By Paul Lecker
Stratford senior catcher Brittany Bredeman was a unanimous first-team pick, and teammate Kiana Weiler, a junior pitcher, also was a first-team selection to the 2017 All-Marawood Conference South Division Softball Team.
Bredemann was seventh in the conference in batting average as she hit an even .500 (21-for-42) with a conference-best 10 doubles, one home run, and seven stolen bases. She was second in the conference in runs scored with 22 and third in RBIs with 18 out of the leadoff spot in the order for the Tigers.
Weiler went 8-3 with a 1.90 ERA, striking out 58 with only two walks in 62 2/3 innings to help Stratford to a tie for second with Marathon in the conference standings at 9-3. She also hit .462 with 16 RBIs.
“Brittany (four-time all-conference player) limited other teams’ running games and short ball games, called all the pitches on her own, and is a very smart softball player,” Stratford coach Mandy Pankratz said. “Offensively she was a spark as our leadoff batter and provided (confidence) for the rest of our team.
“Kiana was our workhorse on the mound. Her command was outstanding, and she trusts her defense when she needs to. Her offensive numbers also really improved this year.”
Among the second-team selections were Auburndale junior Hannah Bolder and Stratford seniors Sammy Griesbach, Val Liccardi, and Sammy Kaiser.
Bolder hit .433 (13-for-30) with 10 RBIs and 11 runs scored as the Apaches went 6-6 and took fourth place in the Marawood South standings.
Griesbach was fourth in the conference in batting average at .538 (21-for-39) and scored 13 runs; Kaiser hit .361 with a home run, 14 RBIs, and 12 runs scored; and Licciardi hit .464 with 18 runs scored and 10 RBIs for Stratford.
“Griesbach really put a lot of pressure on the other team defensively and improved her soft slap (batting) this season, which made her that much more difficult to defend,” Pankratz said. “Kaiser had a great year in centerfield and had some huge at-bats (in the No. 4 position). Val was our vocal leader and always keeps her teammates in the game with her positive support and enthusiasm.”
Stratford junior Cassidy Vanderleest and senior Shalynn Griesmer and Auburndale seniors Brooke Anderson and Jenna Ertl were among the conference’s honorable mention selections.