Here is the 2023 Suburban Life All-Area softball team.
Reagan Crosthwaite, Wheaton North, sophomore, shortstop: Crosthwaite broke Wheaton North’s single-season home run record with 11 for a Falcons team that finished 25-10. Crosthwaite batted .383 with a .459 on-base percentage and .783 slugging percentage with 44 hits, 31 RBIs, 35 runs scored and five stolen bases. Defensively, she fielded at a .968 percentage with just three errors in 93 chances.
Ella Cushing, Downers Grove South, junior, pitcher/first base: Illinois recruit batted .489 with 12 homers, seven doubles and 46 RBIs. First Team All-State by Illinois Coaches Association.
Kayleigh Dennison, Willowbrook, senior, center fielder: Dennison led the Warriors offensively with a stellar combination of speed and power. Dennison batted .495 with a .947 slugging percentage and 47 hits, including 10 doubles, seven triples and seven homers, 36 RBIs and 35 runs scored.
“Above all, Kayleigh is a top-notch teammate who is willing to show the love of the game on and off the field,” Willowbrook coach Rachel Karos said.
Ashlynn Durkin, Downers Grove North, sophomore, pitcher/first base: One of the area’s most dominant pitchers as a sophomore also contributed as a middle of the order bat. Durkin posted a 9-4 record with a 1.28 ERA and .93 WHIP with 165 strikeouts over 81 2/3 innings. At the plate, Durkin batted .387 with a .451 on-base percentage and .901 OPS with 31 hits, 17 RBIs, one homer and 13 runs scored.
Katie Jensen, Wheaton Warrenville South, senior, shortstop: A starter since she was a freshman, the Lewis recruit was a three-time unanimous all-conference selection in the DuKane Conference. Leadoff hitter for 18-13 Tigers team that reached program’s first sectional final since 2004. Jensen batted .469 with 45 hits, including 10 doubles, four triples and three homers, 30 runs scored and 23 RBIs.
“She is the most competitive, fierce, determined and focused player I have coached in 25 years of coaching softball,” WW South coach Jeff Pawlak said. “She never takes a rep off ... never takes a practice off ... the kid competes like no other!”
Brooke Kuczynski, Montini, junior, first base/outfielder: Florida Atlantic recruit and Class 2A First Team All-Stater led Lady Broncos to second straight sectional title. Kuczynski batted .587 with a .626 on-base percentage and 1.237 slugging percentage. She had 10 doubles, three triples, 12 homers, 55 RBIs and 41 runs scored.
Zoe Levine, Riverside-Brookfield, junior, catcher: Three-time all-conference catcher batted .495 with .901 slugging percentage, 45 hits, 19 of them doubles, six homers and 40 RBIs.
Sage Mardjetko, Lemont, senior, pitcher: South Carolina recruit capped her career with 24-strikeout no-hitter in 1-0, 12-inning Class 3A championship game, leading Lemont to second straight state title. Mardjetko, Illinois’ Gatorade Player of the Year and Suburban Life Player of the Year for second straight season, did not allow an earned run all year. Mardjetko posted 23-0 record with 0.00 ERA and 339 strikeouts over 143 innings with just 18 hits allowed.
Erin Metz, Wheaton North, senior, pitcher: Valparaiso recruit and four-year varsity starter tied Wheaton North win record with 20. She posted 1.48 ERA with 253 strikeouts and just 36 walks over 165 1/3 innings and a .198 batting average against. At the plate, she batted .333 with a .373 on-base percentage and .490 slugging with 34 hits, three homers and 18 RBIs. Second Team Class 4A All-State pick.
Tess Meyer, Lyons Township, senior, catcher: NIU recruit batted .462 with .528 on-base percentage and 36 hits, including 11 doubles, three triples and four homers, and had 24 RBIs.
Nina Pesare, Benet, junior, outfielder: UIC recruit was game-changing defensive outfielder and leadoff hitter for 26-12 Benet team that took third in Class 3A in first state appearance since 2011. Pesare, Class 3A Third Team All-State, batted .438 with 63 hits, including five triples and a homer. She had 58 runs scored, 17 RBIs and 26 stolen bases.
Maddie Pool, Wheaton Warrenville South, junior, pitcher: Unanimous all-conference pick in DuKane Conference and Class 4A Third Team All-State selection helped lead Tigers to first sectional since 2004. Pool posted 13-9 record with 2.06 ERA and 190 strikeouts over 136 1/3 innings. At the plate, she batted .394 with .442 on-base percentage and 37 hits, including 10 doubles, one triple and five homers, and 31 RBIs.
“Maddie is a kid who simply lives, sleeps and eats softball,” WW coach Jeff Pawlak said. “She is a competitor who has thrived in the pitching circle but is an absolute force with the bat as well.”
Frankie Rita, Lemont, senior, catcher: Drake recruit and three-year starting catcher batted .581 with 54 hits, including eight doubles, one triple and one homer. She had 47 runs scored and 22 RBIs. Class 3A First Team All-State.
Analisa Raffaelli, IC Catholic Prep, junior, shortstop: Colgate recruit and Class 2A First Team All-Stater batted .596 with 59 hits, including 14 doubles and 14 homers. She had 41 RBIs, 15 walks and 35 stolen bases.
Ellie Adduci, Glenbard West, sophomore, pitcher/infielder; May Adduci, Glenbard West, junior, centerfielder; Natalie Doyle, St. Francis, junior, third base; Raegan Duncan, Lemont, junior, third base; Ella Dvoracek, Downers Grove South, senior, outfield/infield; Angelina Dwyer, IC Catholic, junior, pitcher; Amber Fedinec, Hinsdale South, senior, first base; Kat Filkowski, Montini, sophomore, utility; Ava Gusel, Downers Grove North, junior, pitcher; Ava Heard, Glenbard West, junior, catcher; Angela Horejs, Benet, sophomore, shortstop; Gianna Horejs, Benet, junior, second base; Monica Kading, Wheaton North, junior, infielder; Lauren Kennedy, St. Francis, freshman, shortstop; Sam Lehnherr, Downers Grove North, sophomore, infield/outfield; Parker Leonard, Wheaton Warrenville South, junior, second base; Ellie Megall, Riverside-Brookfield, sophomore, shortstop; Peyton O’Flaherty, Lyons, senior, infield; Emily Organ, Riverside-Brookfield, junior, shortstop; Olivia Parent, Lemont, designated player; Madison Peck, York, senior, utility; Macy Pomatto, Wheaton North, junior, designated player; Hannah Rafferty-Flatter, Glenbard South, senior, pitcher; Maya Rodriguez, Downers Grove North, junior, third base; Sonia Ruchala, Willowbrook, sophomore, shortstop; Annabella Rychetsky, Nazareth, sophomore, pitcher; Melissa Saldana, Glenbard East, sophomore, third base; Annie Sullivan, sr., outfielder; Wheaton North; Avaree Taylor, Lemont, junior, first base; Grace Taylor, Downers Grove South, junior, shortstop; Taylor Utrata, Montini, senior, utility.
I am the Sports Editor for Kendall County Newspapers, the Kane County Chronicle and Suburban Life Media, covering primarily sports in Kendall, Kane, DuPage and western Cook counties. I've been covering high school sports for 24 years. I also assist with our news coverage.