There are many ways to measure a hitter’s success, but one perhaps breaks it down into its simplest form.
On-base percentage — how often the batter reaches base relative to the number of times he or she walks to the plate.
Among the many ways they shined for their teams, nobody in their respective classes reached base more often than juniors Alexis Handel of Atlantic and Kylan Straight of Logan-Magnolia. That’s one reason they are honorary captains of The World-Herald’s All-Western Iowa teams.
Handel, who has committed to Division I UMKC, leads the Class 5-A/4-A/3-A All-WI teams. A 6-foot-1, power-hitting third baseman, she led 3-A in home runs (17) and on-base percentage (.629) and was second in slugging percentage (1.105). She also batted .509 with 13 doubles for the 32-9 Trojans, who were denied a return trip to state by West Marshall.
“What I’m most proud of Alexis is that she used the entire field,” Atlantic coach Terry Hinzmann told radio station KSOM-FM. “Most teams tried to pitch her on the outside half. She just took it the other way, and if it didn’t go over the fence it was up against the wall.”
Straight, the 2-A/1-A captain, likewise was a nightmare for opponents trying to send her back to the dugout. She led 2-A in on-base percentage (.607) and ranked third with a .539 batting average.
Straight added 10 doubles, five triples and 24 RBIs along with a Western Iowa Conference-leading 36 stolen bases in 41 attempts. She ranked third in the conference in slugging percentage (.739) and also was an outstanding shortstop. Logan-Magnolia finished 32-5 and reached its third straight state tournament, placing sixth.
Glenwood senior Sara Ingoldsby and IKM-Manning junior Peyton Gross became four-time first-team All-WI performers. Straight joins senior teammate Jenna Peschel and Sioux City Heelan senior Lexie Stolen as three-time first-team All-WI choices.
Senior Paige McElfish of Nodaway Valley and junior Megan Wilson of Logan-Magnolia are on the 2-A/1-A first team for a second straight year after earning second-team honors in 2015. Four others are repeat first-team selections: Handel and fellow juniors Ally Anderson of Atlantic, Ellie Cropley of Sioux City Heelan and Ashtyn Miller of Council Bluffs Lewis Central.
Seven more made the jump from last year’s second team to this year’s first unit: Carroll Kuemper’s Kalee Peter, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln’s Kalyn Damgaard and Denison-Schleswig’s Sarah Heilesen in 5-A/4-A/3-A, along with Treynor’s Madelyn Deitchler and Sydni Huisman, Exira-EHK’s Sophia Peppers and Stanton’s Chelsea Weis in 2-A/1-A.
The teams were chosen from ballots returned by western Iowa coaches, observations of World-Herald staff writers and analyzing season stats.
All-Western Iowa softball teams
P Ally Anderson, Atlantic, Jr.
P Ashtyn Miller, CB Lewis Central, Jr.
C Teayanna Leytham, CB Thomas Jefferson, Sr.
C Alex Mohr, Denison-Schleswig, So.
IF Alexis Handel, Atlantic, Jr.
IF Logan Hughes, Shenandoah, So.
IF Josie Shudak, CB Lewis Central, Jr.
IF Lexie Stolen, Sioux City Heelan, Sr.
OF Ellie Cropley, Sioux City Heelan, Jr.
OF Kalyn Damgaard, CB Abraham Lincoln, Sr.
OF Sara Ingoldsby, Glenwood, Sr.
UT Kamryn Buntrock, Red Oak, So.
UT Sarah Heilesen, Denison-Schleswig, So.
UT Kalee Peter, Carroll Kuemper, Jr.
Honorary captain: Handel, Atlantic
P Lexi Ricke, Sioux City Heelan, Sr.
P Bradee Bouman, Sgt. Bluff-Luton, Jr.
C Gabby Martinez, CB Lewis Central, Jr.
C Aubrey Wolf, Sioux City Heelan, Jr.
IF Hailey Hoogers, Sioux City North, So.
IF Baylee Newell, Atlantic, So.
IF Katlynn Tucker, Sioux City East, Fr.
IF Merrin VanVelzen, Sgt. Bluff-Luton, Sr.
OF Kami Schlag, Sgt. Bluff-Luton, Sr.
OF Brielle Smith, Glenwood, So.
UT Chloe Hagle, Creston, Jr.
UT Chloe Johnson, Red Oak, Fr.
UT Morgan Schaben, Harlan, So.
UT Kayla Venner, Carroll Kuemper, So.
P Abbie Carlson, Logan-Magnolia, Jr.
P Peyton Gross, IKM-Manning, Jr.
P Sydni Huisman, Treynor, So.
C Madelyn Deitchler, Treynor, Jr.
C Chelsea Weis, Stanton, Sr.
IF Kylan Straight, Logan-Magnolia, Jr.
IF Sophia Peppers, Exira-EHK, Jr.
IF Jenna Peschel, Logan-Magnolia, Sr.
IF Megan Wilson, Logan-Magnolia, Jr.
OF Kenzie Cunard, Logan-Magnolia, Jr.
OF Kaylee Finnegan, Treynor, Jr.
OF Clara Schaaf, Fremont-Mills, Jr.
UT Jade Hays, Coon Rapids-Bayard, Jr.
UT Lexi Lander, West Monona, Fr.
UT Paige McElfish, Nodaway Valley, Sr.
Honorary captain: Straight, Logan-Magnolia
P Paige Livermore, Missouri Valley, Jr.
P Maggie Rasmussen, Exira-EHK, Sr.
P TJ Stoaks, Lenox, 8th
C Shantelle Brown, Lenox, Sr.
C Mandy Meseck, Charter Oak-Ute, Sr.
IF Holly Handlos, Glidden-Ralston, Sr.
IF Maryn Phillips, Sidney, Sr.
IF Payton Sporrer, IKM-Manning, Jr.
IF Madison Whitver, Glidden-Ralston, Sr.
OF Emma Bonnet, Underwood, Sr.
OF Ally Focht, Stanton, Sr.
OF Talia Schon, Glidden-Ralston, Fr.
UT Kenedee Bubke, Maple Valley-AO, Fr.
UT Grace Reineke, Boyer Valley, Jr.
UT Rachel Riker, CAM, Sr.
Class 5-A/4-A/3-A: Sydney Biermann, Glenwood; Alea Binkly, CB Lewis Central; Kaylie Briggs, Harlan; Josie Clay, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; Kylee Connell, Shenandoah; Alyssa Derby, Atlantic; Kylee Eickholt, Sioux City North; Markee Gruis, Sioux City East; Tori Herrig, Denison-Schleswig; Chasity Johnson, Sioux City East; Courtney Klocke, Carroll Kuemper; Katelyn Lawler, Sioux City Heelan; Catherine Leonard, Atlantic; Jenna Midkiff, CB Thomas Jefferson; Madelyn Mogensen, Sergeant Bluff-Luton; Ashley Onken, Carroll; Saige Rice, Creston; Gabbie Schweigert, Sioux City North; Alley Self, Sioux City East; Sydney Streicher, Red Oak; Brooklyn Taylor, Glenwood; Mickael Tschirren, Sioux City West; Cecelia Yale, CB Thomas Jefferson.
Class 2-A/1-A: Addie Bardon, CB St. Albert; Samantha Brich, Tri-Center; Josie Clarke, Nodaway Valley; Hannah Collins, Missouri Valley; Alexis Cook, Missouri Valley; Zena Courtier, East Mills; Taylor Croghan, IKM-Manning; Ellie Dotzler, OA-BCIG; Paige Gaskill, IKM-Manning; Dani Gochenour, Logan-Magnolia; Mallory McCall, West Monona; Camryn McClintock, Sidney; Katelyn Mullin, Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto; Kealey Nelson, Exira-EHK; Allison Reicks, Riverside; Cheyanne Rife, West Harrison; Makinna Russell, Bedford; Kaitlin Schultes, Audubon; Lauren Shapcott, Underwood; Brittney Shumate, Boyer Valley; Ericka Stender, CAM; Jacy Stoaks, Lenox; McKenna Waffle, Treynor; Rachel Walker, Exira-EHK; Sydney Zimmerman, AHSTW.