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3 OF THE BEST

Stoakes, McKinney and Miller tagged as 1st team all-NCC

WCHS sophomore Kelly Stoakes takes a cut at a pitch during a game this season. The Lynx lead-off hitter was recently named a unanimous all-North Central Conference selection for the second consecutive season. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

WEBSTER CITY — Inside the North Central Conference, there were a few hitters that made opponents groan whenever they stepped inside the batter’s box. Webster City sophomore Kelly Stoakes was one of those chosen few.

And she was rewarded accordingly.

Following a shortened 2020 campaign in which she hit .609 against league opponents, Stoakes was a unanimous selection to the all-NCC first team by the conference coaches. It’s her second consecutive first-team honor.

Webster City received three first-team nods, second only to league champion Humboldt and its five accolades. Stoakes, who worked behind the plate and roamed center field, and junior pitcher Jenna Miller were named as utility players, while Taylor McKinney received her fifth all-conference award on the infield.

Second-team honors went to WCHS junior third baseman Leah Kasch and sophomore second baseman Alayna Finucan. Senior outfielder Tatum Goings was named to the third team.

WCHS shortstop Taylor McKinney throws a dart to first base for the out against Carlisle this season. She received her fifth all-NCC award. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Other unanimous first-team choices were Humboldt’s Ellie Jacobson (pitcher), Mady Lange (catcher), Kendal Clark (infield) and Jori Hajek (infield); Algona’s Kameryn Etherington (pitcher); and Clear Lake’s Sara Faber (outfield).

Stoakes, who hit in the lead-off spot, made everything go for WCHS, which finished third in the final standings behind Humboldt and Algona, two of the eight state qualifiers in Class 3A. One of four NCC players to hit over .600 in league play, Stoakes cashed in on 14 hits in 23 plate appearances, and five of her hits went for extra bases.

Overall, Stoakes, the youngest player to make the first team, hit a team-best .462 with four doubles, one home run and seven RBIs.

Inside the circle, Miller went 5-2 with a 2.20 ERA against the rest of the conference. She struck out 50 batters in 472⁄3 innings of work.

At the plate, Miller hit .409 with two dingers and 10 RBIs against NCC foes. She hit at a .244 clip overall.

Jenna Miller smiles as she trots around third base following a home run against St. Edmond this season. She was one of three Lynx players to be named to the all-NCC first team. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

One of the premier defenders since she first entered the Lynx starting lineup as an eighth grader, McKinney, a shortstop, picked up her second first-team accolade after hitting .368 inside the league. Her .281 batting average overall was fourth-best on the team.

Finucan, a natural right-hander who hits from the left side, hit .455 in the league and .400 on the season. Despite being considered a slapper, her four doubles tied Stoakes for the team lead.

Kasch, a pillar at the hot corner for the Lynx, hit .375 in the league with one double and three RBIs.

Goings, who played center and left during her final season in a WCHS uniform, hit .206 overall.

Etherington was the top hitter in the conference with an eye-popping .727 average against NCC opponents. Clark cranked three home runs.

All-NCC Softball

First Team

Pitcher — *Kameryn Etherington, sr, Algona; *Ellie Jacobson, sr, Humboldt.

Catcher — *Mady Lange, sr, Humboldt.

Infield — *Kendal Clark, jr, Humboldt; *Jori Hajek, jr, Humboldt; Taylor McKinney, sr, Wester City; Julia Merfeld, sr, Clear Lake; Lillian Etherington, fr, Algona.

Outfield — *Sara Faber, sr, Clear Lake; Courtney Miller, sr, Hampton-Dumont/CAL; Carlie Thompson, sr, Humboldt.

Utility — *Kelly Stoakes, soph, Webster City; Jenna Miller, jr, Webster City.

*Denotes unanimous selection

Second Team

Pitcher — Elise Osman, jr, Iowa Falls-Alden; Avery Hanson, soph, Hampton-Dumont/CAL.

Catcher — Kacey Kruthoff, sr, St. Edmond; Elly Wood, soph, Iowa Falls-Alden.

Infield — MaKenna Meyer, sr, Iowa Falls-Alden; Jocy Timmerman, sr, St. Edmond; Leah Kasch, jr, Webster City; Alayna Finucan, soph, Webster City; Allie Thompson, fr, Humboldt.

Outfield — Courtney Harle, sr, CGD; Anna Kolacia, soph, St. Edmond; Hailey Bridgewater, fr, Iowa Falls-Alden.

Utility — Claire Varangkounh, sr, Humboldt; Ella Vratny, jr, St. Edmond; Moriah Knapp, fr, Algona.

Third Team

Tatum Goings, sr, Webster City; Lorren Steinfeldt, sr, Iowa Falls-Alden; Marlee Lancaster, jr, Iowa Falls-Alden; Kendall Lienemann, jr, CGD; Gracie Harvey, soph, St. Edmond; Kylee Whipple, fr, Hampton-Dumont/CAL; Kalli Henning, 8th grade, St. Edmond; Reagan Lee, 8th grade, Humboldt.

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