Softball: Koch, Paup named to HOIAC all-conference first team
By BRANDON HURLEY
Senior Sydney Koch cemented herself in Heart of Iowa Athletics Conference lore as she was voted one of three unanimous first team selections, along with Alyssa Hegland of South Hamilton and Lyndsay Bianchi of Saydel for the 2016 softball season.
Fellow Greene County senior, Carleigh Paup also joined Koch on the first team as a third baseman.
Freshman Megan Carey earned second team honors.
Koch led the conference in runs batted in as a left-fielder with 35 and was fourth in home runs with four, a career high. She batted .353 and smacked 11 doubles, tying her for second in the conference.
Paup led the HOIAC in hits with 45, doubles with 12 and triples (4). The senior’s .446 batting average (a career best) put her second in the conference just behind Audrey Ley of North Polk, who hit .451. Paup’s 39 runs scored secured her the top spot in the conference. She also knocked in 24 runs, which placed her ninth.
Carey tied Paup for the conference lead in hits (45) and finished sixth in batting average at .429.
The freshman primarily played center field for the Rams and swiped 13 stolen bases to go with 30 runs scored, which put her at sixth in the conference.
Paup and Koch polished off historical careers with their first team selections, having compiled more than 100 wins, over 250 hits and helped engineer back-to-back third place finishes at state (2014-15).
Junior pitcher Hannah Promes (13-12) and freshman shortstop Jenna Byers earned honorable mention distinction as well. Promes batted .337 and knocked in 25 runs, which was second on the team and good for seventh in the conference.
Byers collected 21 RBI, fourth on the team.
Collins-Maxwell/Baxter won the 2016 conference title with a 13-2 record and advanced to the state tournament.
Greene County finished fifth with a 8-8, .500 record in conference play. They compiled a 16-14 overall record and fell 13-7 to Perry in the first round of district play.
2016 HOIAC First team:
Pitcher - Mikayla Houge, 8th, CMB
Pitcher - Sophie Swygmann, 9th, North Polk
Catcher - Alyssa Hegland*, 12th, South Hamilton
Catcher - Lyndsay Bianchi*, 11th, Saydel
Infield - Carleigh Paup 12th, Greene County
Infield - Rebecca Rimathe, 11th, North Polk
Infield - Payge Jurgens, 12th, CMB
Infield - Jayci Vos, 11th, PCM
Outfield- Sydney Koch*, 12th, Greene County
Outfield - Audrey Ley, 12th, North Polk
Outfield - Anneliese Barton, 11th, Saydel
Utility player - Abby Kahler, 11th, CMB
Utility player - Hailey Louw, 10th, Roland-Story
* Denotes unanimous selection
2016 HOIAC Second team:
Pitcher - Taylor Tague, 12th, Saydel
Pitcher - Ady Wintermote, 11, South Hamilton
Catcher - Hannah Caple 9th, CMB
Catcher - Courtney Bridges, 11th, PCM
Infield - Kelsey Polaski, 12th, Roland-Story
Infield - Alexis Carney, 10th, Saydel
Infield - Paige Sandberg, 10th, North Polk
Infield - Mikayla Eslinger, 11th, CMB
Outfield - Megan Carey, 9th, Greene County
Outfield - Jenna Clark, 10th, Roland-Story
Outfield - Abby Waddell, 11th, PCM
Utility player - Megan Ritter, 11th, CMB
Utility player - Jenna Jackson, 12th, Saydel