2011 Times All-Area Softball Team
Sophie Kessler, T.F. South
Stats: .489, 7 HRs, 39RBIs, 11 doubles.
Scouting report: Making her third appearance on the all-area first team in as many varsity seasons, Kessler was the Rebels' offense in 2011 as the team was in rebuilding mode. Kessler, who will play softball at Calumet College, was invited to the Super 60 Senior All-Star game. The backstop's batting averages over her three-year career were .446, .453 and .489.
Skyler Woods, Beecher
Stats: .467, 48 runs, 24 RBIs, .533 on-base pct., .739 slugging.
Scouting report: The Ladycats ultimately didn't live up to their own expectations, losing to Momence in a sectional final, but that doesn't take away from a fantastic season for Woods. After storming onto the scene as a freshman, Woods makes her second all-area first-team appearance as a senior. The Ladycats tend to reload, but Woods will surely be hard to replace
Briana Clark, Marian Catholic
Stats: .483, 8 HRs, 39 RBIs, 39 runs, .775 slugging pct.
Scouting report: From top to bottom, the Spartans were the area's most potent offense, and Clark may have been their best hitter. Aside from leading Marian in average and RBIs, Clark's eight homers gave her 17 for her career, matching the school's all-time mark. Her 58 hits were a single-season Marian record. Clark will play softball at Indianapolis University next season.
Kaitlyn Shereyk, Homewood-Flossmoor
Stats: .486, 7 HRs, 38 RBIs, 29 runs.
Scouting report: The future of Homewood-Flossmoor became the present as Shereyk quietly had one of the area's best seasons. Shereyk was named to the All-SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue squad and was the offensive star in the Vikings' upset of Stagg that gave the program its first regional title since 2004.
Alex Daviera, Beecher
Stats: .398, 39 RBIs, 30 runs, 15 doubles, 3 HRs, .988 fielding pct.
Scouting report: During the season, Daviera said her favorite part about softball was that feeling of driving in a run, and on a team that went 30-2, she did that better than anyone else. Don't discount the defense, either -- Daviera made just two errors in 171 total chances. This is her second straight year on the all-area first team.
Jessica Markanich, Homewood-Flossmoor
Stats: .410, 26 RBIs, 24 runs, 3 HRs.
Scouting report: While underclassmen like Kaitlyn Shereyk and Sarah Burke took on starring roles for H-F in 2011, Markanich provided important senior leadership. The All-SWSC Blue center fielder was also a force on defense as she covered a lot of ground and even picked up five outfield assists. Markanich will play softball next season at South Dakota State.
Toni Formentini, Bloom Twp.
Stats: .354, 26 runs, 21 RBIs, .476 on-base pct., 7 doubles.
Scouting report: After being named honorable mention as a sophomore, Formentini grabs a first-team spot on the all-area squad in her junior year. Formentini, a two-time All-Southland Athletic Conference honoree, led a young and inexperienced Blazing Trojans club to an 11-4 conference record.
Jordyn Beck, Beecher
Stats: .356, 27 RBIs, 22 runs 7 doubles, 5 triples, 7 steals.
Scouting report: Another of Beecher's strong senior contingent, Beck was as important in the field for the Ladycats as she was at the dish. Beck, who will attend North Central College, struck out just four times and committed only one error all season.
Becca Gray, Marian Catholic
Stats: 20-4, 163 IP, 1.20 ERA, 109 Ks; .450, .541 on-base pct., 40 runs, 12 steals.
Scouting report: The sheer length of Gray's stat line should tell the story. Gray is The Times Player of the Year for 2011, but could easily have earned the honor in any of her previous three seasons. The three-time Spartans MVP was also named Player of the Year in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. Gray, whose name peppers the Marian record book, will play softball at SIU-Edwardsville.
Sarah Burke, Homewood-Flossmoor
Stats: 14-9, 154 2/3 IP, 1.81 ERA, 176 Ks.
Scouting report: After playing on the sophomore team last season, Burke burst onto the scene in 2011. The All-SWSC Blue pitcher made a habit of defeating big-name opponents throughout the season. She may have collected even more wins if not for a knee injury that sidelined her briefly in the middle of the year.
Rachel Glenn, Marian Catholic
Stats: 9-2, 66 1/3 IP, 2.11 ERA, 61 Ks; .411, 6 HRs, 31 RBIs.
Scouting report: Though the pain of a hamstring injury could be seen on her face throughout the year, Glenn powered through and earned her third straight first-team all-area spot. Not only was Glenn once again a superb complement to Gray on the mound for Marian, but she was one of the team's best hitters. Glenn will play softball next year at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Becca Stanton, Marian Catholic
Stats: .383, 12 HRs, 38 RBIs, 21 runs.
Scouting report: Stanton's 12 homers this spring surpassed Marian's single-season record of 11 set by Natalie Ward in 2009. Perhaps even more impressive, Stanton already has 14 for her career and will almost certainly become the Spartans' all-time leader before she is through. Highlights for the All-ESCC catcher included a walk-off blast against Bishop McNamara and three-homer performance versus Carmel.
Chelsea White, Crete-Monee
Stats: .467, 42 runs, 3 HRs, 25 RBIs, 16 steals.
Scouting report: Though the Warriors didn't accomplish their goal of winning the Southland Athletic Conference title, another magnificent year from White was a bright spot. The three-time all-area first-teamer was named conference MVP for the second straight season and won the girls' senior athlete award from her school.
Alex Bitto, Homewood-Flossmoor
Stats: .438, 34 runs, 11 doubles, 7 steals, .508 on-base pct.
Scouting report: An unsung hero of H-F's 2011 run, Bitto was one of the best table-setters in the area. The versatile Viking will play softball next year at Ashford University in Iowa alongside T.F. South's Megan Frieling.
Sam Nissen, Beecher
Stats: .330, 37 RBIs, 24 runs, 7 doubles.
Shawna Sadler, Marian Catholic
Stats: .361, 31 runs, 20 RBIs, .967 fielding pct.
Melanie Lambert, Crete-Monee
Stats: .429, 45 RBIs, 39 runs, 10 steals.
Kara Couwenhoven, Beecher
Stats: .389, 37 runs, .427 on-base pct., 9 steals.
Savannah Soppet, Beecher
Stats: .420, 33 runs, 28 RBIs, .654 slugging pct.
Alex Nickel, Marian Catholic
Stats: .389, 34 runs, 22 RBIs, 7 steals.
Kelly Foley, Marian Catholic
Stats: .315, 16 runs, 10 steals.
Tara Gresens, Homewood-Flossmoor
Stats: .396, .920 OPS, 12 SH.
Jenny LaBella, Marian Catholic
Stats: 29 runs, 12 RBIs, 10 steals, 11 SH.
Mallory Ivers, Beecher
Stats: 14-1, 87 IP, 1.93 ERA, 67 Ks.
Liz Frassinone, Crete-Monee
Stats: 7-5, 50 Ks; .377, 35 RBIs.
Megan Frieling, T.F. South
Stats: 15-6, 103 IP; 18 RBIs, 16 runs.
Jenna Amazzalorso, Bloom Twp.
Stats: .341, 26 runs, 18 RBIs, 7 steals.
Briana Bowler, Beecher
Stats: .370, 30 runs, 16 steals.
BEECHER -- Katelyn Neubauer. ILLIANA CHRISTIAN -- Courtney Wheaton, Alicia Smit, Leah Van Drunen. ILLINOIS LUTHERAN -- Jenn Seely, Tori Schrementi, Angela Schrementi. ST. FRANCIS DE SALES -- Jackie Nelson, Melissa Carrillo. SETON ACADEMY -- Lauren Young. THORNRIDGE -- Amber Brown, Elaine Russell. THORNTON -- Andrea Plummer-Pierce, Brianna Sullivan. T.F. NORTH -- China Cordova, Myeisha Fleming. T.F. SOUTH -- Kaitlin Togtman. THORNWOOD -- Kai Pettigrew. WASHINGTON -- Julyssa Saez, Jensen Hunt.
-- Compiled by Times Correspondent Scott Ritter