Warriors earn softball honors

Craig Moorhead

The Caledonia Argus

Senior first baseman Lydia Melde has been picked by teammates as Most Valuable Player of the 2017 Caledonia/Spring Grove softball team. Melde also shared the 2017 Hustle Award with junior outfielder Adrianna Reinhart, and is now a two-time member of the Three Rivers Conference’s honorable mention list  (2016 and 2017). A solid defender, Melde tied two other Warriors (Sarah Petersen and Abby Bauer) for the most innings fielded (139 1/3) this season.

“Lydia has been a two-year starter and plays every game with all her ability,” C/SG head coach Michelle Anderson reported.  “She is one of the best first basemen in the Three Rivers Conference. No matter the throw – it is likely in Lydia’s range. She was involved in 147 putouts this season as well as fielding at a .993 percentage. Lydia’s teammates recognize her exceptional ability at first base and voted her our MVP. Rarely does a throw get past her. She is always a threat at the plate to lay down a bunt or hit the long ball. Lydia is planning on furthering her softball career at St. Kate’s college out of the Twin Cities and we are all looking forward to following her career.”

Reinhart not only shared the Hustle Award, she was also named first team All-TRC. Her batting average (.348) was even better when stepping to the plate with runners in scoring position (.407). Both were tops for the team.

“Adrianna was a welcome addition to the varsity this year,” Anderson said. “She led us in batting average this season with a .348 and slugging percentage (a popular measure of the power of a hitter) of .522. She has great speed and range in the outfield and made a number of excellent catches.

The Most Improved Player Award went to junior second baseman/outfielder Katelyn Stemper.

“Katelyn stepped in to play second base this year and fielded at an .891 average,” Anderson stated. “Katelyn moved well with the infield and did a great job covering first base on bunts.”

The Team Award went to senior catcher/infielder Kelsey Hermanson, who also appeared on the All-TRC first team. She hit .306, third-best on the squad.

“Kelsey was one of our main leaders this season — both on the field and in the dugout,” Anderson noted. “The younger players looked to her for guidance and she never hesitated to assist. Besides doing a really great job behind the plate for us by handling the pitchers, blocking balls and picking off base runners – Kelsey ended the season as our most dangerous hitter during the playoffs.

Others who earned a spot on the 2017 All-Conference honorable mention list were senior third-baseman Abby Bauer (a .309 hitter who swatted .387 with runners in scoring position), senior outfielder Alyssa Meiners (a .286 hitter), and senior shortstop Sarah Petersen, who hit .231.

The team’s academic honors were outstanding. Melde, Hermanson, Bauer and Meiners all earned Academic All-State awards. Academic All-Conference awards also went out to those four, plus Petersen, Reinhart, Emma Craig, and Brooke Stemper.

Finally – as a team – the Warriors earned an Academic Gold Award for a combined GPA of 3.75 or higher.