By Todd Parker
Following the completion of the softball season where the Union Knights recorded the second highest win total in school history, a trio of Union players have been named to NICL East All-Conference teams. The Knights placed two players, Peyton Parker and Haylee Kuene, on the All-Conference First Team and another, Kaitlin Holschlag, on the Second Team. Parker and Holschlag were also named to the Iowa Class 3A Southeast All-District team.
Senior pitcher Payton Parker was very nearly a pitching staff of one, logging 90% of the innings pitched for the team. Parker was credited for all 22 of Union’s wins against eight defeats, posting a 1.88 earned run average. Parker’s 182 strikeouts boosted her career total to 701. At the plate, Parker was among the leaders in Class 3A, hitting .533, four home runs and driving in 50 runs. In the field, Parker was flawless, handling all 91 chances without committing a single error.
Also receiving First Team honors was Union second baseman, Haylee Keune. Keune posted one of the top batting averages in conference play, hitting at a .481 clip.
Senior shortstop Kaitlin Holschlag was named to the NICL East All-Conference Second Team. Batting at the top of the lineup, Holschlag led the Knights in runs scored with 41 and her 54 hits were second on the team. She also excelled in the field, recording a .933 fielding percentage at one of the most challenging positions on the diamond.
Receiving an Honorable Mention was Union Third Baseman, Natalie Tecklenburg, who hit .436 and drew a team-high 18 walks. At 22-11 in 2017, the Knights recorded their second consecutive 20 win season on their way to a 12-4 record and third place finish in the NICL East.