Your Prep Sports
The Your Prep Sports area has a history of producing some of the top softball talent in the state.
With three area teams advancing to the state tournament in three different classes the Your Prep Sports area was once again home to some of the top teams and individual talent in the state in 2020.
The annual Your Prep Sports area softball team recognizes some of those best of those area players for their outstanding effort on the diamond during the season.
The fifth Your Prep Sports area squad features all-state and all-conference performers, Division I recruits, school record holders and state qualifiers.
This year’s 19-member team has nine repeat selections from a year ago including the first two ever five-time Your Prep Sports area squad members in City High senior Ayana Lindsey and West Branch senior Nicki Henson.
City High seniors Ella Cook and Carey Koenig are both appearing on the Your Prep Sports team for the fourth consecutive season while Solon sophomore Hilary Wilson is a three-time selection.
Liberty High’s Mischa Reiners and Kara Maiers, Clear Creek Amana’s Gabrielle Bedford and Regina senior Annie Gahan are all repeat picks from a year ago.
City High senior Ella Cook is the 2021 team captain after a stellar season in which she led the Little Hawks to the 5A state tournament posting a 18-4 record, 1.38 ERA and .87 WHIP.
A University of St. Thomas recruit, Cook also hit a team-high .441 with eight home runs and 59 RBI on her way to earn all-state honors for the second straight season.
The 2021 Your Prep Sports Area Softball Team
*P – Ella Cook, Sr., City High: A five-year varsity starter Cook emerged as one of the best all-around players in the state as a senior. A University of St. Thomas recruit, Cook went 18-4 with a 1.38 ERA and .87 WHIP and a single season school record 190 strikeouts in 131 2/3 innings while also hitting .441 with a team-high eight home runs, 59 RBI and .764 slugging percentage.
P – Ashley Webb, Soph., Clear Creek Amana: Among the biggest breakthrough stars in the state this season Webb posted a 19-7 record, 1.54 ERA and .80 WHIP in her first season as a full-time starter while striking out 199 in 181 2/3 innings while earning second team Class 4A all state honors by the IGCA.
P – Emma Nibaur, Jr., Regina: Nibaur emerged as one of the premier pitchers in Class 2A this season posting a 17-7 record with a 2.02 ERA and .96 WHIP while striking out 142 in 159 1/3 innings. The junior also hit .320 with two home runs, 15 RBI and a team-high 30 runs.
P – Kara Maiers, Sr. Liberty High: Even in an injury-shortened season Maiers was still among the best pitchers in the state posting a 7-3 record, 1.25 ERA and .96 WHIP while striking out 109 in 72 2/3 innings and earning second team Class 5A all state honors by the IGCA.
C – Carey Koenig, Sr., City High: One of the best defensive catchers in the state Koenig closed a brilliant five-year stretch as a .399 career hitter with 41 home runs and 222 RBI. A Drake recruit, Koenig hit .384 with eight home runs, 52 RBI and a team-high 22 walks as a senior.
C – Sarah Heick, Sr., Solon: Heick capped a strong career with a huge senior season in which she hit a team-high .589 and also led the Spartans in home runs (8), RBI (56), walks (14), on-base percentage (.613) and slugging-percentage (.952). A Kirkwood recruit, Heick was a first-team all-state pick in Class 3A.
INF – Ayana Lindsey, Sr., City High: One of the most uniquely talented players in the state Lindsey hit .348 with four home runs and 22 RBI and stole 55 bases as a senior while going 15-4 with a 1.46 ERA and .95 WHIP with 143 strikeouts in 115 innings. The Northwestern recruit closed her career with 233 hits, 38 home runs and 174 stolen bases and was a three-time first team all-state selection.
INF – Annie Gahan, Sr., Regina: A four-year starter and the Regals unquestioned leader Gahan hit .383 with a team-high three home runs and 24 RBI while helping the Regals return to the state tournament for the first time since 2018.
INF – Hilary Wilson, Soph., Solon: One of the best pure hitters in the state Wilson hit safely in 35 of 39 games this season and had 26 multi-hit games on her way to hitting a career-high .548 and ranking second in the state with 80 hits. Wilson had 28 extra-base hits, seven home runs, 47 RBI and scored 65 runs while earning first team all-state honors for the first time.
INF – Gabrielle Bedford, Sr., Clear Creek Amana: A stalwart in the Clipper lineup since her freshman season Bedford was at her best as a senior hitting .411 while leading the Clippers with 19 extra-base hits, six home runs, 40 RBI and a .710 slugging percentage.
INF – Camryn Keith, Jr. Solon: A part-time starter in 2020, Keith was among the biggest breakthrough stars of the season hitting .515 with a team-high eight home runs and 55 RBI while striking out just three times in 132 at bats.
INF – Liv Williams, Sr., West High: A first-team all-MVC Valley Division selection, Williams led West High a .387 batting average and had 10 doubles, 24 RBI and 14 walks while earning 5A third team all-state honors from the IGCA.
OF – Ella Nelson, Soph., West High: A starter as an eighth-grader, Nelson had her best season yet as a sophomore hitting .372 while leading the Trojans in hits (45), runs (34) and stolen bases (20).
OF – Nicki Henson, Sr., West Branch: One of the best to ever wear a West Branch uniform Henson capped a stellar prep career by hitting a career-best .570 while leading the Bears in hits (65) and runs (39) for the fifth consecutive season. A career .492 hitter, Henson finished with 246 hits, 124 stolen bases and 163 runs in her five-year career.
OF – Bailey Olerich, Jr., Clear Creek Amana: In her second season as a full-time starter Olerich emerged as one of the top leadoff hitters in Class 4A leading the Clippers with a .467 batting average, .504 on-base percentage and 35 stolen bases while scoring 37 runs and driving in 17 runs.
OF – Lianna Hull, 8th, City High: Hull emerged as a major threat at the top of the City High lineup in her first varsity season hitting a team-leading .504 with 50 runs, 31 RBI and 35 stolen bases.
UTIL – Kennedy Daugherty, Soph., Liberty High: A true utility player Daugherty did it all during a breakthrough season batting .395 while leading the Lightning with 30 runs, 18 doubles and 36 RBI and also posting a 5-3 record in nine starters while pitching 45 2/3 innings.
UTIL – Courtney Kessler, Soph., Regina: One of the most productive hitters in the state Kessler enjoyed a breakthrough sophomore season that saw the Regina catcher lead the state with a .641 batting average. Kessler had 13 extra-base hits including three home runs and drove in a team-leading 27 runs while failing to strike out in 64 at bats.
UTIL – Mischa Reiners, Fr., Liberty High: An injury cut into the production for Reiners but the freshman still put up big numbers hitting .429 with 12 extra-base hits, 12 RBI and 12 walks in 77 at bats.
* – Denotes Team Captain