Many awards for much-improved softball team

Chad Smith

The Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland softball team recently finished up an 11-win season, a significant step up from last year’s three wins. The team voted on several awards, including the Most Valuable Player Award. Three players won spots on the all-conference teams and one was named all-section.

Team awards:

Most Valuable Player – Two players were voted by teammates as co-Most Valuable Players. Seniors Liz Jacobson and Masie Voigt share this year’s award and head coach John Fenske said they’re both deserving.

“Liz (Jacobson) has been our catcher since eighth grade,” Fenske said. “Masie (Voigt) came in and took over third base last year. She only had three errors at third base this season, which is really hard to do with all the bunting that people do in her direction. They were both really dedicated to the softball team this season.”

Most Improved – Kylie Fenton-Musel went from a little-used substitute last year to the Most Improved Player on the team this season. Fenske said she really deserved it because Fenton-Musel stepped up her game this spring.

“She earned her spot at first base this season,” he said. “Kylie was a hitting machine throughout the year. She had a huge grand slam against Minneapolis South. We weren’t playing well and getting beat when their pitcher walked the bases loaded and Kylie put one way over the fence. She just kept getting better all year.”

Best Defensive Player – This award went to Lily Hughes for her work on the mound. Fenske said the sophomore was always around the strike zone and threw the ball hard.

“She broke the season record for strikeouts this spring,” he said. “Lily was so close to averaging double-figures in strikeouts as she finished with an average around 9.8 per game. She’s only a sophomore and will only get better.”

Best Offensive Player – Zoe Scrabeck was this year’s winner as she flat-out hit the ball hard, leading the team in batting average at .380. Only a sophomore, she reached base nearly half the time she stepped to the plate, finishing with an on-base percentage of .475.

“Zoe’s not afraid to swing the bat,” Fenske said. “It really didn’t matter how hard the pitcher was throwing either as she can turn on a fastball really well.”

Team Leader Award – Masie Voigt

Miss Hustle Award – Liz Jacobson

All-Conference awards

Liz Jacobson and Masie Voigt were both named to the All-Southeast Conference first team. Lily Hughes was chosen All-SEC Honorable Mention.

All-Section award:

Liz Jacobson was chosen as an All-Section softball player by a vote of section coaches.

Season recap

“We had a really good spring,” Fenske said. “It was a nice turnaround from the year before. We’d graduated a whole bunch of players the year before so last spring was all about rebuilding.

“We dropped four-straight games at the end of this season, and we were kind of our own worst enemy because of fielding errors,” he recalled. “However, the girls still played really well. Spring sports are especially challenging when you have three schools making up the team. That means you have three different senior trips, three different proms, and things like that. They battled through and played well this season.”

The team will say goodbye to four seniors, all of whom played significant roles on the team. Those seniors are Liz Jacobson, Masie Voigt, Kylie Fenton-Musel, and Sydney Eickoff. The Bulldogs will be young again next spring as they won’t have a senior on the roster (no juniors out this spring).

“A lot of freshmen and sophomores will have to carry the team next year,” Fenske added.