Prep Softball

All-state softball 2018: Erica Oler was a pitcher, and a protector, for Jefferson

She joins teammate Lindsey Culver as 5A first-team all-staters

Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Erica Oler pitches during the state softball tournament last week. Oler was a Class 5A first-team all-state selection by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Jefferson’s Erica Oler pitches during the state softball tournament last week. Oler was a Class 5A first-team all-state selection by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Erica Oler was more than a dominant pitcher for Cedar Rapids Jefferson. She was a protector.

“She had a good enough year in the 4 spot for us, that people had to pitch to (Lindsey) Culver,” Jefferson softball coach Brian Erbe said.

Both of them thrived, leading the J-Hawks (36-9) to a Class 5A third-place finish at the state tournament last week. And today, both are honored as 5A first-team all-state selections by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.

“I can’t say enough about either of them,” Erbe said. “They’ve been consistent. Their work ethic is tremendous. They did it for us all season, and they did it for us at the state tournament.”

Oler, a senior who has signed with the University of Northern Iowa, compiled a 28-6 mark this season with a 1.14 ERA. She also batted .414, allowing Culver to see more quality pitches from her No. 3 spot.

A junior and a South Dakota State commit, Culver hit .571 with nine home runs, including a dramatic two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Fort Dodge in the state quarterfinals.

“Thankfully she’s not done yet,” Erbe (the 5A coach of the year) said of Culver. “We’re glad she’s got a year to go with us here.”

Jefferson has the most total all-staters (four) of any area teams. Olivia Erickson earned second-team honors; Kaylee Donner is a third-teamer.

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Cedar Rapids Kennedy (5A), Benton Community (3A) and Lansing Kee (1A) join the J-Hawks with a pair of first-team picks.

Kennedy is represented by its pitching duo of sophomore Kaylin Kinney (15-3, 0.50 ERA) and freshman Jayme Scheck (16-3, 0.61), who combined for 305 strikeouts (against 14 walks) in 229 innings. A University of Nebraska recruit, Kinney batted .563 with 13 home runs, and her 43 walks sent her on-base percentage to .702.

The Cougars (33-6) were ranked No. 1 much of the season and were upset in the regional semifinals by Linn-Mar.

A 3A state qualifier, Benton (28-15) is represented on the first team by senior Shelby Hulsebus and junior Angie Gorkow. Hulsebus was one of the most effective leadoff hitters in state history, batting .654 with 67 runs. Gorkow hit .470 with 15 homers and 55 RBIs. Both were part of Benton’s 2016 state-championship team.

The battery of Kendra Cooper and Chloe Severson led Kee to 1A state titles in 2016 and 2017 — the Hawks (35-6) were knocked off by Lisbon in the regional finals this year. Cooper notched a 24-6 pitching mark with a 0.74 ERA and 283 strikeouts, plus a .477 batting average, 17 home runs and 44 RBIs. She was walked 28 times. Severson hit .390 wih 19 doubles and 43 RBIs.

Marion’s Sydney Nielsen (.465, 9 HR, 37 RBIs) joined Oler, Culver, Kinney and Scheck as Metro first-team picks.

Class 5A

FIRST TEAM

Skyler Shellmyer, sr., Urbandale

Lindsey Culver, jr., Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Sydney Sickels, sr., Indianola

Morgan Greiner, jr., Ottumwa

Erica Oler, sr., Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Kaylin Kinney, soph., Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Alex Honnold, soph., West Des Moines Valley

Emily Flint, sr., Johnston

Ellie Spelhaug, sr., Pleasant Valley

Carli Spelhaug, jr., Pleasant Valley

Claire Stalzer, sr., West Des Moines Valley

Kaitlyn Moses, sr., West Des Moines Dowling

Peyton Daugherty, sr., Ankeny

Alana Cooksley, sr., Dubuque Hempstead

Jayme Scheck, fr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Alexia Lara, sr., Pleasant Valley

Bre Tjebben, sr., Fort Dodge

Coach of the year — Brian Erbe, Cedar Rapids Jefferson

SECOND TEAM

(area only)

Olivia Erickson, sr., Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Ally Johnson, sr., Linn-Mar

Ayana Lindsey, fr., Iowa City High

THIRD TEAM

(area only)

Ariana Rolle, sr., Linn-Mar

Carey Koenig, fr., Iowa City High

Kaylee Donner, jr., Cedar Rapids Jefferson

Nicole Sullivan, soph., Cedar Rapids Prairie

Camryn Jeffords, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Class 4A

FIRST TEAM

Mackenzie Hupke, jr., Independence

Samantha Heyer, jr., Charles City

Olivia Brecht, sr., Center Point-Urbana

Emily Valtman, jr., Newton

Hannah Blackford, sr., Des Moines Hoover

Abbie Hlas, soph., Adel ADM

Delaney Schnathorst, soph., Carlisle

Maddie Haines, fr., Oskaloosa

Alyvia Dubois, jr., Carlisle

Danny Barker, sr., Winterset

Ashley Tennant, sr., Adel ADM

Alyx Witt, sr., Norwalk

Josie Bunnell, sr., Oskaloosa

Sydney Nielsen, jr., Marion

Chi Glaha, sr., Mount Pleasant

Sarah Heilesen, jr., Denison-Schleswig

Madelyn Morgensen, jr., Sergeant Bluff-Luton

Lisabeth Fiser, soph., Charles City

Abby Nolte, jr., Des Moines Hoover

Amber Fistler, sr., Dallas Center-Grimes

Coach of the year — Melissa Feuerbach, Des Moines Hoover

SECOND TEAM

(area only)

Reagan Schutte, soph., Center Point-Urbana

Charlotte Richards, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier

Keera Ball, jr., Cedar Rapids Xavier

Lydia Butters, sr., Independence

Brylee Klosterman, soph., Iowa City Liberty

Kellie Dallmeyer, fr., Washington

THIRD TEAM

(area only)

Maddie Karr, sr., Center Point-Urbana

Ella Link, soph., Western Dubuque

Hanna Horsfield, sr., Western Dubuque

Maria Steffen, sr., Cedar Rapids Xavier

Class 3A

FIRST TEAM

Hannah Kelley, sr., Davenport Assumption

Riley Holmgren, sr., Roland-Story

Madison Friest, sr., Roland-Story

Olivia Wardlow, fr., Davenport Assumption

Shelby Hulsebus, sr., Benton Community

Hannah Isley, sr., Albia

Hannah Pals, sr., North Polk

Taylor Ryan, jr., Solon

Taylor Hogan, jr., Waterloo Columbus

Kaitlyn Van Der Zwaag, sr., Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley

Karli Olsen, soph., Spirit Lake

Alexis Handel, sr., Atlantic

Randie Richmond, sr., Eddyville EBF

Alex Beard, soph., Albia

Ellie Jacobson, soph., Humboldt

Emme Hjelle, sr., Algona

Angie Gorkow, jr., Benton Community

Ally Anderson, sr., Atlantic

Carlie Thompson, soph., Humboldt

Sydney Schultz, jr., Waterloo Columbus

Payton Ahrenstorff, jr., Spirit Lake

Tara Wehde, soph., Camanche

Coach of the year — Amber Doyle, Roland-Story

SECOND TEAM

(area only)

Grace Martensen, jr., Benton Community

Sammy Moss, jr., Mount Vernon

Haylee Lehman, soph., West Liberty

Heather Boeckenstedt, jr., Dyersville Beckman

Bailey Sullivan, sr., Mount Vernon

Skyler Stookey, jr., Solon

THIRD TEAM

(area only)

Macy Akers, jr., West Liberty

Marrah Burrack, sr., North Fayette Valley

Macey Kleitsch, soph., West Delaware

Madison Rogers, sr., Solon

Elisabeth Davis, sr., Vinton-Shellsburg

Taylor McDonald, sr., Monticello

Class 2A

FIRST TEAM

Hannah Ausenbus, jr., Central Springs

Abby Kraemer, jr., Alta-Aurelia

Abby Flanagan, soph., North Linn

Peyton Gross, sr., IKM-Manning

Krayton Allen, sr., Sumner-Fredericksburg

Lily Peterson, sr., Alta-Aurelia

Kamryn Meyer, sr., Durant

Kylan Straight, sr., Logan-Magnolia

Taryn Hintz, soph., South O’Brien

Isabella True, jr., Louisa-Muscatine

Meagan Blomgren, jr., Van Meter

Emma Veenstra, jr., Des Moines Christian

Mady Reid, soph., Wapello

Shayden Blankenship, soph., West Sioux

Hannah Happ, jr., Durant

Sydni Huisman, jr., Treynor

Ries Wilson, sr., Colfax-Mingo

Taylor Hipsley, sr., Earlham

Denali Loecker, soph., Ogden

Kylee Sanders, fr., Louisa-Muscatine

Chloe Wells, fr., Wilton

Katie Bracken, jr., Iowa City Regina

Coach of the year — Bryan Butler, Louisa-Muscatine

SECOND TEAM

(area only)

Kristin Sadler, soph., Jesup

Madison Osborn, jr., Alburnett

Jess Hunter, jr., Iowa City Regina

Grace Flanagan, soph., North Linn

THIRD TEAM

(area only)

Zoe Miller, soph., Jesup

Kaitlyn Sommerfelt, fr., North Linn

Paisley Gardner, sr., Iowa City Regina

Class 1A

FIRST TEAM

Taryan Barrick, jr., Ackley AGWSR

Brynn Van Eldik, sr., Akron-Westfield

Kelsey Lint, jr., BGM

Kori Wedeking, soph., Clarksville

Mikayla Houge, soph., Collins-Maxwell

Alexis Houge, 8th, Collins-Maxwell

Jade Hays, sr., Coon Rapids-Bayard

Sophia Peppers, sr., Exira-EHK

Talia Schon, soph., Glidden-Ralston

Kendra Cooper, sr., Lansing Kee

Chloe Severson, sr., Lansing Kee

Bradi Harvey, sr., Kingsley-Pierson

T.J. Stoaks, fr., Lenox

Skylar Sadler, jr., Lisbon

Kaitlyn Schad, sr., Martensdale-St. Marys

Emma McDanel, sr., Moravia

Breianna Klein, jr., Murray

Layney Loyd, soph., New London

Lily Castle, soph., Mason City Newman

Olivia Larsen, soph., Sidney

Autum Barthelman, sr., Sigourney

Haylee Fortune, sr., Wayne

Lexi Lander, soph., West Monona

Payge Ronfeldt, sr., Woodbury Central

Coach of the year — Troy Houge, Collins-Maxwell

SECOND TEAM

(area only)

Leeah Weber, soph., Central City

Nicki Wood, sr., Lansing Kee

Maddie Morningstar, sr., Lisbon

Madison Schauf, sr., Sigourney

THIRD TEAM

(area only)

Shaylee Dodd, jr., Belle Plaine

Sam Schrantz, jr., Lisbon

Chloe Jacque, jr., Lone Tree

Rylee Menster, sr., Springville

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

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