Onekama softball players earn district and conference honors

By KYLE KOTECKI

For the News Advocate

Wins were hard to come by for Onekama softball this season, but the Portagers have reason to celebrate as four players received all-district honors and two earned honorable mention in the Northwest Conference.

Zoe Morley was named to the all-district team and received all-conference honorable mention.

“Zoe was our only senior so she had the senior leadership,” said Onekama softball coach Rob Johnson. “She spent countless hours in the gym on Sundays pitching and working on some softball skills. She really put in a lot of effort in her senior year.”

Also receiving both all-district honors and all-conference honorable mention was Ellie Magnan, who played third base for Onekama.

“I don’t think (Magnan) had but one or two errors on the year, if that,” Johnson said. “She darn-near had an error-free season. … She’s just a great kid and plays the game of softball with great intensity. We need about 11 of her to be on the team.”

Center fielder Katelyn McGrady earned all-district honors in just her first season of varsity softball.

“(McGrady) kind of grabbed onto that center field position and really excelled with that,” Johnson said. “She’s got a pretty good arm. … She showed some leadership — some of the younger girls looked up to her because she played that position so well.”

Hanna Hughes, who played second base, shortstop and also pitched, was also named to the all-district team.

“Hanna was a workhorse,” Johnson said. “She struggled last three or four outings — she had a bad back. She pulled a muscle in that Frankfort game that we played on a 40- or 50-degree day and it was rainy. … That tells you what she had to go up against.”

“And she played shortstop,” Johnson continued. “She just did a phenomenal job at shortstop for us. She was kind of the leader in the infield as well.”

Onekama softball had a difficult year, but the young team showed tremendous improvement over the course of the season. Johnson feels the experience they gained will pay dividends in the seasons to come.

“It was a challenging year,” Johnson said. “I think the girls that come back are going to be a lot stronger because of what we went through this year. I think there’s not going to be much that rattles those girls, and a lot of them are only going to be in tenth grade.”

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