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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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11 Bulldogs Receive 2021 Packerland Softball/Baseball Post-Season Honors

Issue Date: July 22, 2021

The Peshtigo softball team made a run to state this season for the first time in a decade, so it should come as no surprise that the North Eastern Conference all-conference team is full of Bulldogs. In addition to the state-qualifying Bulldogs, six Oconto softball players made all-conference teams.

Three Bulldogs made the NEC first team, two made the second team and one made honorable mention.

Sophomore pitcher Bethany Ahrens made the first team, as did senior catcher Karli Cahill and senior infielder Grace Wickman.

Ahrens was 5-1 in conference play and 16-3 overall. On the season as a whole, she threw 113.1 innings, striking out 137 batters with just 29 walks and a 2.30 ERA.

â€Bethany was as good as any pitcher we faced this year,†Peshtigo coach Bill Wickman said. â€She works hard to improve herself every day. She will be a force the next two years.â€

Wickman spent most of her time at third base this season. On the season, she hit .539 with 54 runs on 55 hits. She had 32 RBIs with 17 doubles and five home runs, leading to her strong .853 slugging percentage.

Wickman, a three-year starter for the Bulldogs, was selected to play in the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (WFSCA) state senior all-star game in Wisconsin Dells on July 12 and 13.

Coach Wickman described her as a â€great leader†who is â€very good on the basepaths,†adding that she can play any infield position.

Cahill batted .444 on the season with four home runs and 42 RBIs. In conference play, she hit .533.

â€Karli developed into one of the best catchers in our area,†coach Wickman said, referencing her strong arm. â€She worked hard to become a strong defensive catcher. She became a strong leader of our team.â€

Sophomore infielder Allison Peters made the second team, as did senior outfielder Lexi Kehoe. Junior outfielder Sydney Lund was an honorable mention in the outfield.

Peters hit .542 in conference play and .457 overall. She scored 40 total runs with 29 RBIs.

â€Allison played a great shortstop for us this year,†coach Wickman said. â€She will be a great player by the time she graduates.â€

Kehoe hit .391 in conference and .323 overall, scoring 25 total runs. Wickman said in addition to her solid season overall, Kehoe had some timely hits in big situations.

Lund hit .286 in conference and .244 overall. Wickman said she played centerfield as well as any player in the area.

The Oconto Blue Devils' six all-conference picks matched Peshtigo's tally.

Oconto's Maggie Sohrweide was a unanimous selection to the first team, Kalista Susa made the first team as a pitcher and Hallie Wusterbarth was a first-team infielder.

Sohrweide hit .526 in conference play with 10 RBIs and 11 runs in eight conference games. The junior slugged a whopping 1.105, clubbing two home runs, three doubles and a triple in 19 Packerland at-bats.

Wusterbarth, a senior, made the WFSCA all-star team as well. In conference play, she hit .462 with 11 RBIs and 11 runs scored.

Susa pitched seven conference games, winning four. She had a 5.31 ERA in 29 innings. At the plate, she hit .278.

The Blue Devils' Lauren McDowell made the second team as a freshman catcher and senior outfielder Nevaeh Brill was a second-teamer as well. Sophomore infielder Alyse Viestenz was an honorable mention.

McDowell hit .364 in the conference, Brill hit .412 and Viestenz hit .361.

Brill and Wusterbarth will be missed, but the Blue Devils will bring back some talent as they'll hope to make a deep playoff run in 2022.

â€The seniors will be missed,†Oconto coach Brian Sohrweide said. â€Juniors and sophomores will be expected to take on the leadership role and continue to improve their game.â€

Kewaunee senior pitcher Claire Kohnle was the Packerland player of the year.

Peshtigo had five players earn all-conference baseball honors as well, starting with first-team catcher Zack Wallin and utility player/DH Preston Rehwinkel. Both were seniors in 2021.

Wallin hit .407 in conference play, getting on base in 47% of his plate appearances.

â€Zack was our most consistent hitter. He was awarded First Team All-Conference because of his consistent approach. We moved him to the leadoff position in the batting order because he got on base and was able to hit the best pitchers in the league very well,†Peshtigo coach Neal Henrigillis said. â€Against Southern Door he was the only player in our lineup to get a hit. In addition, his experience was a calming factor for our young team. He caught as a sophomore on a sectional-qualifying team. His baseball knowledge and work ethic have made him one of the top two catchers in the league.â€

Rehwinkel hit .375 in conference with two doubles, a triple and a home run leading to his team-high 11-RBI season in eight conference games. Additionally, he threw 9.1 innings to the tune of a 2.25 ERA.

â€Preston worked his way into the middle of our order this year, and also into the conversation as one of our better pitchers this season. He was our most powerful hitter and took advantage of pitching when he had the upper hand,†Henrigillis said. â€On the mound, he did a good job throwing strikes which resulted in a low ERA and closing games out when needed.â€

Infielder Koby Cuyler made the second team as a junior, as did senior

er Ryan VanVooren.

VanVooren was another player with a knack for getting on base, striking out just three times all season and getting on base 46.5% of the times he stepped to the plate.

â€He played great defense in center field and was a second leadoff hitter for us as the nine spot hitter in the order,†Henrigillis said. â€His approach to the game was exactly what we needed. He hustled, backed plays up, grinded out at bats, and fought tooth and nail for every inch on the field.â€

Cuyler hit .379 with three extra-base hits in eight conference games.

â€Koby is a young infielder who was thrust into a position of batting in the top of the order and playing shortstop. As the year went on he began to get more comfortable defensively and find himself on offense,†Henrigillis said. â€He has a very unique skill set which allows him to get on base in many ways. He bunted for a lot of hits because he is quick and has good hand-eye coordination, but can also hit the ball over the outfielders' heads. If Koby works hard to refine his approach and improve, he could be an All-Conference player as a senior next year.â€

Junior pitcher Jake Berth and junior outfielder Will Boettcher were honorable mentions. Berth posted a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings, striking out 20 with 12 walks and 15 hits allowed.

Boettcher hit .390 with four RBIs and also pitched five innings, allowing just one earned run for a 1.40 ERA.

Four Oconto players were at least honorable mentions in Packerland play: junior Riley Anderson made the first team, senior outfielder Logan Allan was a second-teamer and junior infielders Luke Krueger and Braden Shallow were honorable mentions.

Southern Door senior catcher Devin Schinktgen was the Packerland player of the year.


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