The honors just keep coming for Lorain County’s top softball players.
A day after being crowned mythical national champions by MaxPreps.com, two Keystone players head the list of five county players to earn All-Ohio first-team honors Wednesday from the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association.
Shortstop Erin Pond and pitcher Kenzie Conrad, both seniors, were named to the Division II first team for the state-champion Wildcats, while pitcher Caitlyn Minney and center fielder Alanna Williams of the state-qualifying Elyria Pioneers were honored in Division I. Black River pitcher Dagmar Smith was honored in Division III after helping the Pirates make it to the regional finals.
Pond became the third player in the illustrious history of the Keystone softball program to become a three-time All-Ohio selection, joining four-time All-Ohio player Kara Dill (2006-09) and Kristie Malinkey (2004-06). For Conrad, it was her second year on the All-Ohio team.
The Wildcats won the third state title in school history Saturday to complete a 32-0 season.
“I was pleased when I heard the news,” said Pond, who picked up the Lorain County Softball Coaches Association Player of the Year Award on Tuesday. “Kenzie and I were both happy, but no individual honors compare to what we accomplished as a team.
“When I was a freshman, I never really thought about how many times I could make an All-Ohio team, but I always tried to dream big and I’ve been blessed that many of those dreams have come true.”
Pond finished the season with a .509 batting average, nine home runs, 12 doubles and 47 RBIs. Conrad was a perfect 25-0 in the circle and hit .485 with a team leading 11 home runs, 14 doubles and 44 RBIs.
Williams, a senior, was the leadoff hitter on an Elyria team that advanced to the state tournament for the sixth time in seven years. She batted .461 and led the team with 41 hits. Minney, a junior, went 21-2 with a 1.37 ERA. She also struck out 171 batters in 143 innings.
Smith led the Pirates to the first district championship in school history and helped Black River advance to the regional championship game where they lost 1-0 to eventual Division III state champion Warren Champion. Despite missing 12 games with a back injury, Smith still struck out 142 hitters in 106 innings.
Earning second-team All-Ohio honors in Division I were Elyria junior Melanie Woodard, and a pair of Amherst Comets, senior pitcher Jennifer Sutton and junior infielder Katie Hoerig.
In Division II, Keystone’s Bri Buckley, a senior catcher, and Vermilion’s AuBree LaForce, a junior outfielder, were named to the second team. Wellington pitcher Olivia Wulfhoop, a senior pitcher, was a second-team selection in Division III.
“To have three girls who are named first or second team All-Ohio just speaks about the work ethic and commitment these young ladies have had through their careers,” Keystone coach Jim Piazza said. “I’m especially happy for Bri. She had a big game for us in the state championship game and although sometimes some of the other players get the most attention, Bri has really been the glue that held the team together.”
Honorable mention honors went to Amherst’s Taylor Muhic and Avon Lake’s Alexis Thomas in Division I, to Vermilion’s Kate-Lynn Urgo in Division II and to Columbia’s Emma Sullivan in Division III.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.