MCW’s Klima, Williamson captain All-Area softball team

CO-CAPTAINS — Martin County West's Madison Klima (right), shown taking a delivery, and Maverick teammate Alyssa Williamson (left), shown taking a practice swing in the on-deck circle, have been selected as the 2019 Sentinel All-Area softball team's co-captains. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

WELCOME — Alyssa Williamson and Madison Klima literally packed a powerful 1-2 offensive punch for the Martin County West softball team during the 2019 campaign.

In fact, by the end of the season, Klima and Williamson had etched their respective names into either the No. 1 or No. 2 spots in the Mavericks’ statistical charts from the leadoff and No. 2 spots in the batting order, respectively.

“Alyssa and Madi were excellent team leaders both on the diamond and in the classroom,” Martin County West head coach Darrell Ziegler said in reference to Williamson and Klima, who joined teammate Karlee Thiesse on the academic all-state team this year. “Both were team-oriented and did whatever we (coaching staff) asked of them in order for our team to be successful.

“Their versatility made them key players who contributed to a large number of our program’s wins throughout the last four years. Those two girls will definitely be tough to replace next season.”

Williamson, who collected a hit in each of the Minnesota High School Softball Coaches Association’s all-star series’ games in June, produced the top RBI (24) and doubles (7) totals for MCW in 2019. The three-time all-section selection also shared the Mavericks’ lead in runs scored (24) with Klima, tied Thiesse for the No. 1 spot in triples (4) and shared the top spot in home runs (2) with Shaylynn Anderson.

The four-time all-Valley Conference choice also placed second on MCW in batting average (.477) and hits (31) to round out a lethal offensive senior performance.

Fittingly, Klima, a two-time all-section and all-conference selection, paced the Mavericks in the offensive categories not occupied by Williamson. The lefty slap hitter compiled a team-best batting average of .530 on the strength of a team-high 35 hits, and co-led MCW with Williamson in crossing the plate 24 times each.

Klima, who assembled a rare streak of 11 consecutive hits until an opponent’s intentional walk ended it, produced 12 RBIs, doubled three times and drew six walks to cap her stellar senior offensive effort.

“Madi had a decent sophomore year batting right-handed, but I took her the following summer and worked on slap hitting with her,” said Ziegler. “Madi made huge improvements in that aspect of her game, and became one of the best hitters in our program during the past two seasons.”

Ironically, Williamson and Klima also represented the Mavericks’ defensive alignment for the majority of the spring season in the sport’s numerical system at pitcher (No. 1) and catcher (No. 2), respectively.

“While they closed out their high school softball careers at those two (defensive) positions, both Madi and Alyssa played three different spots throughout their (respective) three and four years at the varsity level,” Ziegler said in reference to the pair of senior standouts.

Klima made her varsity softball debut in the outfield as a sophomore, moved to second base during her second campaign and made a smooth transition to calling signals behind the plate in 2019.

“Madi proved a good vocal leader for us behind the plate this season,” said Ziegler. “She possesses quickness with both her hands and feet, and those skills are what you need to be successful as a catcher.

“Every year I asked her to play a different position and she never said a word. She just went out and played it to the best of her abilities.”

Klima, a two-time All-Area pick, threw out six opponents attempting to steal a base en route to 17 assists, notched 81 putouts and generated an incredible .951 fielding average this season.

Williamson, a four-time All-Area choice, also displayed her glovework from inside the chalked circle and at her familiar shortstop position by fielding the softball at an incredible .981 clip in 2019 to complement 39 assists and a dozen putouts.

“Alyssa started out as an outfielder during her freshman season before we moved her to shortstop for most of her sophomore and junior seasons,” said Ziegler. “While she played some shortstop this year, she served as our main pitcher for the majority of our games this spring.”

The hard-throwing Williamson, who shared the 2018 Fairmont Sentinel All-Area softball captain award with North Union’s Kate Anderson, topped the Mavericks’ pitching rotation by compiling a 9-4 record, 50 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in a team-best 95 innings pitched this spring.

For all of their contributions on and off the prep diamond, Williamson and Klima have been selected as the 2019 Sentinel All-Area softball players of the year.

Here’s a look at the rest of this year’s All-Area lineup.

Shaylynn Anderson (MCW) — The all-Valley Conference selection evolved into a top-notch pitcher this spring, and will counted on to step into the Mavericks’ No. 1 role in 2020.

The left-hander compiled a 2-2 record on the strength of 18 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched during her recently-completed junior campaign.

The MCW part-time second baseman also wielded lethal lumber, hitting at a .365 clip on the strength of three doubles, two triples and a co-team-best two HRs.

Anderson, who produced 15 RBIs and scored 14 runs, recorded 33 putouts and 27 assists on defense.

Sydney Blagg (Blue Earth Area) — The scrappy third baseman topped the Bucs with 10 RBIs and a .440 on-base percentage in 2019.

The speedy junior posted a .333 batting average, doubled twice and scored eight runs.

Taylor Crissinger (Fairmont) — The academic all-state selection and teammate Jen Moeller dominated the top two spots in almost every offensive category for the Cardinals this season.

The all-Big South Conference second baseman led Fairmont with 10 runs scored, four HRs and five doubles, in addition to sharing the lead with Moeller with 18 singles.

Fairmont’s co-MVP also finished second in batting average (.327) and on-base percentage (.393) to go with one triple to cap her senior campaign.

Jordan Ehlert (Fairmont) — The hard-throwing right-hander exits her five-year varsity career as the most prolific pitcher in the Cardinals’ 40-plus-year history.

The four-time all-section selection holds all four of Fairmont’s major pitching records for both a career and a single season.

The four-time All-Area hurler compiled 50 wins, generated 528 strikeouts, produced an overall 2.90 ERA and logged 562 2/3 innings to earn the top career marks in school history.

The four-time all-Big South Conference pitcher also established single-season school records with 14 victories twice (2016 and 2017), 131 strikeouts (2016), 149 innings pitched (2017) and lowest ERA of 2.71 (2016).

The Cardinals’ 2019 co-MVP generated a team-best 103 strikeouts, a miniscule 2.73 ERA and 4-10 record in 95 innings pitched this spring.

Ehlert played key roles in the Cardinals setting the program’s single-season record for team wins with 17 in 2017 and the second-best total of 16 in 2016.

Adrianna Granillo (Blue Earth Area) — The two-time all-Big South Conference shortstop smacked a team-best two triples and three doubles to pace a .310 batting clip this spring.

The repeat All-Area selection collected nine RBIs, scored nine runs and stole eight bases to close out her stellar prep softball career.

Chloe Hartman (Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman) — The repeat all-Valley Conference catcher topped the Jaguars with 15 singles to help fuel a .308 batting average during her senior season.

The perennial All-Area choice scored 14 runs, collected eight RBIs, doubled five times, reached base at a .366 pace and slugged deliveries at a .385 clip.

Lauren Madetzke (Blue Earth Area) — The all-section selection topped the Bucs’ statistical charts in every pitching category and the majority of offensive categories in 2019.

The repeat All-Area right-hander compiled a 4-8 record, 3.60 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched during her junior season.

The all-Big South Conference choice also paced Blue Earth Area’s offense with a .380 batting clip, 10 RBIs, 10 runs scored and 11 stolen bases to complement a .404 on-base rate and two doubles.

Jen Moeller (Fairmont) — The hard-working shortstop compiled a .340 batting average on the strength of 18 singles and reached base at a .426 clip to pace the Cardinals’ charts in 2019.

The fleet-footed junior scored eight runs and smacked four doubles to place No. 2 on Fairmont, while adding one triple on the spring.

Lizzie Oothoudt (Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman) — The three-time All-Area choice made the transition from shortstop to outfield by topping the Jaguars in nearly every offensive category.

The all-Valley Conference pick generated 23 hits — including six doubles, three triples and two HRs — to complement 18 RBIs and 18 runs scored to earn the No. 1 spot on the team’s charts.

Oothoudt also topped the Jaguars with a .404 batting average and a .719 slugging pace to go with a .477 on-base percentage to cap her junior campaign.

Maddie Rolling (North Union) — The all-Top of Iowa Conference pick produced the No. 1 marks in RBIs (31) and walks (15) on the Warriors, in addition to sharing the team lead with Ariel Olson by clouting two HRs each this summer.

The senior shortstop batted .439 on the strength of 43 hits — including eight doubles and one triple — to complement 24 runs scored, a .538 on-base percentage and a .602 slugging clip.

Rolling recorded 61 assists to go with 44 putouts en route to an .854 fielding average to close out her five-year varsity sports career.

Hope Steinberger (North Union) — The two-time All-Area centerfielder paced the Warriors in eight offensive categories to cap her junior campaign.

The all-Top of Iowa Conference choice registered 60 hits — including nine doubles and two triples — to top North Union with a .545 batting average this summer.

The leadoff batter also scored a team-best 35 runs, swiped 19 bases and generated an on-base clip of .580 and a .664 slugging rate to complement 20 RBIs and eight walks.

The fleet-footed Steinberger made 46 putouts and three assists to round out the fourth varsity season of her prep softball career.

Karlee Thiesse (MCW) — The three-time all-Valley Conference selection topped the Mavericks by drawing 14 walks and tied Williamson for the team lead with four triples en route to a .273 batting average this spring.

The two-time All-Area choice, who generated 15 RBIs and scored 14 runs to complement three doubles, displayed her valuable versatility by catching and playing shortstop and second base during her senior season.

Thiesse fielded the softball at a .923 rate, recording 42 assists and 30 putouts to close out a prolific career.

Olivia Von Bank (North Union) — The area’s rookie of the year made a name for herself by hitting .362, slugging at .457 and reaching base at a .412 pace during her eighth-grade season.

The North Union outfielder scored 25 runs, collected 18 RBIs and tallied 38 hits — including five doubles, one HR and one triple — this summer.

The Warriors’ No. 3 batter added 10 stolen bases and six walks in 2019.