BROOKE WYDERSKI, Marist, DH, Jr.
• The area’s most explosive offensive player, Wyderski led the Lady RedHawks in almost every important offensive category while providing solid infield defense. She batted .587 with an on-base percentage of .621 and slugging percentage of 1.025. Wyderski racked up 71 hits in 36 games, slugged 12 homers and 11 doubles, totaled 64 RBI, scored 50 more runs herself, stole 22 bases and fanned just three times in 121 at-bats. Defensively, she was charged with only nine errors in 148 chances and credited with 75 putouts. Wyderski, an All-East Suburban Catholic Conference selection, has verbally committed to Loyola University.
STEPHANIE BRAND, Shepard, P, Jr.
• A big part of the Lady Astros’ successful 2013 season, Brand went 13-5 in the circle with 81 strikeouts and a 3.88 earned-run average in 120 innings. She issued only six free passes over that same span, and two of Brand’s losses came by one run. She also shone at the plate, where she batted .387 with 33 singles, 23 runs and 15 RBI. Brand threw a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts against Eisenhower and notched a pitching victory over Richards while also slugging a two-run homer.
FRANCHESCA GRAFFEO, Shepard, INF, Sr.
• The St. Xavier University-bound Graffeo was both a defensive anchor and big-time offensive threat for the Lady Astros. She batted .476 with 49 hits, 17 doubles, 39 runs, 38 RBI and 21 walks in 2013, and finished her career with a .400 average, 70 runs, 69 RBI, 44 doubles and a .892 fielding percentage. An All-South Suburban Conference Red pick each of the past two seasons, Graffeo has been selected to represent the U.S. National Prospect team and play in Italy as a United State ambassador. Shepard’s Female Athlete of the Year also boasted a 3.9 grade-point average. Single-game highlights included a 5-for-5 display versus Richards, a 4-for-4 effort against Queen of Peace, and hitting for the cycle while going 5-for-6 with six RBI and five runs versus Oak Lawn.
DEVINA GUITIERREZ, Chicago Christian, P, Fr.
• In her inaugural prep season, Gutierrez immediately became a stabilizing force for the Lady Knights as she compiled a 19-9 record and 3.12 ERA in 170 1/3 innings pitched, struck out 156 and walked just 43. During one week in April, Gutierrez went 4-0 while averaging 10 strikeouts per contest and did not give up any free passes in the final three games. She also fanned 13 in a win over Rosary. Offensively, Gutierrez batted .398 with 22 RBI and was a perfect 11-of-11 in stolen bases. Single-game hitting highlights included a 4-for-4, four-RBI effort against Walther Lutheran and a three-hit, four-RBI showing in Chicago Christian’s regional-championship triumph over Illiana Christian.
SARAH HEROLD, Sandburg, P, Sr.
• One of the big reasons for Sandburg’s berth in the Class 4A Elite Eight, Herold posted 13 wins, whiffed 166 batters and finished with a 3.53 ERA. Her finest displays in the circle included an 11-strikeout one-hitter versus Bolingbrook and 12-strikeout, four-hit outing against Plainfield East. Herold was also a capable offensive player, as evidenced by her three-hit, three-RBI, three-run performance opposite Homewood-Flossmoor.
CANDICE KOCH, Sandburg, INF, Sr.
• Providing vital offense and solid defense for the supersectional-qualifying Lady Eagles, Koch’s contributions were invaluable. She hit .405 with a .449 on-base percentage, 38 RBI, 20 doubles, five homers and a .922 fielding percentage. Her 4-for-4 performance that included two doubles and three RBI helped Sandburg defeat Oak Forest, and Koch also produced memorable outings in wins over Lincoln-Way East (two homers, four RBI) and Lake Park (game-winning three-run homer in the ninth inning).
KATIE KRZUS, Sandburg, OF, So.
• After playing shortstop on the Lady Eagles freshman team, Krzus made a successful adjustment to left field and helped Sandburg post a 24-15 record, plus gain regional and sectional championships. She finished with a .385 average, 41 RBI, nine homers, a .446 on-base percentage and .959 fielding percentage. Among Krzus’ top individual performances was a three-hit, five-RBI, four-run exhibition versus Joliet Central.
HALEY RICHY, Marist, INF, Sr.
• Committed to St. Ambrose University, Richy was stellar on both offense and defense for the 27-10 Lady RedHawks. She batted .336 with 39 hits, 33 RBI, four homers and a .483 slugging percentage. Richy also registered 191 putouts while making only three errors, which translated into a crisp .985 fielding percentage.
BETHANY SALAZAR, Evergreen Park, OF, Fr.
• One of the area’s rising young players, Salazar played a huge part in the Lady Mustangs’ 14-13 season that included the winning of a regional title. Evergreen Park’s leadoff hitter batted .572 with 37 RBI, 26 runs, 12 doubles and eight homers. Salazar also spent some time at first base and as a pitcher. Notable offensive moments included a three-hit, three-RBI effort in the Lady Mustangs’ 10-9 victory over Lincoln-Way West and a 3-for-3, one-RBI performance in a win over Mt. Assisi that sealed Evergreen’s regional championship.
DOMINIQUE TANCHEZ, Shepard, C, Sr.
• Following a less-than-stellar junior season after transferring to Shepard from Eisenhower, Tanchez convincingly showed what she was capable of for the 23-9 Lady Astros with her bat and behind the dish. She finished with a hefty .513 batting average and delivered several game-winning hits. Tanchez swatted six homers and nine doubles, drove in 39 runs and tallied 18 herself. The Millikin University-bound catcher carefully guided starting pitchers Stephanie Brand and Melissa Kelly while throwing out 15 would-be base stealers and allowing just three passed balls. Tanchez belted a pair of homers against Oak Lawn during the season and had four RBI in Shepard’s regional victory over Kennedy.
SARA TOBIN, Richards, OF, Jr.
• A potent leadoff hitter for the Lady Bulldogs, Tobin recorded 14 multiple-hit games and finished with an SSC Red-leading .416 average. Other notable numbers included a .443 on-base percentage, 35 hits, 36 runs, 19 RBI, 10 stolen bases and only five strikeouts in 101 at-bats. Richards’ team captain and SSC Red Player of the Year runner-up went 5-for-5 against Shepard to ensure the Lady Bulldogs of at least a conference championship share and then scored three runs in a win over Evergreen Park that nailed down Richards’ third consecutive outright crown. Tobin handled 34 fielding chances without a single miscue and did not give up an earned run in three innings of pitching. To round out her impressive resume, Tobin carried a GPA significantly above 4.0.
STEPHANIE WALLER, Richards, P, Sr.
* A solid mound presence for the Lady Bulldogs, Waller posted an 11-8 record with a 2.87 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 119 2/3 innings. She fired two no-hitters against Reavis. Waller, an All-SSC Red selection, will attend the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on a softball scholarship.
EMILY WETZEL, Richards, INF, So.
• Securing All-SSC Red honors for the second year a row, Wetzel was an offensive igniter for the 20-10 Lady Bulldogs as she paced them in triples (five) while ranking second in average (.409), RBI (28) and doubles (11). Academically, she was named an NCFS Scholar Athlete for the second time by maintaining a GPA above 3.5. Wetzel had two hits and two RBI for Richards in a regular-season meeting with eventual Class 3A state champion Tinley Park.
JESSICA ALBERTS, Mother McAuley, P, Jr.
• A solid hurler and major part of the Mighty Macs’ 19-6 season, Albert came up big in many key games. She struck out nine in a 12-1 victory over Regina, threw a three-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 2-0 triumph over Loyola Academy, went the distance in defeating Marian Catholic and fanned seven in a regional win over Washington.
MEGAN BUSH, Mother McAuley, OF, Sr.
• A strong offensive threat for the Mighty Macs, Bush finished with a .453 average, .517 on-base percentage and .679 slugging percentage. She drove in 16 runs and racked up nine doubles. One of Bush’s better games was against Trinity, which was victimized for three hits and two RBI.
KATIE CAULFIELD, Marist, INF, Sr.
• The Illinois Wesleyan University recruit batted .356 while whiffing just seven times in 118 at-bats. Caulfield collected 42 hits — including 12 doubles and two homers — scored 24 runs, drove in 20 and amassed a .508 slugging percentage. On defense, she was charged with just six errors in 101 chances, giving her a healthy .941 fielding percentage. Caulfield recorded four-hit performances versus both Oak Forest and Conant.
TERRI DEARTH, Mt. Assisi, P, Jr.
• Dearth pitched in eight games and posted a 4-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio (40-10) while leading the Screeching Eagles to a regional-championship contest. She yielded just one homer all season. In addition, Dearth set up behind the plate five times and made 31 putouts. On offense, she batted .460 with respective on-base and slugging percentages of .480 and .553.
ELLIE FORKIN, Sandburg, C, Sr.
• Demonstrating leadership ability, Forkin took to that role naturally and played a big part in the Lady Eagles’ run to the Class 4A Elite Eight. She batted .410 with five homers, 28 RBI and a .480 on-base percentage, and finished with a .988 fielding percentage while handling Sarah Herold and the Sandburg pitching staff. Forkin had her biggest games against Homewood Flossmoor (two two-run homers) and Lincoln-Way Central (3-for-4 with a homer in one contest, a two-run homer in another one).
MEGAN GLYNN, Chicago Christian, DH, Sr.
• Glynn provided solid offense and defense for the regional-champion Lady Knights, for whom she hit a team-best .488 with 10 doubles, 24 RBI and a .607 slugging percentage. Her RBI total was the second-highest amount among Chicago Christian players. Glynn had two hits and four RBI in the Lady Knights’ title-clinching regional win over Illiana Christian and went 3-for-4 with three RBI versus Reavis in another contest.
BREANNA KAMINSKI, Richards, INF, Sr.
• An All-SSC Red choice for the second straight year, Kaminski batted .348 for the Lady Bulldogs and led them with 31 RBI and two homers. She also clubbed nine doubles. Game highlights included a 4-for-4 showing against T.F. South, three hits with a homer and four RBI versus Riverside-Brookfield, and a go-ahead two-run dinger in what became a victory over Shepard.
MADISON NAUJOKAS, Marist, INF, Fr.
• Posting numbers often reserved for upperclassmen, Naujokas excelled both offensively and defensive for the Lady RedHawks. She batted .394 and fanned only nine times in 99 at-bats while collecting 39 hits, including 10 of the extra-base variety. Naujokas scored 25 runs, drove in 14, compiled a slugging percentage of .545 and was 11-of-12 in stolen bases. On defense, she racked up 76 putouts and 73 assists with just two errors for a .987 fielding percentage.
VICTORIA NEMEC, Richards, P, Jr.
• A big plus for the Lady Bulldogs’ pitching corps, Nemec went 9-2 while throwing only 79 innings. She struck out 55 batters over that stretch and logged a sparkling 1.98 ERA.
MOLLY POHRBNY, Richards, C/DH, Jr.
• An All-SSC Red selection for the past two seasons, Pohrbny batted .375 with 20 RBI, a team-high 14 doubles and .568 slugging percentage. She went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBI against Shepard, and drove in the go-ahead run against Evergreen Park that sealed a third consecutive outright conference title for Richards.
ASHLEY QUINLAN, Chicago Christian, INF, Sr.
• One of the Lady Knights’ primary offensive weapons, Quinlan finished third on the squad with a .394 average. A team-best four homers were featured among her 39 hits, and she drove in 29 runs while amassing a .576 slugging percentage. Quinlan went 3-for-5 with three RBI in a Chicago Christian victory over Marian Central and 3-for-5 with four RBI against Timothy Christian.
JASMINE RAMIREZ, Queen of Peace, OF, Sr.
• A standout player for the Pride, Ramirez batted .380 with a .417 on-base percentage and.658 slugging percentage in 25 games. She belted eight doubles and four homers, knocked in 19 runs, tallied 17 and struck out only 11 times in 79 at-bats. High points this season included swatting a three-run homer against Immaculate Conception and producing four RBI versus Regina. She also went deep in that latter game.
MADDIE VOJACEK, Evergreen Park, P, Fr.
• Vojacek arrived in midseason and played a big part in the Lady Mustangs’ playoff run. Appearing in five games, she won four of them, her only defeat coming against eventual conference champ Richards, which managed just two earned runs and five hits over seven innings. In all, Vojacek threw 34 innings, fanned 22, walked nine and posted a 1.43 ERA.
THERESA KRAISS, Chicago Christian
KAYCEE PITMANN, Chicago Christian
JENNA HASSE, Evergreen Park
KAITLYN KENNY, Marist
ERICA NAGEL, Marist
JULIE TRELLICOSO, Marist
BROOKE WILSON, Marist
ALEX BROWN, Mother McAuley
RACHEL BURBA, Oak Lawn
CASEY KODATT, Queen of Peace
JOEY CROCKETT, Stagg
BRIANA MINET, Stagg
COACH OF THE YEAR
JIM FABIANSKI, Sandburg
• While perhaps not as metaphorical and inspirational as Marist coach Denise Bromberek’s chapel-motivated speech to her Lady RedHawks last season, Fabianski communicated to his Lady Eagles — at the time two games below .500 — to think hard about what kind of softball legacy they wanted to leave at Sandburg. The Lady Eagles responded to the prompting by winning nine of their final 11 regular-season games and stunning defending state champion Marist to capture a sectional crown, which placed them among the Elite Eight in Class 4A.