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PREP SOFTBALL: 2013 All-Polk County Softball Team

The Dallas softball team went 24-4 and reached the Class 5A state quarterfinals in 2013.

Photo by Pete Strong

The Dallas softball team went 24-4 and reached the Class 5A state quarterfinals in 2013.

June 12, 2013

PITCHERS

Julie Postma

Dallas

Julie Postma

Julie Postma

The senior right-hander was the Dragons' steady workhorse in the circle, pitching 146 of Dallas' 164 total innings. She went 23-4 and finished the year with a 2.06 ERA and 99 strikeouts. Postma pitched 15 complete games and held opponents to a .210 batting average en route to first-team all-Mid-Willamette Conference honors. She helped her cause at the plate, batting a solid .352 with 22 RBI. Postma plans to hang up her cleats, as the DHS valedictorian is headed to Oregon State University to study engineering.

Bryce Baucum

Perrydale

Bryce Baucum

Bryce Baucum

The senior started every game in the circle for the Pirates during their run to the Class 2A-1A state semifinals in 2013. She finished the season with a 3.09 ERA and a 14-7 record, striking out 105 batters in 129 innings pitched. The first-team all-Special District 3 selection was also dangerous at the plate, batting a team-best .435 with 30 hits, 14 RBI, three doubles and three triples. In 69 at-bats, she struck out just seven times. Baucum plans to attend Chemeketa Community College in the fall with a goal to walk-on with the Storm softball squad.

INFIELD

Caitlyn McCarron

Dallas

Caitlyn McCarron

Caitlyn McCarron

The senior shortstop put together the best season of her career for the Dragons, batting .530 with 48 runs, 44 hits, 15 doubles, 12 home runs and three triples. McCarron's slugging percentage of 1.217 produced a whopping 71 RBI and she carried an on-base percentage of .615, a team best. She was named the Mid-Willamette Conference's player of the year for her efforts. She also made plenty of dazzling plays in the field, finishing the year with an .894 fielding percentage and 50 putouts. McCarron is headed to NCAA Division I Bradley University in Illinois on a 70 percent athletic scholarship.

Brooke Barnes

Perrydale

Brooke Barnes

Brooke Barnes

The senior shortstop completed her prep athletic career with a solid season on the diamond, batting .421 with 24 hits, nine RBI, two triples and a home run. She stole 13 bases in 2013 and scored 23 runs for the state-semifinalist Pirates en route to first-team all-Special District 3 honors. Barnes was solid in the field, committing just seven errors at the shortstop position for an .872 fielding percentage. A three-sport athlete for Perrydale, Barnes plans to attend Chemeketa Community College and play either volleyball or softball for the Storm.

Kelsi Christenson

Central

Kelsi Christenson

Kelsi Christenson

The freshman third baseman put on a show in her first season for the Panthers, batting .411 with 37 hits, 28 runs, 10 home runs and eight doubles. Christenson finished the year with a stellar .856 slugging percentage and broke school records in both single-season and career home runs. She was named both a first-team all-Oregon West Conference and Class 4A second-team all-state infielder for her efforts. In the field, Christenson committed just nine errors in 77 attempts for a solid .920 fielding percentage at the hot corner.

Ryanne Huffman

Central

Ryanne Huffman

Ryanne Huffman

The sophomore shortstop had another big season as one of the Panthers' two returning starters on a young squad. She batted a team-best .470 with 47 hits, 35 runs and nine RBI. The speedy Huffman stole an eye-popping 40 bases and reached base 51.4 percent of the time as Central's leadoff batter. A first-team all-Oregon West Conference selection, Huffman was named the OWC player of the year for her efforts, which also earned her Class 4A first-team all-state honors.

OUTFIELD

Sophie Hess

Dallas

Sophie Hess

Sophie Hess

The senior center fielder was rock-solid in the outfield for the Dragons, committing just two errors in 28 games for a .905 fielding percentage. At the plate, Hess batted .333 with 32 hits, 11 RBI, four doubles and a triple. She reached base 44.8 percent of the time and scored 36 runs to go along with 17 stolen bases, a tie for team-best. Hess was named a second-team all-Mid-Willamette Conference selection for her efforts. She's headed to play softball at Chemeketa Community College next fall.

Lili Stott

Perrydale

Lili Stott

Lili Stott

The sophomore center fielder was the Pirates' leader in the outfielder, accounting for several diving catches throughout the 2013 campaign. She learned how to bat left-handed just last season and her improvement was evident this year, when she batted .396 with 21 hits, 10 runs and nine RBI. Stott walked 13 times and stole nine bases for the Pirates and was named to the all-Special District 3 first team for the second straight season.

Brittney Bettles

Central

Brittney Bettles

Brittney Bettles

The senior center fielder had her best season to date, batting .329 with 28 hits, 16 RBI, 14 runs and three doubles en route to all-Oregon West Conference first-team and Class 4A all-state honorable mention honors. Bettles stole 13 bases and recorded an on-base percentage of .406 in her final season. In the field, she committed just five errors to finish the year with an .884 fielding percentage. Bettles will end her softball career, but plans to attend Oregon State in the fall to study veterinary science.

UTILITY

Lizzie Posey

Dallas

Lizzie Posey

Lizzie Posey

The junior spent time at second base and in the outfield before finally landing in the starting role at first base, where she was as solid as ever for the Dragons. A year after missing much of the 2012 season with a torn labrum in her shoulder, Posey batted .418 with 38 hits, 30 RBI, 33 runs, eight doubles and a home run. On defense, she tallied 112 putouts while committing just six errors to finish the season with a .953 fielding percentage. Posey was selected to the all-Mid-Willamette Conference first team for her efforts.

Cheyenne Locke

Perrydale

Cheyenne Locke

Cheyenne Locke

The sophomore catcher had another stellar year behind the plate for the Pirates, batting .405 with 28 hits, 13 RBI, three doubles, three triples and a home run. A solid defender, Locke committed just three errors for a crisp .975 fielding percentage and she stole a team-best 21 bases. With her powerful arm, teams didn't try too much stealing on the base paths, as Locke threw out three of the four base runners attempting to steal second. She was named a first-team All-Special District 3 selection for the second-straight season.

CATCHER

Dani Ackerman

Dallas

Dani Ackerman

Dani Ackerman

The senior was a strong contender for Polk County Player of the Year after leading the Dragons in hits and runs with 49 and 54, respectively. She batted a stellar .527 with a .742 slugging percentage to go along with 35 RBI, seven triples and six doubles. Ackerman stole 11 bases and was a wall behind the plate, finishing the season with zero errors for a perfect 1.00 fielding percentage and 129 putouts in 170 innings. A first-team all-Mid-Willamette Conference selection, Ackerman will continue her softball career at Corban University next fall.

COACH

Amber McLean

Central

Amber McLean

Amber McLean

The ninth-year coach didn't lead the Panthers to their best record in her tenure, but she did keep Central as one of the Oregon West Conference's top teams despite returning just two starters from the 2012 squad that reached the Class 4A state quarterfinals. Central featured a brand-new starter in the circle in junior Jenny Cole and had just one senior -- center fielder Brittney Bettles -- in its lineup, which included three freshmen and three sophomores. Despite its inexperience, Central went 10-5 in league play to finish second in the OWC, won its Class 4A play-in game and reached the state playoffs for the eighth consecutive year.

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The 2013 all-Polk County high school softball team was selected by Itemizer-Observer Sports Editor Nicole Watkins, along with heavy input from area coaches.

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