Altamont's Deidre Ledbetter had a season to remember. On the mound, she owned an impressive 15-3 record with a 2.26 ERA. Ledbetter fanned 155 batters in 124 innings, helping guide the Lady Indians to a 20-4 record, National Trail Conference tournament title and an appearance in the Johnston City Super-Sectional.
She was also a nightmare for opponents at the plate, where she batted .532 with 33 RBIs and led Altamont with 14 extra-base hits. Her all-around performance this spring did not go unnoticed by NTC coaches, as Ledbetter was honored as the league's MVP when the all-conference teams were officially released on Tuesday.
Teammates Lauren Ohnesorge and Josie Phillips were also chosen as first-team All-NTC players. Ohnesorge batted .367 for the Lady Indians, knocking in 22 runs during their impressive 2013 campaign. Phillips batted .356 with an OBP of .434, closing with 17 RBIs and 27 runs scored.
Windsor, the team Altamont beat 3-0 in the conference final, also had two first-team selections. Pitcher Lindsay Floyd was a force for the Lady Blue Devils on the mound all season, and much like Ledbetter, also excelled at the plate. Floyd closed the season with an ERA under 1.00, and also batted .476. Dani Bell, Windsor's shortstop, was a tough leadoff hitter for coach Brian Lee's squad, batting .459 on the year. Bell was also a defensive wall in the infield, repeatedly making the tough ground balls look easy.
The final two teams with a pair of first-team picks were St. Anthony and Stew-Stras. The Lady Bulldogs' Makayla Walsh and Paige Koester garnered the nods after fantastic seasons in the batter's box. Walsh had a ridiculous slugging percentage of .975 this season, closing with eight homers, six triples and three doubles. Walsh drove in 45 runs en route to a batting average of .487. She also went 5-3 on the mound.
Koester batted .434 with an OBP of .505. She was second on the team in runs scored at 32, one behind Walsh's mark of 33.
Pitcher Kendall Knop was the first pick for Stew-Stras. Knop was 8-3 this season as a starter, striking out 84 in 76 innings for a 2.83 ERA. She hit .476 with 12 RBIs and 18 stolen bases for coach Kyle Knop's Lady Comets.
Teammate and third baseman Lindsay Burton was also honored on the first team. Burton batted .421 with 12 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
The final three first-team selections were shortstop Megan Maxey of St. Elmo/Brownstown, catcher Kristen Albin of Neoga and catcher Mallorie Vahling of Dieterich. Maxey stole 21 bases and scored 21 runs for the Lady Eagles, finishing with an average of .375.
Albin paced Neoga with a .355 average and .429 OBP, closing with 11 RBIs off 24 hits.
Vahling was Dieterich's anchor behind the plate, batting .500 with a solid slugging percentage of .778. She led the Lady Maroons with 16 RBIs.
10 other area athletes were honored on the honorable mention team. St. Anthony catcher Hunter Niebrugge and pitcher Meghan Woltman gave the Lady Bulldogs two more selections. South Central's Macie Cain and Kellie Crain were honored as well. Cain hit .418 with 16 RBIs and four homers after a tough knee injury forced her to miss all of the 2012 season. Shortstop Autumn Riley hit .390 with 13 RBIs to represent BCCH.
Madison Ohnesorge made it three all-conference picks for Altamont. The center fielder hit .455 in the leadoff spot with an OBP of .517.
Samantha Austin, St. Elmo/Brownstown's second pick, closed the year by batting .266 and was the ace of the staff.
The remaining two selections on the honorable mention squad were Bayley Neece of Neoga and Whitney Kuhl of Windsor.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deidre Ledbetter, Altamont—Most Valuable Player
Lindsay Floyd, Windsor
Makayla Walsh, St. Anthony
Kendall Knop, Stewardson-Strasburg
Dani Bell, Windsor
Megan Maxey, St. Elmo/Brownstown
Kristen Albin, Neoga
Lindsay Burton, Stewardson-Strasburg
Lauren Ohnesorge, Altamont
Mallorie Vahling, Dieterich
Paige Koester, St. Anthony
Josie Phillips, Altamont
Madison Ohnesorge, Altamont
Autumn Riley, Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick
Bayley Neece, Neoga
Hunter Niebrugge, St. Anthony
Meghan Woltman, St. Anthony
Samantha Austin, St. Elmo/Brownstown
Macie Cain, South Central
Kellie Crain, South Central
Whitney Kuhl, Windsor