Along with a stellar season, the ADM softball Tigers will be receiving more accolades as five players have earned All-Raccoon River Conference honors.
The Tigers put two individuals on the first team, two on the second team, and one as an honorable mention. The Hlas sisters picked up the two first-team selections for ADM. Junior Emily Hlas played all 35 games and struck 29 hits which helped her to obtain seven RBI. Emily ended the season batting .322 while slugging .344. The junior ended up on the base paths quite often as her on-base percentage ended at .440.
Abbie Hlas has been one of the primary catalysts for the Tigers on both sides of the plate. The junior led the team and was seventh in the conference in runs batted in at 34. She was able to place tenth or better within the conference in doubles (14), triples (2), home runs (6), and walks (25).
“Abbie has been a big part of this team right from the get-go,” said Tiger head coach Jodi Doty. “She has really quick hands and knows how to really make her talents shine. She did that all season on a consistent level.”
ADM’s second-team selections included eighth-grader Aliya Yanga and senior Emily Hatchitt. In her first season at the varsity level, Hatchitt made her presence felt in a big way as she batted .367 with 29 total hits and eight runs driven in, all in the number nine spot in the batting order. Her talent actually led her to be strategically positioned in the batting order.
“No matter what I could always count on Emily to provide a quality at-bat for us,” said Doty. “Having her in the ninth spot not only provided another tough batter for the opposing pitcher to face, but she also acted as a second leadoff hitter. She’s been a great chemistry piece for this team all season and we’ll certainly miss her next season.”
As for the freshman phenom Yanga, her presence at the plate and inside the circle was also immediately felt. On an offensive note, the future freshman totaled 37 hits consisting of twelve doubles and one home run. Yanga batted .394 on the season through all 35 games played while also putting up one of the best on-base marks set by a freshman at ADM at .457 on the year. Inside the circle, Yanga has 12 appearances and was perfect in her record winning seven and losing none. Yanga compiled a resume that began with 84 strikeouts, and a 2.42 ERA all while limiting opponents to a .198 batting average against her. Her strength as a softball player was matched only by her love of the game and her passion for her teammates.
“Aliya has been great for me and my game as well as I have been good for her game,” began Abbie Hlas. “We’re always cheering each other on and I always knew I could be comfortable not pitching a game because she would be filling in.”
That’s high praise coming from Hlas, another individual who started her varsity playing days as a freshman.
“It’s got to be scary for opposing teams because she’s so good as an eighth-grader and coaches will have to face her for four more years yet. She’s extremely talented and I’m very happy to have met her.”
The honorable mention honoree for ADM was none other than eighth-grader Brylee Person. Person’s talents showcased well at the varsity level with 30 hits and four home runs through 34 games played this season. In her very first season as a varsity starter, Person slugged 22 RBI and averaged .278 at the plate.