This past softball season, several area teams collected a fair share of hardware in the form of district championship and runner-up awards. For some of those responsible for bringing home the team awards, individual hardware is also coming their way.
New Riegel's Taylor Kirian and Carey's Makenzie Wentling were named first team All-Ohio Wednesday by the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association.
Kirian, who will continue her softball career next year at University of Akron, led the Midland Athletic League in batting average (.576), runs (54), hits (57), doubles (13), RBIs (46) and home runs (8). In the circle, she had a 24-5 record with 98 strikeouts and a 1.79 ERA while leading her team to its second straight district title.
Her coach, Jamie Lininger, couldn't express how much Kirian has meant in her four years in the program.
"I don't know if you can sum it up," he said. "If you look at our website you'll see she's broken every single career record except triples and stolen bases. I don't know how you replace that. She was a great person to have on our team, not just stat-wise, but the way she goes about her business and the kind of person she is."
Wentling was a catcher and leadoff hitter for a Blue Devil team which embarked on a 10-game winning streak that took the team to its first district final, where the team fell to New Riegel.
"She was our catcher all year for us," Carey coach Teresa Jacoby said. "She had some nice stopped balls behind the plate for us. She was our leading batter. She led the MAL with triples with seven."
Wentling posted a .424 average with 19 RBIs and 24 runs scored.
Jacoby said she also joined with the rest of the senior class in taking on the leadership role of the team.
"She was a great leader for us this year," she said. "She was the place-setter, very vocal on the field. She was great role model, great senior leader like all my seniors were."
Two more Blue Jackets were also recognized by the state's coaches. Morgan Noftz - a .414 hitter with three home runs, 20 RBIs and 49 runs scored - was named to the second team while Kara Scherger - .495 with four home runs, 43 RBIs, 33 runs and 25 stolen bases - was named honorable mention.
"Morgan is somebody that just hit the ball so hard for us all the time," Lininger said. "She was fast enough to beat out a bunt, quick in the outfield, has a big arm. ... If you ask her to get a bunt down, the bunt is getting down.
"Kara is just a solid shortstop, and she can fly on the bases ... We didn't keep any secrets; we were letting her go. 'Here, try throwing her out, good luck.'"
Several other local standouts earned All-Northwest District honors in Division IV.
New Riegel's Taylor Arbogast was named first-team as a catcher and Lauren Zoeller was first-team as an outfielder. Edy Mowrey of St. Wendelin was a first-team infielder. Second-team honors went to Ali Rymer of Carey, Krista Ward and Allison Adelsperger of Old Fort, Aubrey Bickford of Lakota and Meghan Reiter of St. Wendelin.
Earning honorable mention honors were Morgan Gangwer of Lakota, Cortney Babb of St. Wendelin, Taylor Fletcher and Hannah Draper of Carey, Sidney Long and Morgan Wurm of Buckeye Central, and Nicole Bickley and Nicole Fretz of Calvert.