Drahn, Opiola share top Valley Division softball award

Softball: Gratz, Yegge are coaches of year in the MVC

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Future UNI teammates Tianna Drahn of Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Adara Opiola of Iowa City West share the softball player-of-the-year award in the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division.

Drahn led the Cougars (37-5) to the Valley Division championship and a final No. 1 ranking in Class 5A. She batted .577 with 62 runs and 60 stolen bases.

Opiola hit .482 with 11 home runs and 64 RBIs. She scored 48 runs.

Dan Gratz of Kennedy is the Valley Division coach of the year. Joe Yegge won the same honor in the Mississippi Division after leading the Hawks to the title on that half of the league. Yegge’s Hawks (26-14) will play at the state tournament next week.

Waterloo West’s Jaclyn Spencer is the Mississippi Division player of the year.


Mississippi Division

First Team (*unanimous)

Pitchers — *Natalie Halvorson, jr., C.R. Prairie; *Jaclyn Spencer, sr., Waterloo West; Catcher — Neila Bell, sr., C.R. Prairie; Infield — Jessi Puk, jr., C.R. Washington; Lauren Kuch, jr., C.R. Prairie; Jamie Feltes, sr., C.R. Xavier; Bri Netty, soph., Waterloo East; Outfield — Morgan Lewis, soph., C.R. Prairie; Kayla Ryan, jr., Waterloo East; Morgan Krug, soph., Dubuque Hempstead; Utility — Katie Langholz, soph., C.R. Xavier; Payton Bruner, sr., C.R. Washington.

Player of the year — Spencer.

Coach of the year — Joe Yegge, C.R. Prairie.

Second Team

Pitchers — Malarie Huseman, 8th, Dubuque Hempstead; Rylie Kane, sr., C.R. Prairie; Catcher — Alana Cooksley, soph., Dubuque Hempstead; Infield — Ellie Grace Dixon, jr., Iowa City High; Kaylie Springer, 8th, Dubuque Hempstead; Colleen Huffy, soph., Waterloo West; Cassie Himmelsbach, jr., C.R. Xavier; Outfield — Olivia Richards, fr., C.R. Xavier; Grace Brown, jr., Iowa City High; Anna Kramer, sr., Dubuque Hempstead; Utility — Abigail Doering, soph., Waterloo West; Dana Riley, jr., C.R. Washington.


Valley Division

First Team (*unanimous)

Pitchers — *Jessie Harder, sr., Iowa City West; Erica Oler, soph., C.R. Jefferson; Catcher — Taylor Libby, sr., Iowa City West; Infield — *Adara Opiola, sr., Iowa City West; Megan Weber, jr., C.R. Kennedy; Sydney Tigges, sr., Dubuque Senior; Erin Kuba, sr., C.R. Jefferson; Outfield — *Tianna Drahn, sr., C.R. Kennedy; *Taleah Smith, jr., Iowa City West; Ariana Rolle, soph., Linn-Mar; Utility — Ashley Hamilton, jr., C.R. Kennedy; Avery Guy, jr., C.R. Jefferson.

Co-players of the year — Drahn and Opiola.

Coach of the year — Dan Gratz, C.R. Kennedy

Second Team

Pitchers — Abby Henderson, soph., Iowa City West; Ashley Winterowd, soph., C.R. Kennedy; Catcher — Peyton Baskerville, sr., C.R. Kennedy; Infield — Kennedy Dighton, jr., C.R. Jefferson; Lindsey Culver, fr., C.R. Jefferson; Elison Ollinger, jr., Linn-Mar; Paige Timmerman, sr., C.R. Kennedy; Outfield — Brylee Klosterman, 8th, Iowa City West; Katie Breitbach, jr., Dubuque Wahlert; Sydney Briney, jr., C.R. Jefferson; Utility — Alli Tigges, soph., Dubuque Senior; Jenna Schwartzhoff, jr., C.R. Kennedy.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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