Six Gaels earn all- NCC honors
Before she has even stepped a foot into St. Edmond high school, Ansley Oswald has earned honors on the softball field as an eighth-grader.
Oswald was named to the North Central Conference All-Conference first team. She was joined by five teammates. The senior battery of Ella Vratny and Kacey Kruthoff, along with junior Gracie Harvey and eighth-grader Lauren Gibb were on the second team.
Freshman Kaili Henning was on the third team.
“Having six of our starting nine players on the all-conference team, says a lot about where we are headed,” said second-year St. Edmond head coach Bill Shirbroun. “We want to build a winning culture here at St. Edmond.
“Having six all-conference picks, two years in a row, tells me we are headed in the right direction.”
Two area seniors were the lone unanimous selections. Humboldt senior Kendal Clark and Webster City’s Jenna Miller were picked by all voters.
Teammates joining Clark on the first team were senior Jori Hajek and junior Alexis Hansen. Webster City juniors Kelly Stoakes and Alayna Finucan, along with senior Leah Kasch were on the top team.
Algona sophomore Lillian Etherington was on the first team as well.
In her first season Oswald hit .391 for the Gaels with 13 RBI and 25 hits.
“She (Oswald) has seen a lot of softball. She may not have been in high school yet, but she’s played a lot,” Shirbroun said. “She has the ball sense to step in and play well, moving from first base to the outfield.
“She puts the ball in play and is almost a second leadoff in the ninth spot for us. That says a lot to be in the nine spot and make the first team.”
Vratny ended her career as a Gael with five selections to the all-conference teams. The past four seasons she was on the second team and was a third-team selection as an eighth-grader.
This season Vratny was 8-9 with 136 strikeouts and a 3.32. Vratny had 19 hits and drove in 10 runs.
Kruthoff, who was a Class 1A All-State honorable mention pick, was on the second team last year as a junior as well as her freshman season.
The Gael catcher hit .360 with two home runs and drove in 19 runs. She had 31 hits for the Gaels.
“One of the main reasons I took this job was because of Ella and Kacey,” Shirbroun said. “We’ve gotten great senior leadership out of them.
“They have made my job a lot easier.”
Harvey, who was a third team pick last season, led the Gaels with five home runs and hit .337. She had 29 hits and scored a team high 29 runs.
“Gracie is the type of player you want,” Shirbroun said. “She’s always hustling and giving it her all. She gets dirty and just does what she needs to do.”
In her first season as a Gael, Gibb, one of six eighth graders, led the Gaels in a couple of categories. Gibb led the Gaels in batting with a .393 average, 22 RBI, 33 hits and scored 20 runs.
“Lauren is one to keep an eye on,” Shirbroun said. “My expectations for her are high. If she puts the time in, she is going to turn out to be a great player. She tracks down the ball well and covers a ton of ground.”
Henning, who was also on the third team last year, hit .341, drove in nine runs and had 31 hits. She was 6-1 in the circle with a 2.89 ERA and 87 strikeouts.
“Kaili has the stats to be on the second team I feel,” Shirbroun said. “She is successful wherever she plays and is a great competitor.”
Clark was named as a first-team all-league pick for the past four seasons. She has been a unanimous selection the past three seasons. Clark batted .506 with 29 RBI, 11 home runs and had a team high 41 hits.
For the Lynx, Miller drove in a team-high 30 runs on 27 hits, while batting .281. She scored 11 runs. Miller was 10-4 in the circle with a 3.15 ERA and 71 strikeouts.
ALL-NCC SOFTBALL TEAM
Jenna Miller*, Webster City, sr., P; Avery Hanson, Hampton-Dumont/CAL, jr., P; Kelly Stoakes, Webster City, jr., C; Annika Nelson, Clear Lake, so., C; Kendal Clark*, Humboldt, sr., INF; Jori Hajek, Humboldt, sr., INF; Leah Kasch, Webster City, sr., INF; Alayna Finucan, Webster City, jr., INF: Kylee Whipple, Hampton-Dumont-CAL, so., INF; Alexis Hansen, Humboldt, jr., OF; Hailey Bridgewater, Iowa Falls-Alden, so., OF: Bonnie Nohrenberg, Webster City, fr., OF; Ansley Oswald, St. Edmond, 8th, OF; Lillian Etherington, Algona, so., U/DH.
Elise Osman, Iowa Falls-Alden, sr., P; Ella Vratny, St. Edmond, sr., P; Kacey Kruthoff, St. Edmond, sr., C; Elly Wood, Iowa Falls-Alden, jr., C; Chelsey Holck, Clear Lake, sr., INF: Gracie Harvey, St. Edmond, jr., INF; Lily Elsbecker, Algona, so., INF; Livia Kasch, Webster City, so., INF: Addie Thompson, Humboldt, so., INF; Delainey Bargfrede, Webster City, fr., OF; Adeline Tesdahl, Webster City, fr., OF, Lauren Gibb, St. Edmond, 8th, OF; Elsie Hubbell, Humboldt, 8th, U/DH.
Marlee Lancaster, Iowa Falls-Alden, sr.; Rilee McKibben, Iowa Falls-Alden, sr.,; Clarissa Hasty, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, so.; Makella Jacobs, Clear Lake, so.; Aspen Harlan, Hampton-Dumont/CAL, fr.; Kaili Henning, St. Edmond, fr.; Reagan Lee, Humboldt, fr.; Ryan Haynes, Algona, 8th.