Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
It was a tough year to decipher who was the top softball player in the big school trio covered by the Southeast Iowa Union.
Although nobody’s year ended at the state tournament in Fort Dodge, there was plenty to be proud of among the area’s three big schools. Fairfield came one win away from making back-to-back trips to state. Washington finished above .500 and took third in the conference, and Mt. Pleasant just narrowly missed out on a spot in the regional semifinals.
In the end, it was a senior from Washington who stood just narrowly above the rest. Kellie Dallmeyer earned captain honors in her final year of high school ball.
Fairfield led the way, getting six players on the big school team, as well as head coach Bob Bradfield. Washington finished the year with five, and Mt. Pleasant had two.
Listed below is the 2021 All-Union big school softball team, as chosen by sports editors Andy Krutsinger and Doug Brenneman.
COACH: Bob Bradfield, Fairfield
They knew it wouldn’t be easy to make a run at state without their graduated 2020 class, but the Trojans sure made it interesting in 2021.
Bradfield’s Trojans were in the Southeast Conference race all year long before landing in second place. Fairfield ended the season with a 25-13 overall record and a 16-4 SEC mark.
The Trojans earned a first-round bye in the Class 4A Region 4 tournament and rallied to beat Keokuk 12-5 before losing to Carlisle in the regional finals.
With almost the entire team coming back next season, the 2021 campaign sets Bradfield’s squad up for a promising 2022.
CAPTAIN: Kellie Dallmeyer, senior, Washington
There aren’t many names in all of Class 4A softball that are more reliable at the plate than the Demons’ senior catcher.
Dallmeyer was all over the SEC leader boards this season. She finished first in batting average, with a mark of .529. She hit 15 doubles and four triples, both tied for tops in the league.
Dallmeyer was third in the SEC with eight home runs this year, one of just three players to hit over three. She finished second in RBIs, with 43 and stole 17 bases for good measure.
One thing is for sure, the Demon softball team will miss their senior leader when the summer rolls back around in 2022.
Pitcher: Coty Engle, sophomore, Fairfield
Few had more on their plate than the Trojans’ sophomore ace in 2021. Engle was in her first year as the No. 1 pitcher for the Trojans, and she certainly came to play.
In the circle, Engle went 17-6 on the season, finishing with a 3.28 ERA and 170 strikeouts. Nobody won more games or struck out more batters in the SEC.
Engle was also one of the top hitters in the entire conference. She hit .518 with 13 doubles, two triples and 22 RBIs.
Engle had an incredible on base percentage of .647, the top mark in the conference. That allowed her to come around to score 62 runs this year, 14 more than anyone else in the league.
Pitcher: Halle Cuddeback, eighth-grader, Washington
You know you have to do something special to make the All-Union squad as an eighth-grader.
Cuddeback jumped into the Demons’ top two pitchers midway through the season and she won over half of the games she appeared in, a big reason why Washington ended the year above .500.
Cuddeback went 7-3 in the pitcher’s circle. She had a 4.16 ERA and struck out 21 batters.
She was only in 11 starting lineups as a hitter this year, but she did bat a red-hot .450 with six RBIs.
Catcher: Jenna Norris, junior, Fairfield
A member of the Trojans’ stacked senior class, Norris once again supplied a big dose of power to the Trojan lineup in 2021.
The junior hit .354 from the middle of the Trojan order. She finished the year with 11 doubles, three home runs and 36 RBIs, which was second-best on the Trojan squad.
Infield: Hannah Simpson, junior, Fairfield
Simpson was one of the best players in the conference as a sophomore, and she picked up right where she left off as a junior.
The Trojan first baseman hit. .458 this season with nine home runs, second best in the SEC. Her 15 doubles were tied for most in the conference, and she hit two triples.
Simpson knocked in a league-leading 64 runs this season. She was the only SEC hitter to eclipse 50.
Infield: Savana Walls, junior, Mt. Pleasant
This season was certainly a rebuilding year for the Panthers, but they had a rock to build around in their junior shortstop.
Walls hit .397 this year to lead Mt. Pleasant’s offense. She finished the year with five doubles and knocked in three runs.
Walls was also the top fielder for the Panthers, finishing with a .946 fielding percentage at short.
Infield: Ava Turner, junior, Washington
There were three Demons in the everyday lineup who hit over .300 this year and one of those was Turner.
The junior batted .302 on the season. She hit four doubles on the season and knocked in 21 runs.
Infield: Emma Wenger, freshman, Washington
Another rising Demon star, Wenger showed she could shine in a varsity lineup in 2021.
Wenger finished the year hitting .290 at the plate. She was second on the team in three major categories, hitting 11 doubles and two home runs and knocking in 28 runs.
Wenger will be the leading returner in all three of those major power-hitting categories when the 2022 season arises.
Outfield: Grace Kelley, senior, Mt. Pleasant
Mt. Pleasant’s senior leader was a huge part of the Panthers’ lineup in 2021.
Kelley hit .347 this season, second best on the team. She led the squad in all power-hitting categories.
Kelley hit 10 doubles on the season, five more than anyone else on Mt. Pleasant’s team. She hit one of two Panther triples, launched the only Mt. Pleasant homer of the year and led the squad with 14 RBIs, over double the number of any of her teammates.
Outfield: Delaney Breen, junior, Fairfield
Along with twin sister Danielle, Delaney Breen patrolled the outfield for the Trojans all season long.
Another member of a talented junior class, Breen hit .323 this year at the plate. She finished the year with one double and was third on the team with 24 RBIs on the season.
Outfield: Ella Greiner, eighth grade, Washington
Yet another youthful Demon, Greiner exploded on to the high school softball scene this season.
Greiner hit .359 this season, one of the top marks on the Washington squad. She hit six doubles on the year, as well as four triples, which was tied for tops in the conference. When the dust had settled, Greiner knocked in 21 runs in her first season on the team.
Utility: Danielle Breen, junior, Fairfield
The second twin in the Trojan outfield had quite a bit of pop in her bat in 2021.
Although she only hit .261, Breen made sure her hits counted, hitting four doubles, one triple and three home runs. She knocked in 21 runs.
Utility: Emersyn Manley, sophomore, Fairfield
While many of the current Trojans were returning starters, Manley was in her first year in the everyday lineup, and she made the most of it.
The sophomore catcher and designated hitter finished the year batting .378. She hit four doubles and two home runs and was one of seven Fairfield batters with 20 or more RBIs, knocking in 23 on the year.