Bear Lake, Brethren softball players earn conference honors

Bear Lake junior Hayley May was one of three Lakers to earn first-team All-West Michigan D League honors. Two of her teammates also earned second-team recognition. (News Advocate file photos)

Bear Lake junior Hayley May was one of three Lakers to earn first-team All-West Michigan D League honors. Two of her teammates also earned second-team recognition. (News Advocate file photos)

Bear Lake and Brethren were both well represented in the West Michigan D League softball all-conference teams.

The Lakers, who won the league championship for the first time since 1987, landed three players on the all-conference first team and two more on the second team, while the Bobcats, who struggled to fins wins and finished fifth in the six-team league had one player on each of the first and second teams, and honorable mention.

Abby Cross, Alyssa Eisenlohr and Hayley May each earned first-team all-league honors for the Lakers, after all three had monster years at the plate.

May posted an impressive batting average of .705, Cross batted .605 and Eisenlohr finished with an average of .600 for Bear Lake, who lost only one league game this year.

Lakers head coach Garret Waller said that all three were much improved from last year.

“Their batting averages went up a couple of hundred points,” Waller said. “Those three definitely deserve it.”

Hailey Omar and Shaely Waller were named to the all-league second team, Waller for the second consecutive season.

All five of Bear Lake’s all-conference players will return to play next season, in the hopes of repeating as league champions.

“I can’t wait to see how these girls come out and improve even more for next year,” Garret Waller said. “It’s exciting to have a bunch of girls who want to be out there, are excited about softball and want to do their best.”

But Waller said that he has even higher aspirations for next year’s squad.

“Our first step is going to be to defend the title, but I want to win a district with these girls,” he said. “That, starting right now, is going to be the main goal for next year.”

Despite struggling to win games this season, Brethren had three players earn league recognition.

Senior Mariah Pringle was named first-team all-conference, Meggan Macurio was named to the second team and Whitney Danks earned Honorable Mention.

“We didn’t have that great of a season,” Bobcats head coach Scot Modjeski said. “You’ve got to have the numbers to make first-team and second-team, but it was nice to see that the coaches recognized some of the players that did deserve being on there. I thought we got what we should have got.”

The rest of the WMDL first team consists of Maddie Alber and Hannah Curtis of Big Rapids Crossroads and Erin Wittlieff, Frances Knizacky and McKenna Lake of Mason County Eastern.

Crossroads’ McKenzie Cole and Megan Schultz, Harley Smakal of MCE and Taylor Ruggles, Makaylah Lomelisse and Mikaylyn Kenney rounded out the second team.

Bethany Curtis or Crossroads, and Jordyn Wittlieff and Cierra Grimm from MCE all earned Honorable Mention.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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