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Emily Hastings tops All-Area Softball East Team

Former RB greats motivate Hastings to hit near .600 average, 9 home runs

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:00 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:57 p.m. CST
(Matthew Piechalak — mpiechalak@shawmedia.com)
Riverside Brookfield star Emily Hastings will take her big bat to Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

RIVERSIDE – At the beginning of the season, Emily Hastings was trying to match the production of the recent run of talented Riverside Brookfield hitters.

Mission accomplished.

Hastings hit .593 to pace the RB offense and become the latest in a line of Bulldog hitters with mind-blowing numbers. Despite the high average, she still had regrets when the season ended.

“I was upset because I was so close to .600,” Hastings said. “It came down to the last game.”

Hastings didn’t get her batting average into the stratosphere by running out infield singles or slap-hitting. The senior catcher hit for power, racking up nine home runs and 10 doubles in 31 games.

Last year, Kiley Rusen, currently playing for Valdosta State, hit .549, and Becky Mantel, an all-freshman team pick in the Big South for Radford this spring, hit .460 with 30 extra base hits. Hastings was tasked with filling most of the void those two left behind.

“They had such a great impact,” Hastings said. “Hitting close to .600 is the best I could do.”

Through the first 12 games of the season she was hitting over .700, but slumped only by relative standards to the .593 mark. A 2-for-4 day would drop her batting average, but she didn’t approach it that way.

“I just stay relaxed and look for a spot to hit it,” Hastings said. “If you’re tense you’re not going to do anything.”

She will continue her career at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and plans to enter the school’s nursing program. Even with all that to look forward to, when her four-year Bulldog career ended, Hastings could only look back and wish she could do it again.

“I was really upset when it ended,” she said. “That last game was really hard because I’m never going to play softball in high school again. It hit me harder than graduating high school.

“It went by so fast.”

Meet the 2013 All-Area Softball East Team:

Jenna Cairo

School: Fenwick

Year: Junior

The Friars’ leadoff hitter hit .402 with 19 RBIs and 28 runs this season. Cairo set the table for the Fenwick offense and was named all-conference in the rugged East Suburban Catholic Conference.

Stefanie D’Anna

School: Lyons Township

Year: Junior

LT’s second baseman emerged as a key player for the Lions. D’Anna’s slap-hitting allowed her to hit .352 with 23 runs scored. She also played a solid second base for the Lions.

Alyssa Galasso

School: Morton

Year: Senior

Galasso is a four-year starter for the Mustangs and posted a 2.90 ERA this season while helping Morton to a regional title. She wasn’t an overpowering pitcher but had good enough control to keep the opposition off balance. She will continue her career at Morton College.

Susan Ghuneim

School: Morton

Year: Junior

Ghuneim was an all-conference performer for the Mustangs and a clutch bat in the middle of the order. The junior split her time between second and third base this season while hitting .384 with a .538 on-base percentage and 35 RBIs.

Holly Haberkorn

School: Nazareth

Year: Senior

Haberkorn was Nazareth’s top pitcher and was an all-conference selection in the ESCC. In the circle, she had a 3.24 ERA with 151 strikeouts in 153.1 innings. She was also a key bat for the Roadrunners, hitting .343 with 18 extra base hits, including eight triples and a team-best 35 RBIs.

Emily Hastings

School: Riverside Brookfield

Year: Senior

Hastings put up eye-popping offensive numbers this season. The Bulldogs’ backstop hit .593 and didn’t do it cheaply. The SIU-Edwardsville recruit blasted nine home runs and had 10 doubles. She finished the season with 37 RBIs and 33 runs scored.

Gabby King

School: Morton

Year: Senior

King has been a key cog in the Morton softball program since she stepped on campus. She was a four-year starter at shortstop and captained the team this spring. King hit .377 with a .534 on-base percentage and 33 runs scored.

Ashley Koziol

School: Lyons Township

Year: Junior

Stepping into the role of top pitcher in place of her older sister, Alyssa, Ashley Koziol filled in as an effective two-way player. Koziol hit .344 with 15 extra base hits and had a 3.00 ERA on the mound with 134 strikeouts against just 26 walks in 121.2 innings.

Kayla Morrissey

School: Lyons Township

Year: Junior

Morrissey was one of the pleasant surprises for LT. The junior catcher hit below .200 last season but became one of the Lions’ top hitters and fielders this spring. She hit .404 and became a leader for the young Lions.

Jess Mrozek

School: Fenwick

Year: Junior

Mrozek was a two-way player for the Friars but really thrived offensively. She hit .449 with 20 extra base hits, seven home runs, 34 RBIs and 26 runs scored en route to earning all-conference honors in the ESCC.

Ashley Parenti

School: Fenwick

Year: Junior

The three-year starter had another standout season for the sectional-winning Friars. Parenti hit .336 with 26 RBIs and 28 runs scored while playing shortstop.

Karah Ritacco

School: Nazareth

Year: Freshman

Ritacco hit the ground running for the Roadrunners. The freshman led Nazareth with a .373 batting average and 34 runs scored. She also had 12 extra base hits and 23 RBIs in his first year of high school.

Emma Schander

School: Riverside Brookfield

Year: Senior

Schander provided key hits throughout the spring and finished with a .495 batting average. She tallied 25 RBIs and 27 runs scored for the Bulldogs.


Fenwick: Sage Juveland, Val Perrelli

Lyons Township: Becky Ryckman

Morton: Isza Gonzalez, Karina Madera

Nazareth: Mary Grace Chizewski, Colleen McGivney

Riverside Brookfield: Lana Herrmann, Katie O’Connell

St. Joseph: Arterrya Edmond, Rebecca Ruiz, Clarisa Sandoval

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