Panthers’ Leider on All-ECC first team

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff

Sophomore center fielder Jessica Leider of the Plymouth Panthers was voted to the All-East Central Conference softball first team by the ECC coaches for the league’s inaugural 2016 season.

Also earning All-ECC recognition for PHS is senior pitcher Erica Helmer on the honorable mention team.

“Jessica made the move from infield last season to center field. Offensively, she led the team in hits as she reached safely in 11 out of 14 conference games,” said Panther head coach Dawn Krebsbach.

“She really shined defensively as she had 18 catches on 18 chances [in ECC play]. She made a really nice diving catch against Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson) to help us go into extra innings. She has a very solid arm as well.

“I’m really looking forward to what she can do the next two years,” said Krebsbach.

Leider led PHS in ECC batting with a .370 average. She had 17 hits, scored six runs, stole four bases in four attempts and had an on-base percentage of .420. Leider cracked a triple and two doubles.

ERICA HELMER ERICA HELMER Helmer was 5-8 in league play with a 4.40 ERA and three shutouts. She recorded 52 strikeouts and walked 25 in 89 innings.

“This was her first year being selected [all-conference] and well-deserved. She pitched all but four innings for us this season,” Krebsbach noted.

It’s also the first time Leider has made all-conference.

“She [Helmer] was very reliable on the mound and an extremely hard worker. She worked hard over the off-season to improve her pitching – teaching herself how to throw three different pitches,” said the coach.

“She utilized her change of speed quite well this season. She was also voted as a captain by her teammates.”

Senior Kyra Verheyen of Waupun, an All-ECC first-team infielder, was voted the conference’s Player of the Year. Verheyen, a unanimous first-team pick, led the league in batting with an impressive .558 average and was first in RBIs with 19.

JESSICA LEIDER JESSICA LEIDER The other unanimous first-team player is junior catcher Kylee Whitford of Winneconne.

Senior pitcher Annika Gereau of Winneconne led the ECC in wins with 10 and posted an outstanding 0.92 ERA. The ERA leader was junior Breana Trepes of Kewaskum with an impressive 0.29.

Freshman hurler Kennedy Lehn of Kewaskum was the strikeout leader with a whopping 111 in only 66 innings.

Co-champions Waupun and Winneconne led the ECC in first team selections with four each.

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