As usual, the Herald-News coverage area was loaded with softball talent. Here are the best of the best, comprising the 2023 Herald-News All-Area Team.
Lauren Brock, Plainfield East: The senior catcher batted .460 with 11 doubles, three home runs and 28 RBIs. She was All-Southwest Prairie Conference, second-team All-State and the Bengals’ offensive MVP, along with making just one error in 190 chances.
Mack Brow, Joliet Catholic Academy: The senior shortstop, a Northern Kentucky commit, hit .417 with 30 RBIs and 42 runs scored for the Angels. She was All-East Suburban Catholic Conference and Class 3A Second Team All-State.
Ella Davis, Morris: The senior pitcher was Morris’ team MVP, All-Interstate Eight Conference, and Class 3A First Team All-State. She went 21-7 in the circle with a 1.98 ERA and 211 strikeouts in 190 innings. She also hit .492 with 37 RBIs.
Lisabella Dimitrijevic, Lincoln-Way Central: The sophomore pitcher went 19-4 with a 1.02 ERA and 293 strikeouts in 136 2/3 innings for the Knights. She also hit .400 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 23 RBIs. She was named All-SouthWest Suburban Red and Class 4A First Team All-State.
Addison Foster, Lockport: The senior second baseman hit .492 with nine doubles, five triples, a home run and 23 RBIs for the Porters. She was named All-SouthWest Suburban Blue and First Team Class 4A All-State.
Makyla Henline, Coal CIty: The junior infielder hit .473 with 16 doubles, one triple, 20 RBIs and 52 runs scored for the Coalers. She was named All-Illinois Central Eight and Class 2A First Team All-State.
Josephine Jager, Lincoln-Way Central: The junior first baseman hit .411 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 21 RBIs. She also went 3-0 in the circle with a 2.65 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 29 innings. She was named All-SouthWest Suburban Red and Class 4A Second Team All-State.
Sage Mardjetko, Lemont: The senior pitcher, a South Carolina commit, was The Herald-News Player of the Year for the second straight year. She was also Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year for the second year in a row and Class 3A First Team All-State. Mardjetko led Lemont to a second straight Class 3A state championship, going 23-0 with 339 strikeouts over 143 innings with just 18 hits allowed and an ERA of 0.00.
Madison Patrick, Joliet Catholic Academy: The junior outfielder hit .462 with 43 runs scored and stole 27 bases. She was All-East Suburban Catholic Conference and Class 3A First-Team All-State.
Frankie Rita, Lemont: The senior catcher, a Drake commit, hit .591 with eight doubles, two triples, a home run, 23 RBIs and 48 runs scored for Lemont. She was All-South Suburban Blue and Class 3A First Team All-State.
Reese Rourke, Lincoln-Way West: The freshman pitcher/infielder hit .452 with 16 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 22 RBIs and 39 runs scored for the Warriors. In the circle, she was 10-5 with a 2.51 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 95 innings. She was All-SouthWest Suburban Red and Class 4A First Team All-State.
Brooke Schwall, Joliet West: The junior first baseman hit .500 with 14 home runs and 56 RBIs for the Tigers. She was named MVP of the Southwest Prairie Conference East Division and was Class 4A Second Team All-State.
Katie Stewart, Lincoln-Way East: The senior shortstop, a Texas commit, was power personified for the Griffins. She hit .490 with a 1.220 slugging percentage, collecting 21 home runs and 64 RBIs. All-SouthWest Suburban Blue and Class 4A First Team All-State.
Avaree Taylor, Lemont: The junior first baseman hit .543 with nine doubles, three triples, a home run and 23 RBIs. She also went 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 19 innings. She was All-South Suburban Blue and Class 3A Second Team All-State.
Sarah Viar, Lockport: The junior shortstop hit .449 with 14 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 28 RBIs for the Porters. She was All-SouthWest Suburban Blue and Class 4A Third Team All-State.
Lillian Anderson, Romeoville
Raegan Duncan, Lemont
Shelby Fraser, Joliet West
Grace Goliebowski, Providence Catholic
Maddy Hickey, Lincoln-Way East
Tricia Hogrefe, Plainfield Central
Brooke Keltner, Lockport
Taylor Mackin, Minooka
Molly Marquardt, Lincoln-Way West
Anna McClimon, Minooka
Kelcie McGraw, Lockport
Kendall Pearson, Lincoln-Way Central
Addie Rizzatto, Joliet Catholic Academy
Sam Vandevelde, Seneca
Haydn Voss, Joliet Central
Lucy Cameron, Lincoln-Way Central
Karina Choi, Bolingbrook
Angelina Cole, Providence Catholic
Kerigan Copes, Coal City
Abby Gagliardo, Coal City
Wrigley Fanter, Joliet Catholic Academy
Isabella Farias, Bolingbrook
Olivia Hansen, Wilmington
Sophie Klawitter, Peotone
Tessa Krull, Seneca
Peyton Kryza, Lockport
Masyn Kuder, Coal City
Ava Murphy, Lincoln-Way West
Katie Nichols, Plainfield South
Nicole Pontrelli, Lemont
Natalie Reyes, Joliet Central
Jadyn Shaw, Coal City
Morgan Spodarek, Lockport
Addison Stacy, Morris
Taylor Stefancic, Wilmington
Ava Swain, Lockport
Averi Vander Woude, Lincoln-Way East
Ashley Veltman, Peotone
Gianna Zumdahl, Plainfield South