions. She was twice tabbed as a catcher and once at first base.
Senior infielder Hannah Myers, junior outfielder Allie Flaws and freshman designated player Cassidy Nerland joined Anderson on the elite team.
WCHS junior pitcher Gabbi Hoversten was named to the second team, while sophomore outfielder Taylor Schnathorst was placed on the third team.
Jess Howard, the Lynx head coach, admitted that getting four players on the first team was a bit of a surprise.
“I was hoping to get two or three on (the first team), so to get four, it was a great honor for the girls and gives them credit for the stuff they did this summer to help us win the games that we did get,”?Howard said. “All four of them had really good hitting stats. I emphasized their power at the plate and what they could do there.”
Other unanimous first-team players included St. Edmond pitcher Amanda Lansman, catcher Maggie Harvey, infielder Anna Yung and outfielder Jaci Stumpf; Humboldt pitcher Avery Terwilliger and infielder Beth Duffield; and Iowa Falls-Alden utility player Lauren Keane.
Completing the first team were Clarion-Goldfield-Dows infielder Hannah Kapka and Hampton-Dumont outfielder Shelby Tidman.
Anderson hit .315 on the season with five home runs and 25 runs batted in. She was just at impactful in the field at third and shortstop.
“I thought (Anderson) did a great job on the left side of the field for us,” Howard said. “She had a strong arm and a good glove for us. It was a good defensive move for us to move her to that side.”
Myers was just as versatile in the field, as she played three positions – shortstop, center field and second base – during conference play, but it was her bat that propelled her onto the top team. She hit .388, scored 28 runs and drove in 17 more, and stole 19 bases.
“Hannah was a pleasant offensive surprise for us,” Howard said. “She did a great job in the No. 2 spot (in the lineup) for us and allowed us to use her speed and power. She’s just an athlete that understands the game, so (defensively) she can play just about anywhere.”
Flaws put the offense into motion for WCHS at the top of the order. A right-hander who bats left-handed, Flaws hit at a .395 clip, and when she got on she usually scored. The two-time state 100-meter dash medalist stole 38 bases and was thrown out just twice.
“When (Flaws) got on you could bet on her getting to second on her own and possibly third,” Howard said. “When she got on base she typically scored for us.”
Nerland made a name for herself with her power out of the clean-up spot in the order. She opened the season with a bomb against Iowa Falls-Alden and concluded her second year in the lineup leading the team in home runs (7) and RBI (33). Her .710 slugging percentage trailed only Harvey (.717) of St. Edmond.
“She’s got a swing that you can’t teach as a coach,” Howard said of Nerland. “She’s got power and when she makes contact it’s going to go somewhere and go somewhere hard.”
Not expected to be the No. 1 pitcher on the WCHS staff when the season started, Hoversten quickly grew in her role after Mikaleh McCoy went down with a wrist injury. Hoversten went 9-14 overall, 6-6 in conference play, with a 3.36 earned run average.
“That was a really good honor for her to show her that she really did do a good job for us,” Howard said. “She doesn’t believe it when you tell her she did a good job, but she did for us this year.”
Schnathorst completed the season with a .263 average and 11 RBI.