Late August fastpitch news and views

The Fastpitch Chronicle Elites, a team of elite level 18-Under girls has entered the Wisconsin Badger Team camp event on Sunday, August 28th at Goodman Diamond.

Fastpitch Chronicle owner Bob Tomlinson entered the team and has recruited a competitive group of players to attend the camp. He will be assisted by Badger Blitz Coach Verne Barreau on Sunday.

Heading the list of players is the WFSCA Division 3 Player of the Year, Kirsten Tomlinson of Poynette who led the Pumas to the 2011 Division 3 state championship. Tomlinson went 25-1 on the season, the lone loss a 1-0 game at the hands of neighboring Portage. She batted an even .500 on the season with a .600 OBP. She drove in 54 runs, hit five homers, three triples and 12 doubles. She was intentionally walked 17 times during the season. She finished 2011 with a slugging percentage of .875. In the circle she wound up with a season ERA of 0.34, a WHIP of .57, fanned 275 batters allowing only nine extra base hits. Kirsten was named the Capitol Conference North Player of the Year as a freshman and has repeated that honor as a sophomore and junior while also garnering the Conference Pitcher of the Year honors the past two seasons.

Joining Tomlinson from the state champion Poynette club are senior catcher Holly Hornback and sophomore utility player McKenna Kelsey. Hornback hit .356 with 26 RBI batting behind Tomlinson in the Pumas order. She had nine doubles, one home run and walked 20 times. Behind the plate she was as solid as a rock. Kelsey batted .333 and according to Tomlinson is full of fastpitch posssiblity. “She’s quick with great range, has a great arm and is eager to learn.

Also playing on the team are Monona Grove shortstop Taylor Ellestad, Baraboo junior pitcher Jessie Carignan; Brodhead junior third sacker Amanda Pickel, Algoma infielder Courtney Dart, Bayport’s Morgan Sarter and Lindsey Luedke, Verona outfielder Kelly Gavigan. We’ll have more information on all those girls herein soon.

Ellestad, a senior was a second team All-Badger South third sacker in 2009 who followed that up as a first team shortstop as a sophomore and as a junior. She was also a WFSCA All District performer in 2010. A team captain as a sophomore and junior Taylor batted .454 in 2011 with three doubles and five home runs. Her on base percentage of .554 and slugging percentage of .854 are impressive. Her .907 fielding was a key factor in MG’s success. She will play multiple positions on Sunday for the Elite.

Brodhead High School’s Amanda Pickel has a great arm and primarily has played third base for the Cardinals where she demonstrated great range and quickness. She batted .459 in 2011 with an on base percentage of .539 and a slugging percentage of .635. She drove in 21 runs, had four doubles, three triples and one home run. She bats right handed and throws right handed. Amanda help lead the Cardinals to the 2011 Sectional Semi-final game.

Lindsay Luedke, a senior at Bayport High School who as a freshman  was moved up to
play 2nd base on varsity. Her sophomore and junior years saw her mainly at first base where she  was selected as 1st team all conference. She led Bayport to its first conference championship in 30 years.  In 2011 Lindsay  was named first  team all conference  in the Bay Conference and was named Player of the Year, leading the league in hitting with a .560 batting average to go along with 24 RBI. She had nine doubles and three home runs during the high school season. Lindsay played for the Powerhouse summer team where she played several positions.

Algoma’s Courtney Dart is a senior infielder. As a freshman she earned second-team all conference honors while compiling a .369 batting average while blasting a pair of round trippers. As a sophomore Courtney was a first-team infielder and named Co-Player of the Year as well as team MVP, All Area infielder, with a batting average of .514 which included four more home runs. During her junior year she earned first team honors as a pitcher and was named Player of the Year in the conference. She earned all area utility player honors as well as WFSCA all district utility honors. She batted .500 with three home runs and was again voted her team MVP. She is a versatile player who brings a wealth of ability to the Elites. In the classroom she has been a highest honors scholar throughout her high school years.

Jessie Carrignan is a junior at Baraboo High School. A varsity starting pitcher from the get go of her freshman year the righthander has established herself as a force in Wisconsin. She was a second-team all conference performer following her freshman year and was named team MVP. As as sophomore she earned first-team All Badger North honors and again was the team MVP, leading the Thunderbirds to the conference title. She accumulated a record of 20-5 and tossed nine shutouts in the process. She had an ERA of 0.50 and fanned 141 batters. At the plate she is also dangerous, batting .412 which included eight doubles, 22 RBI, a slugging percentage of .506 and an on base percentage of .412.

Morgan Sarter of Bayport High School had a great 2011 season after missing the team’s first give games due to recovering from an injury. “Being out of the lineup due to that injury taught me just how much I love fastpitch softball,” she said. Morgan batted .375 for Bayport in 2011 and helped lead to the team’s first conference title since 1983. During the summer of 2011 Morgan played for the Badger Blitz Travel Team. She possesses a wealth of travel ball experience and is a welcome addition to the Fastpitch Chronicle Elites Showcase team for 2011.

Elites head coach Bob Tomlinson has been the head softball coach at Poynette High School for 32 years. His high school teams have won 20 conference championships, three state championships, been runner-up at the state tournament twice and has one third place spot at the state tourney as well. His teams have played in 13 sectional series throughout his career. A member of the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame, the Amateur Softball Association (WI) Hall of Fame, the Wisconsin Fastpitch Coaches Hall of Fame as well as the Madison Mallards Hall of Fame, Tomlinson brings a lot of playing and coaching experience to the Elites. In addition to high school girls’ fastpitch he has coached ASA boy’s fastpitch teams to one ASA national title , three ASA runner-up spots and a North American Fastpitch Association third place finish. His summer women’s fastpitch teams have won more than 12 league titles as well as an ASA state championship. His men’s fastpitch teams were also highly competitive, winning state titles, regional titles as well as high finishes at national tournaments.

Verne Barreau is a longtime mens’ major level fastpitch player, major level men’s team manager and has now has vast experience as a youth girls summer travel ball coach with the Badger Blitz team. Verne’s playing accomplishments are numerous as he has played for some of the top mens’ fastpitch teams in Wisconsin and earned numerous all tournament and all-state recognition. Players from his Badger Blitz team are fundamentally sound and many have gone on to play well at the collegiate softball levels.

The Elites may also be assisted by former Badger great Jen Krueger, a Portage native. Krueger holds numerous records at UW-Madison including the season and stolen base records. She was a three-time All Big 10 performer while at Wisconsin and earned her wings there as a walk-on following an illustrious high school career that saw her be named all-state three times (she didn’t play her junior season due to an ACL injury in basketball). Jen and Bob Tomlinson teamed up in the summer to conduct The Fastpitch Chronicle Proven Winners skills camps.