Nine Charger softball players recognized in postseason

Mindy Carls

Nine players from Orion’s regional champion softball team have received postseason recognition from the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus.

Making the All-Area team were Jena Malmen, Tori Matzen, Jenna Nelson and Hillary Taets.

On the honorable mention list were Megan Blumenshein, Maddie DePorter, Alyssa Ellison, Kelly Hutton and Sami Mitton.

Malmen received honorable mention when Olympic coaches selected the All-Conference team.

She batted .377 with 29 hits in 77 at bats. She banged out four home runs, tying DePorter for the team lead. She also had eight doubles and a triple. She had 12 bases on balls.

She drove in 19 runs and scored 20. She had two sacrifice bunts and one sac fly.

Catching for the Chargers, Malmen notched 22 putouts and 25 assists. She threw out three runners trying to steal.

Matzen was a unanimous selection for the All-Conference team.

As a pitcher, Matzen notched 74 strikeouts in 68 innings, setting a school record of 1.58 strikeouts per inning for her career.

She had an earned-run average of 2.47 with a win-loss record of 8-4. She pitched five complete games.

When not on the mound, Matzen played second base. She had 18 putouts and 43 assists with only one error.

She had 79 at bats with 26 hits for a .329 average. Eight were doubles, one was a triple and three were home runs. She walked five times.

Matzen drove in 25 runs and scored 25 herself. She stole six bases and laid down nine sacrifice bunts.

A unanimous selection for the All-Conference team, Nelson was named Most Valuable Player of the Charger squad. She played in left field and occasionally at second base.

Moved to the leadoff spot during the season, Nelson led the Chargers with 82 at bats. She notched 32 hits, including two doubles, for a batting average of .390. She struck out only twice but walked 15 times. Both were team bests.

Nelson tallied six sacrifice bunts and a team-best two sac flies.

She scored a team-high 33 runs. She had 12 RBIs. She swiped 10 bases.

On defense, Nelson had 33 putouts and 23 assists. She threw out five opponents trying to steal a base.

Taets was another unanimous selection for the All-Conference team.

She excelled on the mound and at the plate, where she led the team with a .500 batting average on 38 hits in 76 at bats. Opposing pitchers walked her 10 times.

Taets showed plenty of power, launching 10 doubles, a triple and two home runs. 

She led the team in RBIs with 31, and she scored 14 runs.

Taets had six sacrifice bunts and a sac fly.

She pitched 52 innings, giving up 17 earned runs for an ERA?of 2.29. She had a 6-2 record with one save and four complete games. She struck out 55 while walking 15.

Taets had 14 putouts and 15 assists.

At the team banquet, Blumenshein received the Golden Glove for her defense. Starting at shortstop, she recorded 30 putouts and a team-high 45 assists. 

She hit .275 with 19 hits in 69 at bats. She popped five doubles, a triple and a home run. 

Blumenshein collected 10 RBIs while scoring 16 runs herself.

She executed seven sac bunts and stole five bases.

DePorter’s teammates voted her Most Improved.

She hit .333 with 26 hits in 78 at bats. Her hits included a double and a triple, and her four home runs tied her with Malmen for the team lead.

DePorter piled up 26 RBIs, and she crossed the plate 17 times.

She stole seven bases and laid down four sacrifice bunts.

Ellison was a unanimous selection for the All-Conference team.

With 162 putouts this year, first baseman Ellison set a school record with 572 career putouts.

In 75 at bats, she belted 20 hits for a .267 batting average. Her total included three doubles and a triple, and she also executed four sacrifice bunts. She drew nine walks.

Ellison scored 17 runs and drove in 13. She had six stolen bases.

Hutton was awarded the Sportsmanship plaque at the team banquet.

She pitched 48 innings, compiling a record of 5-3 with one save. She had five complete games.

Hutton’s ERA?was 1.17, lowest on the Charger staff. Opposing batters hit .182 against her.

She struck out 53 while walking only 23. 

At the plate, Hutton hit .262 with 16 hits in 61 at bats. She smashed two doubles and a triple.

She drove in 15 runs and scored 15 herself. She led the team with 11 sacrifice bunts.

Mitton received honorable mention in All-Conference voting.

Center fielder Mitton hit .289 with 22 singles in 76 at bats. She drew 12 walks. 

She topped the Chargers with 27 runs and 11 stolen bases. She also made five sacrifice bunts.

In the field, Mitton recorded 16 outs and three assists.