2017-07-06 / Sports

Seniors lead list of all-county performers

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff

Nothing was going to stop Keaton Mikowski from finishing the 2017 campaign in one piece.

Mikowski — who missed the majority of her sophomore and junior seasons with a pair of ACL injuries — willed her way to a successful senior season as the starting center fielder for Glen Lake, batting .402 with a .485 on-base percentage.

The strong finish caught the attention of Leelanau County coaches and the Enterprise sports staff, who awarded Mikowski one of 10 spots on the 2017 Softball Dream Team last week.

“It’s definitely rewarding, that’s for sure,” said Mikowski, one of five seniors on the all-county club. “I was in the ice bath after every practice, but I made it through in one piece.”

Another key piece of the Glen Lake puzzle this spring was senior shortstop Kelly Bunek.

Bunek lived up to her bag-swiping billing in her final season, setting program bests with 51 steals and 16 doubles. The back-to-back first-team all-state selection hit .500 with four triples and a pair of home runs for the Lakers (20-18) on her way to landing unanimous all-county MVP honors for the second consecutive season.

“She just plays with such a fire for the game,” said St. Mary senior Emily Holmes, the lone third-year honoree on the Dream Team. “She’s such a good athlete and is so smart on the field.”

The same could be said of Holmes, the heartbeat of the Lady Eagles (23- 10) this spring.

Holmes led Leelanau County with a .618 batting average, nine triples, six home runs and 77 RBI while providing a steady defensive presence for St. Mary at second base.

She also led the Lady Eagles to their first district championship since 2006.

“Every time she played us this year, she had a big hit,” Bunek said of Holmes, whose Eagles dispatched Glen Lake 7-2 in the district final in Suttons Bay on June 3. “She really led her team as a senior. I always heard her talking to her teammates and cheering.”

Both seniors will play in the MHSSCA all-star game at Central Michigan University on July 19.

The leader of a much-improved Suttons Bay team (11-19), meanwhile, was senior shortstop Morgan Jeffrey.

Jeffrey sandwiched herself between Bunek and Holmes in the Leelanau County batting title chase, hitting .518.

Lydia Drzewiecki of Glen Lake rounds out the list of all-county seniors.

Drzewiecki drove in 28 runs on 44 hits while patrolling the third-base line and batting cleanup this season, a season highlighted by a two-home run performance in a doubleheader at Manton on May 10.

“It was pretty exhilarating,” she said.

The Dream Team also features five underclassmen, including three St. Mary sophomores who made the cut for a second consecutive season.

Catcher Alexandra Kirt, pitcher Shannon Popp and third baseman Jenna Sumner all cracked the all-county team after putting up impressive numbers at the plate, driving in a combined 91 runs.

They weren’t bad on defense, either.

In fact, the St. Mary battery was tops on the peninsula in at least two statistical categories: Popp won the most games, putting together a record of 22-9, while Kirt recorded a rock-solid .978 fielding percentage.

Last but not least on the Dream Team is a pair Suttons Bay freshmen with a bright future, pitcher Grace Periard and utility player Laura Hursey.

Both players brought some serious pop to the Suttons Bay lineup this spring, hitting better than .400.

“They’ll definitely continue to improve,” Jeffrey said of her former teammates. “That freshman class is going to be competing for years.”

Dream Team by Position:
Two shortstops
Two pitchers
Two third basemen
One second baseman
One catcher
One outfielder
One utility player

Dream Team by School:
Four from St. Mary
Three from Glen Lake
Three from Suttons Bay

2016 Dream Team:
Bunek (MVP)
Madelyn Kohler (Suttons Bay)
Andrea Newman (Glen Lake)
Kaitlyn Schaub (Glen Lake)
Abbie Thon (St. Mary)

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