2016 Jayhawk West All Conference Selections
Coach of the Year – Marc Benjamin, Barton; Doug Chance, Butler
Most Valuable Player – Madison Didion, Barton
Freshman of the Year – Madison Didion, Barton
Pitcher – Jenny Hittinger, So, Butler
Pitcher – Madison Didion, Fr, Barton
Pitcher – Regan Mergele, Fr, Butler
Catcher – Morgan Heckert, So, Butler
First Base – Morgan Bohanan, Fr,Butler
Second Base – McKenna Mauler, So, Barton
Second Base – Kennedy Brunson, So, Seward
Shortstop – Jenna Hosey, So, Barton
Shortstop – Brittany Corrales, So, Seward
Shortstop – Becca Schulte, Fr, Butler
Third Base – Dinae Bina, So, Butler
Outfield – Megan Wurts, So, Butler
Outfield – Alexis Clinton, So, Butler
Outfield – Shelby Day, So, Colby
Utility – Brynn Minor, Fr, Butler
Pitcher – Holly Posegate, So, Barton
Pitcher – Kim Herron, Fr, Dodge
Pitcher – Mara Nash, So, Colby
Catcher – Collette West, So, Colby
First Base – Jayden Gonzales, Fr, Barton
Second Base – Madison Motes, Fr, Colby
Third Base – Candace Bollig, So, Dodge
Outfield – Brittany Wood, Fr, Barton
Outfield – Maddison Schofield, Fr, Barton
Outfield – Maddie Daily, So, Pratt
Outfield – Cheyenne Phelps, So, Garden
Utility – Holly Posegate, So, Barton
BY MIKE MARZOLF
Special to the Tribune
It was a season for the record books for the Barton softball team. Perhaps it didn’t end with a Region VI title like the Cougars has hoped but the tremendous success of the club was rewarded when All Jayhawk West honors were announced.
Coach Marc Benjamin was selected as Co-Coach of the Year and Madison Didion was tabbed the Freshman of the Year as well as the West’s Most Valuable Player.
In addition, two more Cougars were picked to the 1st team.
Benjamin has orchestrated an impressive turnaround in his three years at the helm of Barton softball. This past season Barton won a school record 51 games on finished the season ranked 9th in the NJCAA.
“Although we didn’t win the region tournament this Barton team rewrote the record books and will always be remembered for winning 51 games,” Coach Benjamin said.
Barton finished the season with a 51-8 record, losing five of those eight games to the No. 6 team in the nation Butler.
Those two teams dominated the all-conference team. In fact, Butler put nine player on the first team while Barton put three on the first team and had the MVP of the conference. The Cougars had four more players take up five spots on the second team as well.
Didion earned the MVP award thanks to a 1.84 ERA on the way to a 26-5 record. Didion struck out 210 batters in 182.1 innings of work. She walked just 20 batters. The freshman from the state of Washington was 11th in the nation in strikes outs. The 210 K’s were second only to the 219 turned in by Michelle Moores in 1993.
“I can’t say enough about our two pitchers Holly (Posegate) and Madison,” Coach Benjamin said. “They both were awesome all year and Madison has a really good shot at being an All American.
“She struck out a lot of batters and four of her five loses were against higher ranked teams with three of those being to Butler by one run.”
Sophomore middle infielders McKenna Mauler and Jenna Hosey both made first team as well. There was a 2-way tie for first team at second base and a 3-way tie at shortstop.
Mauler earned honors at second base, hitting .336 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI. The Great Bend High graduate also had a .935 fielding percentage at the keystone spot.
Hosey hit .348 with 35 RBI and 28 stolen bases from her shortstop spot. Hosey was solid in the field as well with a fielding percentage of .934.
Sophomore standout Holly Posegate was a second team pick at pitcher and utility. She posted a 24-3 record pitching with a 2.22 ERA. At the plate, Posegate hit .373 with 46 RBI.
Barton’s other three second teams picks were all freshmen.
Brittany Wood was selected second team in the outfield after hitting .435 with 21 home runs, 21 doubles, and 93 RBI. The 93 RBI are just were just one short of a school record set last year by Erica Harper. The 21 dingers was tied for second-most with Whitney Boeh behind the 26 by Harper last year. She finished 6th in the NJCAA in home runs and third in RBI.
Joining her in the outfield was Australian Maddison Schofield. Schofield hit .436 to lead Barton and scored a team-high 80 runs from her leadoff spot. Schofield stole 25 bases and drove in 55 runs. She led Barton with 88 hits. The 80 runs were a school record and the 88 hits were second only to Harper’s 90 last season.
Rounding out the selections was Tecumseh freshman Jayden Gonzales. The first baseman hit .417 with 14 home runs and 76 RBI. She was second to Wood in homers and RBI and third on the team in average.
“We were well represented and quite honestly Lili Ertmann and Cadie O’Donnell could have made it as well with their numbers,” Coach Benjamin said. “This was a really great year for everyone in the lineup. I think we finished in the top 20 in almost every hitting statistic.”