By Chris Chaney
The Amelia Lady Barons concocted their mixture of young talent and veteran experience brilliantly throughout the 2013 softball season, finishing the year with a 14-8 record and a share of the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division title.
Thanks to such an exceptional season, the Lady Barons were showered with accolades by the conference, including the league’s two most prestigious individual awards. Head coach Kelly Throckmorton and senior catcher Brady Potrafke were named the Co-Coach and Co-Player of the Year, respectively.
“Well, I go to my kids,” Throckmorton said of what the honor means to her. “They played really hard this season and did the job to make us successful. They were very hard working and were willing to listen and make changes.”
As for the Lady Barons’ senior catcher, she earned her share of the Player of the Year award by virtue of her team-leading .486 batting average and .548 on-base percentage. Potrafke also had 11 doubles, six homeruns and 41 runs batted in.
“Brady has been a starting varsity player for four seasons,” Throckmorton said in explaining Potrafke’s impact on the program. “She’s grown and led the team throughout her time (at Amelia), especially this season being a senior. She always did whatever I asked of her, she set good examples and she worked really hard and basically, was just a really good ball player.
“Whenever we needed her come crunch time, she always came through. She worked very hard throughout and I’m very proud that she had one of her best seasons as a senior.”
The Lady Barons had five seniors, six freshmen and one junior and sophomore on their roster and one from each class was honored by the league.
Joining Potrafke on the First Team were senior teammates Jennae Chappell and Whitney Brezinski. Fellow senior Hannah Burchfield was named to the Second Team.
“A good number of the (seniors) have been with us (on varsity) for a few years,” Throckmorton said. “Whitney was our shortstop for three years. She had some ups and downs and fought through being banged up to play everyday.
“This season, everyone made a contribution. We had some standout players, but everyone did something and made a contribution.”
Non-senior Lady Barons honored included junior Dana Caldwell and sophomore Elena McDonald on the First Team and freshman Kendall Kaiser on the Second Team.
Other Clermont standouts that were named to the First Team All-SBC were Bethel freshmen Mackenzie Watson and Chelsea Cooper, along with teammate, sophomore Cassidy DeVore. Goshen also had a trio of First Teammers in freshman Ashleigh Campbell and juniors Rian Adams and Bethany Strauss.
Senior Bethany Smith was New Richmond’s lone representative on the First Team. Fellow Lady Lion senior Morgan Powers was named to the Second Team.
Bethel Second Team selections were freshman Shelby Murphy and sophomore Julia Weber. Goshen’s pair of Annie Gadberry and Shalee Gray rounded out the Clermont County honorees on the Second Team.
Correction: In the July 4 edition of The Clermont Sun, the article titled, “SBC All-Stars look familiar” detailed those individuals named to the Southern Buckeye Conference’s National Division softball All-Stars; however, Clermont Northeastern’s Allison Gilkerson was accidentally omitted.
Gilkerson, a sophomore catcher for the Lady Rockets, was named to the First Team All-Conference. Gilkerson was named to the First Team for the second time in two years. The hard-hitting signal caller finished the season with a .478 batting average, four home runs and 42 runs batted in.