The Illinois Coaches Association (ICA) released its 2019 All-State Softball teams on Tuesday and 18 Times-area softball stars earned spots, headlined by three who played their way to the prestigious ICA First Team.
Ottawa's Sloan Gayan in Class 3A, along with both Marquette's Makenna Tkach and Newark's Sophie Schomer in Class 1A were First Team honorees.
Six players were named to the ICA Second Team — Ottawa's Molly Harris and Jenna Nink in 3A; Seneca's Kylie Winsor in 2A; and the Newark duo of Emily Schofield and Naomi Sweeney, as well as Somonauk's Katy Tripp in 1A. ICA Third Team members included — Seneca's Cassidy Draves, Abe Jashari and Gillian Culbreth; Woodland/Flanagan-Cornell's Emily Friese and Audrey Jenkins in 2A; Earlville-Leland's Skyler Brue and Jadyn Pickert; Marquette's Aubrey McCallum; and Serena's Katie Baker in 1A.
Marquette's Dave Tkach in 1A and Ottawa's Adam Lewis in 3A were both named Sectional Coaches of the Year.
It's no surprise that The Times area's three Tri-County Conference softball teams dominated the 2019 Tri-County All-Conference Teams. Eight of the nine First Team spots are filled by locals.
For co-champion Seneca, seniors Kylie Winsor and Abe Jashari as well as junior Cassidy Draves all were voted to the First Team.
For co-champion Marquette, senior ace hurler Makenna Tkach along with juniors Aubrey McCallum and Ellen Wheatland were All-TCC First Team selections.
And for third-place Woodland/Flanagan-Cornell, both sophomore Sydnee Plesko and senior Emily Friese were Tri-County First Team picks.
The Second Team includes: from Marquette — seniors Hannah Cowie and Mallory Martini; from Seneca — senior Gillian Culbreth and juniors Anne Krull and Grace Flatness; and from WFC — sophomore Audrey Jenkins and senior August Gillman.
A pair of WFC ballplayers also earned Honorable Mention, junior Elise Kane and freshman Ella Sibert.
Pantagraph All-Star Game
Seven Times-area players were selected to represent the Area All-Stars in what turned out to be a 12-1 loss to the Intercity All-Stars on Monday at Normal's Champion Fields in the 2019 Pantagraph All-Star Game.
Streator infielder Grace Schmitz was selected the Area MVP after scoring her team's lone run and later singling. Other Times-area representatives included Streator's Anna Yanek, WFC's August Gillman and Emily Friese, and Fieldcrest's Alivia Tjaden, Jacie Sullivan and Alaina Tjaden.
In addition to the all-conference awards published in Tuesday's edition, the Tri-County Conference honored two local baseball standouts with player of the year honors.
Seneca senior pitcher/slugger Sam Grushkin was voted the 2019 Tri-County Conference Player of the Year, while Marquette senior hurler Bryce Jones was voted the 2019 Tri-County Conference Pitcher of the Year.