Oskaloosa–The William Penn softball team had four players receive league accolades as the all-Heart of America Athletic Conference teams were announced Monday.
Emily Brown (Jr., Waverly, Iowa, Biology) was one of 20 players picked for the league’s first team, while Michelle Castro (Fr., Acampo, Calif., Business Management), Kodee Johnson (Sr., Stockton, Calif., General Mathematics), and Chyanne Koko (Jr., Waianae, Hawaii, Physical Education) all earned second-team recognition (20 players on that team as well). Seven additional players claimed honorable mentions.
The awards are the first for both Brown and Castro, while Koko and Johnson are now two-time honorees. The quartet guided the Statesmen (24-29, 12-22 Heart) during the 2017 campaign.
Brown hit .350 (55-for-157) with 11 doubles and a team-best five home runs. The junior catcher finished the season with 33 RBIs and 24 runs scored. She also posted a .516 slugging percentage and a .391 on-base mark (nine walks, three hit-by-pitches). A one-time Heart Player of the Week, Brown owned a five-game hitting streak.
Castro topped the navy and gold with a .368 batting clip (team-high 64 hits in 174 at-bats). She recorded 19 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 21 RBIs, and a squad-best 41 runs. The freshman also had a .557 slugging mark and a .400 on-base percentage (five walks, five hit-by-pitches). Castro, who also led WPU with nine stolen bases, tallied a season-best 10-game hitting streak.
Among all Heart players, Castro was third in both doubles and doubles per game (0.38), fourth in hits per game (1.28), fifth with 117 fielding assists, eighth in hits, runs, and total bases per game (1.94), ninth in batting average, and 10th in runs scored per game (0.82).
Johnson’s .359 batting average (56-for-156) included three doubles and one triple. She scored 25 times and drove in eight runs with a .391 slugging percentage and a .365 on-base mark (two walks). The senior stole eight bases and also posted 11 sacrifice hits. Johnson managed an eight-game hitting streak.
Koko posted a .340 batting average (54-for-159), highlighted by 18 doubles and four home runs. She had 30 runs and 28 RBIs along with a .528 slugging percentage and a .386 on-base mark (eight walks, four hit-by-pitches). Koko’s longest hitting streak was seven games.
The junior ranked fourth in the conference with .38 doubles per contest and fifth in total doubles.
Brown, as a catcher, and Koko, as a center fielder, were also named to the Gold Glove team. Brown owned a .993 fielding percentage with just one error in 151 chances (121 putouts, 29 assists), while Koko had an .872 clip (86 chances–65 putouts, 10 assists). The fielding award is the first for both athletes.
Devin Brown of Grand View was named Heart Player of the Year, while teammate Claudia Farrell was picked as Pitcher of the Year. Freshman of the Year laurels went to Sydney Tigges (Clarke) and Alexis Paulo Meyers (Peru State) collected the Newcomer of the Year accolade. Clarke’s Jeff Lamb was tabbed as Coach of the Year by his peers.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage