September 21, 2014

Elyria
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Playing their parts to perfection: Elyria High’s role players have been key to another successful season

There are three more Lorain County softball pitchers who can add the words first-team All-Ohio to their impressive list of accomplishments.

Minney

Minney

Wennerberg

Wennerberg

Kaya

Kaya

Elyria senior Caitlyn Minney and Avon Lake senior Annie Wennerberg were named first-team in Division I by the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association, while Clearview junior Sarah Kaya made it in Division II.

Minney, whose Pioneers will play in the Division I state semifinals Thursday at 12:30 p.m. against Mason, can still add to her 21-3 record and 207 strikeouts. In her two seasons in an Elyria uniform, Minney has compiled a 45-5 record with 378 strikeouts. This is the second consecutive season Minney, a Youngstown State recruit, picked up first-team All-Ohio honors.

Wennerberg was one of nine seniors who helped guide the Shoregals to a 25-2 record, a Southwestern Conference co-championship and No. 4 ranking in the final state coaches poll. She finished the year with a 21-2 record and 219 strikeouts.

“Annie was so important to our team this year,” Shoregals coach Buzz Mullen said. “She gave 100 percent every time she stepped in the pitchers circle. She was a great student-athlete, a super hard worker and one of the best pitchers I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”

Wennerberg said that although All-Ohio is an individual honor, she could not have put up the numbers she did without the help of her teammates.

“I have to give a lot of credit to Abby Rogers, my catcher this year, and all of my teammates that helped make this an incredible senior season,” Wennerberg said. “I wasn’t expecting to make first-team All-Ohio but it’s really rewarding to have all of your hard work recognized.”

Kaya, who finished the year with a deceiving 14-11 record, had an earned run average under 2.00 and is closing in on 800 career strikeouts.

Avon Lake and Elyria were also represented on the Division I second team thanks to Pioneers catcher Haley Looney and Shoregals third baseman Alexis Thomas. Thomas tied with Wennerberg for the Avon Lake team lead in home runs with eight. Looney has a .367 batting average and is tied for the team lead with 14 extra-base hits.

Although Keystone’s season ended uncharacteristically early with a loss in the district semifinals, the Wildcats still managed to place a pair of players, junior first baseman Carleigh Herrington and freshman catcher Destiny Weber, on the Division II second team.

Columbia’s Emma Sullivan and Black River’s Dagmar Smith made the Division III second team, the second year in a row they’ve earned All-Ohio honors.

Sullivan is hitting .466 with 13 doubles and 34 RBIs heading into the Raiders’ state semifinal game Friday at 12:30 p.m. against Columbus Bishop Ready. Sullivan has hit over .400 the past three seasons.

Smith did everything for the Pirates this year, leading the team in hitting with a .486 average and striking out 233 batters in 140 innings.

North Ridgeville senior Jenna Yost and Midview junior and Cleveland State recruit Amanda Beursken made honorable mention in Division I.

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.