One player has been an All-State first team mainstay the last few years. Another player set it as her goal at the beginning of the season. A third wasn't expecting to get anything once the season ended.
In all, the Sauk Valley had four players named to the Illinois Coaches Association All-State first teams. Those players are Sterling's Karlie Mellott (3A), Morrison's Allie Wiersema (2A), Amboy's Karlee Doege (1A) and Milledgeville's Taylor Grenoble (1A).
Fourteen other players made the second and third teams.
In Class 3A, Mellott was named to the first team for the third straight year. Mellott, who is committed to Cornell University, was named to the third team as a freshman.
"It's definitely rewarding to receive any sort of all-state recognition," Mellott said. "You know that you have some great company on that list, and that there are great players on each team. It's just amazing to make it."
The 3A team is filled with opponents the Golden Warriors faced this season. Sterling finished third at the state tournament.
NIB-12 West foe Abby Turczyn of LaSalle-Peru also made the first team. Other 2014 opponents include Bekah Harnish (Burlington Central), Veronica Ruelius (Marengo), Kathryn Gallagher (St. Ignatius), Brooke Gaylord (Burlington Central), Brooke Stulga (Manteno) and Kayla Wedl (Wauconda).
Sterling's Erin Stroup was named to the second team, and freshman Lexy Staples was on the third team.
"It's great for the team to get recognition, because there is so much talent coming up," Mellott said. "They deserve their recognition, and it's a testament to the kind of team we had."
In 1A, Amboy made a run to the state tournament and finished fourth.
Pitching in the Clippers' circle was Doege, a freshman, with no idea the awards were waiting for her in the postseason.
"I got the team MVP, and I couldn't believe that," Doege said. "I was so excited. Now, to get on this list, is awesome. It's not something I expected. I didn't expect any of this."
Doege credited catcher Kaitlyn Liebing, who made the third team, and the team's seniors for helping her throughout the season.
Senior outfielder Micaela McCoy made the second team.
Milledgeville won the 1A state title in 2013, a year after taking third. This year the Missiles were eliminated in the regional semifinals.
Despite that, the Missiles had five players recognized, including Grenbole on the first team.
"Going back to freshman year, we had made it to the supersectional and beyond,"Grenoble said. "I think what happened this year losing in regionals, and having one bad game, makes us really appreciate the trips to state. We know how tough it is."
Grenoble was on the second-team all-state a year ago, and set her sights on getting a mention on one of the teams again this year.
"At the beginning of the season, I knew I wanted to get mentioned again," Grenoble said. "Then to see my name on the first team, it was really amazing. It means so much to get put into that kind of group."
Grenoble is planning on playing softball at Rock Valley College next year. Teammate Morgan Adolph made the second team, while Courtney Swalve, Kayleigh Leddy and Ally Bush made the third team.
Wiersema followed in her older sister's footsteps in making the 2A first team.
Christie Wiersema, now playing at Augustana, made the first team in 2011 after leading the Fillies to a 2A state title.
Allie Wiersema had a .411 batting average with 37 hits, 16 runs and 23 RBIs. She also went 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA, 56 strikeouts and six walks in the circle.
Other Fillies on the All-State list were Shannon Finneran (second team), Brooke Stralow (third team) and Lauren Rice (third team).
3AFirst teamKarlie Mellott, SterlingSecond teamErin Stroup, SterlingThird teamLexy Staples, Sterling
2AFirst teamAllie Wiersema, MorrisonSecond teamShannon Finneran, MorrisonThird teamKylie Ackerman, Erie-ProphetstownEmily Cox, Erie-ProphetstownSavannah Mettler, Erie-ProphetstownLauren Rice, MorrisonBrooke Stralow, Morrison
1AFirst teamKarlee Doege, AmboyTaylor Grenoble, MilledgevilleSecond teamMorgan Adolph, MilledgevilleMicaela McCoy, AmboyThird teamAlly Bush, MilledgevilleKayliegh Leddy, MilledgevilleKaitlyn Liebing, AmboyCourtney Swalve, Milledgeville