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Tiger softball places six on All-Conference list

Andrew Brown - Sports Reporter
Six ADM softball stars earned All-Conference honors in Abbie Hlas, Brooke Hickey, Ailya Yanga, Brylee Person, Olivia Tollari, and Emily Kay. PHOTOS BY ANDREW BROWN/DALLAS COUNTY NEWS

It may not have ended in a strip to Fort Dodge, but the 2020 season for the ADM softball team was still pretty successful. In large part, that success came from several stars who earned All-Raccoon River Conference selections.

In total, there were six Tiger stars to earn such honors including first-team members Abbie Hlas and Brooke Hickey, second-team selections Aliya Yanga and Brylee Person, and honorable mention honorees Olivia Tollari and Emily Kay.

First Team:

Abbie Hlas has been no stranger to this list, nor a first-team selection for that matter. The future collegiate star made her third straight appearance on the first-team all-conference list and fourth overall in her career. Her 2020 campaign was another strong one in which she was a force both offensively and defensively. The senior posted a conference fifth-best mark of four home runs and continued to show her power with ten doubles on the season, another top-five mark. Hlas also showed patience at the plate with ten walks (fifth in the conference). Inside the circle Hlas was a workhorse, pitching 89 total innings on the season. While inside the circle, Hlas produced the fourth-best conference mark in strikeouts (63) while holding opposing bats to a mere .203 average, also fourth-best among conference pitchers.

“Abbie has been a good catalyst for us this season,” said head coach Jodi Doty earlier in the season. “As she goes we go. It’s great to have a talent like that on the field for you.”

Brooke Hickey was also worthy of taking home an all-conference selection. Hickey was second on the Tiger roster with a .380 batting average and an on-base mark of .456. Through 17 games played Hickey acquired 19 hits which included a trio of home runs. Hickey led the Tiger roster with 18 runs driven in on the year.

“Brooke is a good consistent hitter,” began Doty. “She has a great vision for the ball and is constantly thinking about the situation she’s in. Just a great team player overall.”

Second Team:

For the second straight season, Aliya Yanga has graced the all-conference team. This time she matched her second-team selection from last year with quite a season. There were a lot of similarities from Hlas to Yanga and that included inside the pitchers’ circle. Yanga ranked second in the conference by holding opposing bats to a mere .163 average all season. Through six total games pitched, the freshman gave up just 15 hits and six runs, both of which rank as the top stats in the conference field. Offensively, Yanga was a threat to all opposing pitchers hitting .333 while driving in eleven runs. Yanga also blasted eight extra-base hits including a pair of home runs. Yanga’s presence as just a freshman gives the ADM coaching staff a lot of excitement heading into the future.

“It is great knowing that Aliya will be here for years to come,” said Doty. “She’s such a strong presence in the batting order but it’s also comforting knowing that we have a very capable presence inside the circle as well.”

Also snagging a second-team spot was catcher Brylee Person. The freshman had a solid 2020 campaign which included 104 put-outs, second-most within the ADM roster. Person also touched up a .296 batting average through 17 games started this season. What stood out most about Person was her efficiency at the plate. Through those 17 games played she delivered on 16 hits and drove in 15 RBI, the third-best mark among Tiger batters. The freshman also totaled 23 bases on the year and was second on the team with seven doubles.

Honorable Mention:

The two honorable mention honorees for the Tigers included sophomore Olivia Tollari and senior Emily Kay. Tollari made a name for herself wielding a .952 fielding percentage and 21 assists. Through her 17 games played, Tollari has accumulated 17 hits with a pair of doubles and one home run for a .293 batting average. For Kay, her offensive presence was felt as well batting .357 with 15 hits and four RBI.

On top of that, Emily Hlas earned Academic All-State honors and Morgan Meyer earned the Wayne Cooley “You Can” award.