By Steve Kochersperger
The Mount Vernon girls’ softball team held their awards banquet this past week to honor the team and individual accomplishments of all in the softball program. This season was an up and down season for the Wildcats as they battled injury, a tough schedule, and a youthful roster. And with all that the Cats still knocked off some top teams and played well. Mount Vernon ended their season with a loss to eventual sectional champion Boonville and had a final record of 10-14.
The first order of business after dinner at the banquet was to award varsity letters to those players that earned enough playing time to gain a letter. And one thing was very clear, this softball program is young. Half of the letters earned this year were earned by freshman and sophomores. And with that the future looks very bright for Mount Vernon softball.
Letter winners were freshman Ellen Denning, and Kelly McCloud, sophomores Andrea Dick, Katie Tucker, and Ellie Wielbrenner. Uperclassman to gain their letters were juniors Madison Denning, Mackenzie Stratton, and Erica Winiger, as well as seniors Morgan Matthews, Tylyn Tanner, and Brittany Wilson.
The three seniors were honored at the banquet as well. These three, Morgan Matthews, Tylyn Tanner, and Brittany Wilson displayed great leadership as senior players and led the way most importantly in the classroom. All three seniors were honored with Big Eight Conference All Academic status for their hard work and dedication in the classroom. They truly have earned the right to be called student athletes.
Among everything else to happen at the awards banquet the team gave three individual awards out. Two of the awards were voted on by the coaches and one, the Most Valuable Player, was voted on by the team members themselves.
The Offensive player of the year award went to senior Tylyn Tanner. Tanner his a very impressive .418 at the plate this season and had ten doubles as well. Her aggressive style of play helped her gain this honor and it will be missed next season. Tanner was also named to the All Conference team, the only Wildcat this season with that honor. She hit an amazing .667 in Big Eight Conference games and the conference coaches awarded her with this impressive status.
The Defensive Player of the year award went to Wildcat first baseman Ellie Wielbrenner. Wielbrenner manned first base well and was the starter with the least amount of errors on the season. Her steadfast glove and defensive effort gained her the award from the coaches.
The players voted for the Most Valuable Player award giving it to freshman Ellen Denning. Denning became a force for the Wildcat team hitting several home runs including a game winning grand slam in late innings this season. Her great play at third and high softball knowledge helped her gain the trust and respect from her teammates. She truly was the Most Valuable player for Mount Vernon this season.
Wildcat coach Dave Bell praised his team’s effort this season and hopes that all the players continue to work hard in the off season and beyond to come back and give the Wildcats an even better season next year. And if this season was anything, it just might have given all of us a glimpse into the future of Mount Vernon softball. That future looks bright.
By Steve Kochersperger
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