Five area players — three from Lake Mills and two from Lakeside Lutheran — were voted first-team all-conference in Capitol North softball voting held recently.
Lake Mills senior Tessa Kottwitz, junior Belle Topel, freshman Haydenn Sellnow as well as Lakeside Lutheran senior Nora Statz and junior Jenna Shadoski garnered first-team accolades.
Kottwitz, a three-time all-conference selection and first-team all-district selection for medium-sized schools, scored 10 runs in league games and hit .285 with three doubles.
“She was the premier outfielder in the Capitol North,” Lake Mills softball coach Jim Clift said. She was also the No. 1 point getting outfielder on the district team.
“Tessa is as good as it gets. She’s fast, smart and does all aspects of the game well. We’re really going to miss her next year. She’s as good as a high school outfielder can get.”
Topel hit three home runs in conference games, driving in eight runs while scoring eight times. She was also an honorable mention of all-district selection for medium-sized schools.
“Belle was a constant threat to hit the ball hard and led the Capitol in home runs,” Clift said. “That’s why we moved her into the No. 4 spot. She has good range at second base as well.
“Belle has excellent bat speed and is very coachable. She improved as much as anyone over the course of the season. Looking forward to another year with her. She’s a flat out good athlete and led us in just about every offensive category.”
Sellnow hit .314, driving in nine runs while scoring 11 times in conference games.
“Haydenn is smart and has outstanding awareness of all things going on on the softball field on both offense and defense,” Clift said. “She understands the game much more than you’d expect as a freshman.
“She has outstanding power as well for a freshman. As she continues to mature and grow, she’s only going to get better. Like all of our girls, she’s a hard worker. Haydenn has a rifle of an arm at shortstop. Her exit velocity is really fast on her throws.”
Statz hit .473 for the season with four home runs and 11 extra-base hits, driving in 26 runs while only striking out twice. She was also an honorable mention of all-district honoree for medium-sized schools.
“Nora had a great career as a three-year starter and would have been a four-year starter if not for COVID,” Lakeside Lutheran softball coach Matt Doering said. “She finished top 10 in the Lakeside record books for a season in eight categories based on this year alone. Those were average, HR’s, RBI, hits, doubles, OBP, Slg% and TB. She also ended up in the top 10 career listings in 10 categories (average, hits, BB, RBI, AB, TB, OBP, Slg%, 2B’s and HR’s).
“Nora hit for power and for average. She has an extremely strong arm and can make any throw she has to. When she didn’t get on, she rarely had a bad at bat and came through in big moments for us multiple times.”
Shadoski hit .426 for the season with an on-base percentage of .557, homering four times while tallying 13 extra-base knocks and 14 steals.
“This was Jenna’s second year as a starter for us,” Doering said. Jenna has incredible speed and quickness. She used that defensively and offensively. Not only does she have speed, she hit for power also. Jenna is not only skilled, but is a smart player offensively and defensively.
“She will finish in the top 10 seasons for Lakeside in HR, BB, TB and OBP. She was a part of just about every important offensive rally or defensive key play this year.”
Lake Mills junior Avery Chilson, sophomore Taylor Wollin, freshman Payton Quest as well as Lakeside Lutheran junior Kendall Lemke and sophomore Abby Meis were second-team honorees.
Chilson had an ERA of 2.08 in Capitol play, striking out 45 against nine walks.
“Avery in my opinion was second only to Holly Lowenberg of Poynette in our conference for pitchers,” Clift said. “Avery was the girl other teams had an extremely difficult time trying to find an offensive rhythm against.
“She was good at mixing up pitches, hitting her spots and changing eye level. She’s a very precise pitcher and does a good job of that.”
Wollin hit .394 in league games and was reliable behind the dish.
“Taylor is as steady and consistent of an athlete and person as you’d want,” Clift said. “She’s a high-character person and good leader, who leads by example and with effort.
“She’s unafraid of the big moment. I’d take her in every tough situation. She always had a knack of coming through with a hit whenever we’d need one. She was a wall behind the plate as well. Very few balls got behind her.”
Quest hit .455 in conference games with four doubles.
“We call Payton the queen of doubles,” Clift said. “That’s a testament to her. Payton’s conference stats were better than her overall ones. It took us all of one practice to realize she was varsity level.
“After one practice, we realized she was a varsity-caliber player. She has a bright future to hit the way she did as a freshman, spraying ball to left-center. She’ll see more and more defensive time at catcher, too.”
Lemke hit .328 for the season, driving in 11 while doubling five times.
“Kendall is great working with pitchers behind the plate,” Doering said. “She had only two passed balls all year. She also had a solid season at the plate. In the first half of the season she was hitting over .600 and still finished with a great overall average.
“She also can hit for power. This was a great boost for us to get her back from rotator cuff surgery after missing last year.”
Meis hit .378 on the year, driving in 16 runs while scoring 22 times.
“Abby played a solid third base for us after starting in the outfield last year,” Doering said. “She also has a very strong arm. She finished the year hitting .378 and did a great job as our No. 378. 2 hitter between Jenna and Nora.
“She came up with a number of key hits for us, including a six RBI day against Columbus in our first meeting. She was solid and dependable.”
Lakeside senior outfielder Greta Pingel was an honorable mention selection.
“Greta played a dependable centerfield for the last two years and ended the year hitting .310,” Doering said. “Late in the year, she got hot and was a great spark for us to get on in front of the top of our order. It was a nice bonus to be named honorable mention.”
Poynette won the Capitol North with a record of 9-1, followed by Lake Mills at 8-2, Columbus at 6-4, Lakeside Lutheran at 5-5, Lodi at 2-8 and Luther Prep at 0-10.
2022 Capitol North Softball All-Conference Teams
Player of the Year – Holly Lowenberg, Poynette
Pitcher of the Year – Holly Lowenberg, Poynette
Holly Lowenberg Junior Poynette
Brooke Steinhorst Junior Poynette
Laken Wagner Junior Poynette
Morgan Gunderson Freshman Poynette
Tessa Kottwitz Senior Lake Mills
Belle Topel Junior Lake Mills
Haydenn Sellnow Freshman Lake Mills
Alise Hayes Junior Columbus
EmmaJo Peck Junior Columbus
Gretta Kelm Sophomore Columbus
Nora Statz Senior Lakeside Lutheran
Jenna Shadoski Junior Lakeside Lutheran
Emma Gavinski Freshman Poynette
Ashia Meister Senior Poynette
Abby Klink Senior Poynette
Taylor Wollin Sophomore Lake Mills
Avery Chilson Junior Lake Mills
Payton Quest Freshman Lake Mills
Dakota Volesky Sophomore Columbus
Jaidyn Sullivan Freshman Columbus
Abby Meis Sophomore Lakeside Lutheran
Kendall Lemke Junior Lakeside Lutheran
Mackenzie Christofferson Junior Lodi
Greta Pingel Senior Lakeside Lutheran
Mady Eckl Freshman Luther Prep
Sophia Eckl Junior Luther Prep