Kelsy Kannegiesser, New Ulm, Senior, P/3B
Kannegiesser was the most dominant player for the Class AA state champion Eagles (24-3), leading the team both at the plate and from the pitcher's circle. She batted for a .529 average, notching 54 hits, 14 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 60 RBI. She had an on-base percentage of .581 and a slugging percentage of .990, while also recording a fielding percentage of .985. From the circle, she was 11-3-2 with a 0.95 ERA and 128 strikeouts. She received numerous honors this season, including a first team All-State selection for the second time, her second All-Section selection in Section 3AA, a place on the All-Tournament team at the state tournament and All-Conference honors in the South Central Conference.
Kimberly Frank, Wabasso,
Frank not only was effective as the Rabbits' ace pitcher, but she also was almost impossible to get out during her at-bats. Frank recorded a .592 batting average and an on base percentage of .659. In total she amassed 45 hits - which included eight home runs, three doubles and two triples - while striking out just five times. She ended up with 37 RBI, 32 runs scored and eight stolen bases. From the pitching circle, she struck out 112 in 129 1/3 innings with an ERA of 3.52, while walking only 45 batters. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference.
The following is the 2012 All-Journal Softball team as voted on by the sports writers at The Journal. First-place votes are awarded 15 points, second-place 14 points, etc. Number of first-place votes is in parentheses. Only players nominated by their coaches were eligible.
Kelsy Kannegiesser, New Ulm, 75 (5)
Kimberly Frank, Wabasso, 60
Kayla Wenner, Nicollet, 57
Brittany Hoffmann, New Ulm, 54
Lisa Helget, Cathedral, 49
Sydney Remus, Sleepy Eye, 43
Jill Gareis, New Ulm, 35
Amy Eckstein, Cathedral, 30
Mandee Heiderscheidt, St. Mary's, 29
Jessica Kalenberg, BLHS, 27
Erin McDurmont, GFW, 26
Carlie Maasz, MVL, 19
Karlee Pfaff, Cathedral, 18
Breanna Ahlers, GFW, 16
Samantha Felt, Redwood Valley, 14
Paige Pautzke, Cathedral, 14
Anne Schwarz, Cathedral, 10
Kristen Forstner, New Ulm, 9
Emily Wessel, MVL
Shawna Rogotzke, Wabasso
Sydney Schuck, New Ulm
Tiffany Schwanke, Springfield
Kayla Wenner, Nicollet,
Wenner positively crushed the ball this season for the 18-5 Raiders, clobbering eight home runs, seven triples and eight doubles, with only 11 of her 34 hits falling for singles. Overall she hit for a .436 average and scored 37 runs, recorded 35 RBI and drew 34 walks. As a pitcher, she finished with a 10-3 record and one save with 64 strikeouts and only 24 walks in 62 innings. She received All-Conference honors in the Valley Conference for the second-straight year after earning an honorable mention the previous two years. She was also named second team All-State.
Brittany Hoffmann, New Ulm, Junior, SS
Hoffmann was a threat to put the ball out of the park each time that she stepped to the plate, hitting some pivotal home runs in the postseason to help the Eagles win their first state title. She batted for an average of .333 with 31 hits, six doubles, nine home runs and 28 RBI and also recorded a fielding percentage of .921. She received All-Conference honors in the South Central Conference.
Lisa Helget, Cathedral,
Helget almost eclipsed the Greyhounds' all-time mark for hits in a season, ending up second on the all-time list with 43 hits for a .478 batting average. She scored 27 runs, had 22 RBI and knocked a co-team-high nine doubles. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference for the second straight year and was also named All-Section in Section 2A.
Sydney Remus, Sleepy Eye, Senior, P/C
Remus was a five-year starter for the Indians, batting in the cleanup spot since she was in eighth grade. This season she excelled both at the plate and as the team's No. 1 pitcher, earning pitching victories in 10 of the Indians' 11 wins. On offense she batted for a .414 average with 29 hits, 25 runs scored, four home runs, 16 RBI and 13 stolen bases, while earning a 10-4 record with a 2.50 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 92 1/3 innings from the circle. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference, her fourth career selection. She finished her career with a batting average of over .400, 25 home runs and the distinction on being named conference Player of the Year in 2010 and the runner-up for the honor in 2011.
Jill Gareis, New Ulm,
Gareis was a critical part of the Eagles' state championship campaign, anchoring the team both with her play at first base - where she was a four-year starter - and from the lead-off spot. She batted for an average of .394, notching 39 hits, five doubles, one triple, two home runs and 18 RBI. She also stole 16 bases despite being slowed down after a hamstring injury and compiled a .984 fielding percentage. She received All-Conference honors in the South Central Conference for the third time and also was named All-Section in Section 3AA for the third time. Her other accolades included being named honorable mention All-State for the second time and being named to the All-Tournament team at the state tournament.
Amy Eckstein, Cathedral,
Eckstein ended her career by helping the Greyhounds take third place at the state tournament, leading the team with a .507 batting average. She had 34 hits, 16 RBI, a co-team-high nine doubles and scored 19 runs. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference for the second time and was named to the All-Tournament team at the state tournament.
Mandee Heiderscheidt, St. Mary's, Senior, SS
Heiderscheidt helped the Knights (18-6, 14-2 in conference play) earn co-champion honors in the Tomahawk Conference. She was a threat to steal every time she reached base, nabbing a whopping 20 bases this season. She batted for a team-high average of .394 with 28 hits and also earned 12 walks, while also scoring 22 runs, earning 23 RBI and hitting four doubles, three triples and one home run. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference and was also named the conference's Player of the Year. She also was named All-Section in Section 2A.
Jessica Kalenberg, BLHS, Senior, SS/P
Kalenberg hit for one of the highest averages in the Tomahawk Conference this year, batting .500 with 33 hits, which set a school record for hits in a season. She recorded 16 RBI and scored 14 runs. In the field her superior athleticism allowed her to make difficult plays look routine. She was named as the team's MVP and also received All-Conference honors.
Erin McDurmont, GFW,
McDurmont was a strong presence both in the circle and at the plate for the 13-8 Thunderbirds. She struck out 173 batters in 135 2/3 innings and allowed only 162 hits and 61 walks while compiling a 5.11 ERA. She notched 36 hits at the plate for a .462 average, adding seven doubles, four home runs, 23 RBI, 23 runs and seven stolen bases. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference.
Carlie Maasz, MVL,
Maasz was named as the Chargers' team MVP for the second straight year, giving the team a chance to win in every game with her dominant pitching. In her 130 innings pitched, she struck out 143 batters and showed great control by issuing only 18 walks.
She ended up with a 10-9 record and a 2.69 ERA. At the plate, she batted for a .260 average with 13 hits and 19 walks and in the field she had a .964 fielding percentage with 39 assists and 14 putouts. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference for the second-straight season and was also named All-Section in Section 2A for the second-straight year.
Karlee Pfaff, Cathedral, Sophomore, C
Pfaff led the Greyhounds with 26 RBI, batting for a .371 average overall with 33 hits. She also led the team with four home runs, recorded a co-team-high nine doubles and scored 22 runs. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference and was also named All-Section in Section 2A.
Breanna Ahlers, GFW, Junior, C
Ahlers was a constant presence on the bases for the Thunderbirds this season, recording 34 hits for a .523 batting average and also drawing 11 walks. While on base she successfully stole 11 bases and scored 18 runs. Ahlers didn't hit for power, but still drove in 23 runs. Ahlers threw out four baserunners from behind the plate and allowed only two passed balls during the regular season. She received honorable mention All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference.
Samantha Felt, Redwood Valley, Senior, P
Felt was a strikeout machine for the Cardinals during her career, with her 180 strikeouts this season in 152 innings pitched leaving her as the school's all-time leader in strikeouts with 556 strikeouts in 561 career innings. She ended the season with a 2.70 ERA and an 18-5 record, walking only 66 batters in the process. She also was no slouch at the plate, batting for a .278 average with 18 RBI, four doubles and two triples. She received All-Conference honors in the Southwest Conference and was also named second team All-State.
Paige Pautzke, Cathedral, Junior, 2B
Pautzke led the Section 2A champion Greyhounds (22-5) with 30 runs scored. She recorded a .407 batting average with 37 hits and 17 RBI, notching eight doubles and a triple. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference and was also named All-Section.
Anne Schwarz, Cathedral, Freshman, CF
Schwarz batted for a .464 average with 39 hits for the Greyhounds. She scored 26 runs, had 19 RBI and stole four bases. She received All-Conference honors in the Tomahawk Conference.
Kristen Forstner, New Ulm, Senior, C
A four-year starter for the Eagles (two at catcher), Forstner helped the Eagles win their first-ever state championship. Forstner batted for an average of .333 and recorded 31 hits, four doubles, one triple and 17 RBI. She reached base at a .476 clip and compiled a .970 fielding percentage. She received All-Conference honors in the South Central Conference.