MVP Arneson among five softball Cougar honorees

By : 
News Leader

The team Most Valuable Player was the late Avery Arneson as the Mabel-Canton softball team handed out its annual postseason awards last week. Senior Miranda Cox was voted the Team Player Award while the Hardest Worker Award went to two players, Maddy Michels and Harley McCabe. Jordyn Newgard was chosen as the Most Improved for the softball season.

Arneson (MVP)

Arneson, along with her sister, Aiden, both passed away in a car accident back in February. Avery was chosen as the team MVP posthumously, and as Cougar coach Kati Bergey announced the winner, she said it was well-deserved.

“This is the first time in 10 years that the voting was all but unanimous,” Bergey said. “Our MVP is someone who was well-loved by her teammates, friends and her family. She was not only a great athlete but a great friend as well.”

Cox (Team Player)

“The Team Player Award goes to someone who does whatever the team needs her to do,” Bergey said during her remarks. “This season, that player is Miranda Cox.”

Most of her playing time came either in right field or as a pinch runner. Bergey said Cox, one of three seniors on the team, was always there to support her teammates and ready to step in when she was needed and didn’t complain.

“She has a great attitude and works very hard,” Bergey added. “She started softball just last season but has really improved her play and learned a lot about the game.”

When she was inserted into the game, Cox contributed. She scored 17 runs on the season despite getting only 13 official at-bats (four hits, .308 average). Cox drew three walks and stole two bases this season.


“This season, we have two girls that earned this award,” Bergey said. "They both work very hard on and off the field and put their time in."


The senior pitcher and three-year letter winner pitched in 103 of the season’s 135 innings, finishing with a solid 12-7 win-loss record. She was equally effective at the plate, leading M-C batters with an on-base percentage of .507, which means every other time she got to the plate she was able to get on base. McCabe finished with the third-best batting average at .393 and second-most walks (12).

“Harley works really hard in the weight room and has high expectations of herself,” Bergey added. “Offensively, she really came up big for us, especially at the end of the season. Pitching-wise, it could have been easy to get frustrated during the stretches where she wasn’t getting the ball-and-strike calls or fielding errors forced her to throw more pitches, but she really got stronger as each game went on.”


The junior catcher and four-year letter winner had some pop at the plate, leading Mabel-Canton with 16 extra-base hits, including three home runs. She had the second-highest batting average on the team (.414) and the second-highest number of hits (29). Michels had the second-highest on-base percentage at .500 while finishing third with 21 RBIs.

“Maddy played catcher this season and worked very hard at it,” Bergey said. “Not a lot of runners tried to steal on her because she has the kind of arm that could throw them out. Offensively, she hit the ball really well. After a slump toward the end of the season, she got back into the batting cage and worked it out, finishing the season strong.”

Newgard (Most Improved)

Bergey said this award went to a girl who wasn’t even sure about playing softball this year but made the right decision to come out for the team and take part. The first-year letter winner started in right field for the 2018 Cougars and occasionally saw some time at first base.

“Jordyn played for us when she was younger,” Bergey recalled, “but then, let say she ‘took a little break.’ It took a little convincing, in which I basically said I was signing her and she would be at the meeting. I think if you were to ask her, she’s pretty glad I was so ‘persuasive.’ She worked incredibly hard for us and had a great attitude.”

Newgard, a freshman outfielder/first baseman, had a solid season at the plate, batting .322 with 14 RBIs, 16 runs scored and seven stolen bases.