The Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star published their 2023 all-state softball teams Sunday.
Blair High School standouts Kalli Ulven, Nessa McMillen, Leah Chance and Brooke Janning highlighted Washington County's inclusion. Collectively, the four Bears accounted for three All-Nebraska and three Super-State first team selections.
Ullven, a senior signed to the University of Nebraska-Kearney, earned first team All-Nebraska honors from the World-Herald and Super-State classification from the Journal Star. The school record-breaker hit at a .579 average this fall with 12 homers, 15 doubles, five triples and 64 RBIs, according to the World-Herald, which also named her the Class B honorary captain. She also pitched to a 18-4 record with a 2.42 ERA.
McMillen claimed first team All-Nebraska and Super State honors, too. The future Nebraska Cornhusker played shortstop for the Bears, batting at a .538 average with 13 homers and 63 RBIs. Her 59 runs scored this fall were a school record.
Chance, a Wayne State College recruit, earned All-Nebraska first team honors from the World-Herald, while also securing second team Super-State recognition from the Lincoln newspaper. The second baseman hit .533 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs this fall.
Brooke Janning, meanwhile, was a Super-State first-teamer and All-Nebraska second-teamer. The junior excelled in the pitching circle and hit .500 in the Bears' lead-off spot.
In addition, Blair's Sophia Wrich, Bria Scott, Joslyn Policky and Claire Mann claimed postseason honors from the World-Herald. Wrich was a Class B second-teamer after hitting at a .410 average during her senior season.
Scott, Policky and Mann, meanwhile, claimed honorable mention from the Omaha newspaper. Scott hit at a .366 average prior to the state tourney, while Policky was the Bears' everyday catcher. Mann hit .388.
5 Pioneers recognized
The Fort Calhoun Pioneers followed up their most successful season in school history with five all-state honorees.
Junior Kaylee Taylor highlighted the group, securing second-team Class C recognition from the World-Herald. The catcher took honorable mention from the Journal Star, too, after hitting at a .450 average with 36 hits.
Kaitlyn Welchert, Sam Brewer, Anna Taylor and Tacey Belina, meanwhile, claimed Class C honorable mention from both state newspapers. Welchert finished her senior season with a .444 average and seven homers, while Brewer hit at a .438 clip with a team-best 39 hits. Anna Taylor hit .400 and earned a 2.56 ERA from the pitching circle. Belina, a freshman, also earned seven pitching wins to go with her .441 average.
3 Eagles honored
Three Arlington Eagles were recognized by the two state publications, too.
Junior Britt Nielsen claimed Class C second team honors in the World-Herald and was an honorable mention athlete in the Journal Star. The shortstop hit at a .538 average, had six homers and plated 31 runs.
Rylee Fuehrer and Lydia Schaapveld, meanwhile, claimed honorable mention Class C honors from both state publications. Fuehrer, a senior, claimed 10 pitching wins with 71 strikeouts this fall.
Schaapveld, a sophomore, hit .403 with 19 RBIs — the second-highest total on AHS' team.