Despite an abrupt ending to the 2019 season, the conference accolades roll on as eight Van Meter softball stars earned All-West Central Activities Conference honors over the weekend.
Four Bulldogs earned first-team status while two earned second-team honors with two more earning honorable mention honors. The first team selections included Haley Forret who entered as a pitcher. Forret was a consistent pitcher who tossed 36 strikeouts on the season and was quite efficient averaging nearly two strikeouts per inning. The senior held opponents to a mere .261 batting average against her.
“Haley has been the overall player that any coach would be lucky to have,” said head coach James Flaws. “She’s also been a great leader for Macy Blomgren in terms of how to pitch at the varsity level. She’s been a real big help this season.”
Another first-team selection came in the form of four-year star Meagan Blomgren. The soon to be Simpson star was a dominant force inside the conference, ending up fifth or better in over six categories including doubles (17), overall hits (60), RBI (44), and triples which she paced the entire conference with nine on the year. Blomgren was once again a pillar of consistency within the Bulldog dugout and was a very big help for coach Flaws.
“Having a player like Meagan around has been phenomenal the past four years,” began Flaws. “She’s helped the team out from both a mental and a physical aspect, something that’s extremely helpful for a team. Extremely quick and very fast, two aspects that can take a person very far in the world of softball.”
Because of her speed, Meagan was able to swipe 30 bases out of 33 stolen base attempts, the best mark inside the West Central Activities Conference.
Joining Meagan on the first team is sister Mackenzie Blomgren in the outfield. The fellow Simpson recruit has been just as effective this season batting .385 with 26 runs driven in. Mackenzie had 37 total hits during her senior campaign which included five doubles and five triples. Despite how effective her bat was, it was her skills in the outfield that had coach Flaws most excited.
“Mackenzie can cover a lot of ground in the outfield and it doesn’t take much time which amazes me to this day,” said Flaws. “She’s very skilled at picking up the ball off the bat which has made it difficult for teams hitting to center field all season.”
The fourth and final entry into the first team for Van Meter was Abby Archer who entered as a utility player. Despite that, Archer was a vacuum behind the plate as a catcher and recorded a team-best 178 put outs on the season. Archer struck for 40 total hits during the season including 14 doubles and a pair of home runs. The senior batted .412 in her farewell campaign and suffered just 12 strikeouts through 36 games played. It was a strong year for Archer and one she’ll never forget.
“This season has been unforgettable,” said Archer. “To win the conference again and to have the success that we’re having in my senior season is huge. It’s been so fun because I’m with these girls even when we’re not at practices or games. They are all my friends and to have such success on the field with my friends is something I’ll never forget.”
Moving on to the second team selections for Van Meter, Shea Rhodes earned a spot as an infielder. As just a freshman, Rhodes batted .389 on the season and drove in 17 runs. She is joined by outfielder Bailey Harding who also earned 17 RBI’s on the season to go along with batting .359 through 35 games played.
There were also two Bulldogs named the honorable mention list including sophomore Molly Blomgren and senior Gwen Boston.