Tomahawks Home: College Softball Commitments

Friday, May 16
Abbi Liske Signs With McKendree University

This is a first. A member of our very first 18U Tomahawks team has committed to play college softball. Abbi Liske of Nashville high school will play collegiate softball at McKendree University in Lebanon IL. She is the daughter of Staci and Scott Liske of Nashville IL.

As a member of our 16U team (and our 14U team before that), Abbi was a phenomenal force at the plate where she regularly batted third or fourth in the lineup. Lots of players would be content with just being a pretty good hitter; Abbi worked at being the best she could be. Some people might look at Abbi bat and say she doesn't need a hitting coach because she crushes the ball. She was so consumed with being the best hitter possible that she actually changed hitting coaches to transform herself from a good hitter into an even better one. She was among the team leaders in several offensive categories her last summer on the 16U team: most triples (4), most doubles (9), third highest batting average (.365), third in runs batted in with 22, tied for second in walks (12).

Abbi also has the unique distinction of being a member of numerous successful school softball teams. In grade school, she played on teams that finished a 1st, 3rd and 4th in the state playoffs. So far in high school, she has been a member of 1st and 3rd place state teams with this year's team enjoying another banner year as the season winds down and they head into the state playoffs yet again. Abbi was recognized as her team's most improved player last year to go along with her selection as the Belleville News Democrat designated hitter award for the 2013 school season.

But, as I often tell our players, I'm more impressed with their grade point average than their batting average. A good education will take them much farther in life than softball. Abbi should go far as she excels in the classroom where she has a 3.8 GPA on a scale of 4.0 and is on the High Honor Roll. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. Abbi received the Presidential scholarship and the Leadership scholarship from McKendree for all 4 years. She is majoring in Occupational Therapy and with a minor in Accounting. She will finish her major at Wash. U. in St Louis.

During her tenure with the Tomahawks, Abbi has been instrumental in helping the Tomahawks organization support the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness and Make-A-Wish foundations. That total just recently eclipsed $10,000 in donations.

In recognition of her skills, Abbi was selected as our Impact Player her last year of 16U signifying just how much she meant to the team. I am so very proud of having been her coach and wish her all the best.



Saturday, May 3
Chloe Thies Signs With McKendree University

I'm pleased to announce another former Tomahawk has committed to play college softball. Chloe Thies of Trico has signed a Letter of Intent to play collegiate softball ball at McKendree University, a Div II school located in Lebanon, IL. She is the daughter of Jennifer Thies of Willisville IL and Jason Ross of Murphy IL.Chloe is a wonderful young lady who was one of our team leaders; on the field, in the dugout, and in the classroom.

It was uncanny how every time we needed a key hit or play during her first season, Chloe came through for us. So much so that she was named our Most Influential Player that season. The second season saw Chloe take on a larger role as she served as our unofficial team captain. When the team struggled, Chloe’s steadying influence helped keep things on an even keel. In recognition of her efforts, she earned our Leadership Award which signifies that special young lady who truly sets herself apart from others.

Her hitting feats continued in her second season as she drove in several key runs and wound up with a .362 on base percentage. On defense, she was a wall behind the plate. But, as I often tell our players, I'm more impressed with their grade point average than their batting average. A good education will take them much farther in life than softball. Chloe should go far as she excels in the classroom where her 4.94 GPA on a scale of 5.0 is the third highest in her class. She is president of the Student Council and has been Class President since her sophomore year.

Chloe also played a key role in the community service initiatives our organization supports annually. Players from each of our teams solicit pledges and donations which are given to charity – every penny. That ongoing total recently exceeded $10,000! However, the one thing that sets Chloe apart from all the other girls who have played for me is her confidence. She has to be one of the most confident people I have ever met. That is an extremely important attribute that will take her far in life. We wish Chloe all the best in college as she pursues a degree in the medical field.

We wish Chloe all the best in college as she pursues a degree in the medical field. 



Saturday, May 3
Briah Winchester Signs With John A. Logan

I'm pleased to announce Briah Winchester of Nashville high school has signed a Letter of Intent to play collegiate softball at John A. Logan College located in Carterville, IL. She is the daughter of Greg Winchester of Nashville IL.

In addition to being an excellent catcher and first baseman, Briah also led the team with her bat. While batting 4th the lineup, she led the team with a .392 batting average, first in OBP .464, tied for 3rd in RBIs, and third on the team in doubles with 8.

Briah is a wonderful young lady who meant so much to the success of the team. She was one of our team leaders, constantly exerting her leadership traits and encouraging her teammates. I often remarked how much I truly appreciated her. In recognition of her contributions, she was recognized with the Leadership Award. All our players are encouraged to excel in the classroom. Briah is vice-president of the National Honor Society, an Illinois State Scholar, in the top 10% of her class, and also a Daughters of the American Revolution award recipient

Briah also played a key role in the community service initiatives our organization supports annually. Players from each of our teams solicit pledges and donations which are given to charity – every penny. That ongoing total recently exceeded $10,000! We wish Briah all the best in college as she pursues a degree in Forensic Biology.

We wish Briah all the best in college as she pursues a degree in Forensic Biology.



Monday, April 21
Taylor Underwood to play at Saint Louis College of Pharmacy

I am pleased to announce Taylor Underwood has decided to continue her education at the prestigious St Louis College of Pharmacy. While there, she will play NAIA collegiate softball. In making this decision, Taylor elected to pass up other collegiate softball opportunities. She is the daughter of Geri Carpenter of O'Fallon IL and Kevin Underwood of Swansea IL.

Taylor will be graduating Magna Cum Laude from O’Fallon Township High School in May. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has received the Scholar Athlete award the past 3 years. Taylor also received All Academic honors in the Southern Conference in 2013. She has also been awarded the Dean’s Scholarship from St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

During the time Taylor played with the Tomahawks, she was one of our best offensive players and clutch performers. When most people reflect on what Taylor brought to the team, they think of her batting. True, she was a really good hitter. Enough so that more than one opposing coach commented about just how good she was. Taylor led the team with .500 batting average, tied for first in home runs (3), 2nd in RBIs (23), tied for first in doubles (9), and tied for 1st in runs score (29).

However, Taylor brought a lot more to the team aside from her hitting skills. She was a really good defensive first baseman and an even better teammate. She was a genuinely good person; always respectful to the coaching staff.

In recognition of her accomplishments, Taylor was selected as our Prime Time Performer. Taylor also played a key role in the community service initiatives our organization supports annually. Players from each of our teams solicit pledges and donations which are given to charity – every penny. That ongoing total recently exceeded $10,000!

  We wish Taylor all the best in her collegiate softball and professional careers.



Monday, April 21
Becca Proper to play for Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville IL

I am  pleased to announce another former Tomahawk has committed to play college softball. Becca Proper, a senior at O'Fallon high school, will play collegiate softball at Southwestern Illinois College located in Belleville IL. She is the daughter of Therese and Bob Proper of O'Fallon IL.

Becca was a long time member of the Tomahawks organization where she enjoyed great individual success at every level and helped lead her teams to unparalleled success during her tenure. She primarily played catcher throughout her career where she threw out many would be base stealers but also played other positions.

As impressive as she was on defense, her offense may have been even better. During her last summer season, Becca had a .356 batting average, a .426 ob%, and led the team with 25 RBIs. She was one of only four players with more walks than strikeouts and was third in runs scored with 24.

In recognition of her skills, Becca was selected as our Most Versatile Player during her last season with the team.

During her tenure with the team, Becca was also instrumental in helping the Tomahawks organization support the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness and Make-A-Wish foundations. That total just recently eclipsed $10,000 in donations.

We are proud of having her in our organization and wish her all the best.



Monday, December 23
Brittany Durant commits to play softball at St. Louis University

I'm pleased to announce that Brittany Durant has committed to play her collegiate softball at St Louis University, a Div I school located in St Louis MO. She is the daughter of Lisa and Doug Durant of O'Fallon IL. Brittany was a longtime member of the Tomahawks organization, playing two years each of 14U and 16U ball.

Brittany spent her early years of select ball as a catcher but much of her two years with the 16U team was devoted to learning to play outfield. That's not say she wasn't a good catcher. In fact, she had outstanding catching skills. She was converted to center field because of her tremendous speed and strong arm.

Regardless as to whether she was playing center field, catcher, at bat, or on the base paths, Brittany had a profound impact on the game. She was an electrifying base stealer and threw out many base runners while playing center field and catcher.

After being recognized as our Most Improved Player her first year, she was selected as our Prime Time Performer in her final year. One thing about Brittany that separated her from others was that she set very high goals and then devoted herself to achieving them. She was determined to play Div I ball and worked really hard to realize that dream.

During her tenure with the team, Brittany was also instrumental in helping the Tomahawks organization raise over $4500 which they donated to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness and the Make-A-Wish foundations. However, I'm proudest of Brittany for her academic achievements. She recorded a 29 on her ACT and her 3.96 GPA in all honors classes ranks her in the top 10 percent of her graduating class. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. Brittany intends to major in chemistry and pre-med.

  We wish Brittany all the best during her collegiate career and beyond.



Monday, December 23
Camille Ulery to play college softball at Trine University, Angola IN

Tomahawk Families, I'm pleased to announce that Camille Ulery has chosen to play her collegiate softball at Div III Trine University in Angola IN over other offers. Trine has been a powerhouse in NCAA Division III during the past several years. This past season, their record was 38-5 and they were ranked number two in the nation in the final NCAA Division III poll. They have made the NCAA Division III tournament for the past seven consecutive seasons. Camille is the daughter of Mary and Jeff Ulery, formerly of O'Fallon IL.

Camille was a longtime member of the Tomahawks, playing two years of 14U and 16U ball. She was a four-year starter who rarely sat out. After the family moved to Indiana for her senior year of high school, Camille led the her new team in batting average, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs and runs.

As coaches, we start from day one telling the girls we aren’t looking for highlight reel plays/ we want them to be consistent and make all the routine plays. We need to know a person can perform at the same level each time. Camille was that type of player. Her hard work and determination were what made her a great softball player and what will carry her to greater success in life.

During her last two years with the Tomahawks, Camille regularly batted 4th in the order. She will be remembered as possibly the best two-strike hitter in our history regularly having high quality at bats often resulting in positive results.

In recognition of her many contributions to the team, the coaching staff recognized Camille with the "Top Warrior Award" which has come to symbolize the player on the team who gives her all, often playing hurt, and usually the player with the most innings played that year.

  We wish Camille nothing but the best in her collegiate career and beyond.



Monday, December 23
Shannon Elbe signs letter of intent to play at Greenville College, Greenville IL

I'm pleased to announce Shannon Elbe of Mascoutah High School has signed a Letter of Intent to play her college ball at Greenville College in Greenville IL. Shannon has been selected to receive the McAllester Honors Scholarship and will be part of the Honors Program at GC where she will study Secondary Education. She is the daughter of Christy and Doug Elbe of Mascoutah IL.

While with the Tomahawks, Shannon was a member of some highly successful teams. Here is a list of their accomplishments: Champions-USSSA St. Louis National Qualifying Tournament, Champions - ASA Land of Lincoln National Qualifying Tournament, Champions - NSA Collinsville Summer League, Second - ASA Junior Olympic Metro St. Louis Pre-National Open, Third - Collinsville Extreme Classic, Fourth - BNGSA/Sports Enhancement Field of Dreams Tournament, Sixth - NAFA Class “A” National Tournament, Champions - NAFA Class A Qualifier, O’Fallon IL, Second - BNGSA Twin City Classic, Normal IL

Shannon was a very accomplished outfielder with a strong arm. Aside from her success on the field, Shannon was a true team player and a huge part of the success the team enjoyed during her time with the Tomahawks.

However, we are most proud of Shannon for the legacy left in her wake. She, along with two of her 16U teammates, proposed the idea of a community service project of raising money in support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness foundation. In recognition of her many contributions to the 16U team during the 2010 season, the coaching staff recognized Shannon with the "Most Determined Award" at our post season awards banquet.

I am very proud of having been her coach and wish her all the best in her collegiate softball career and in attaining her other goals beyond softball.



Monday, December 23
Tayler Evans to attend St. Louis College of Pharmacy, and play NAIA collegiate softball

I am pleased to announce Tayler Evans has decided to continue her education at the prestigious St Louis College of Pharmacy on the Dean's Scholarship. While there, she will play NAIA collegiate softball. In making this decision, Tayler elected to pass up other collegiate softball opportunities, one of which was a D2 offer.

Tayler is the daughter of Cindy and Jeff Evans of Granite City IL. In the two years Tayler played with the Tomahawks, she proved to be one of the most versatile players to ever wear the uniform. Her exceptional range and strong throwing arm enabled her to play every position except pitcher and first base.

Tayler took great pride in being an exceptional bunter, advancing numerous base runners into scoring position. She also worked very hard to become a good hitter. During her last summer on team, she batted .344 with a .408 on base percentage. The two awards Tayler earned while with the Tomahawks were Most Versatile Player and Most Competitive Player.

However, I'm most proud of Tayler for her success in the classroom where she worked hard to maintain a 5.0 GPA on a scale of 5.0. In the process, she was recognized as a member of the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Honors, and will be graduating Cum Laude.

 We wish Tayler all the best in her collegiate softball and professional careers.



Monday, December 23
Ashley Modglin to play softball and volleyball at Rend Lake College, Ina IL

I'm pleased to announce another former Tomahawk has committed to play college softball. Ashley Modglin of Trico high school will play collegiate softball and volleyball at Rend Lake College located in Ina IL. She is the daughter of Melissa and Warren Modglin of Campbell Hill IL.

As a member of the Tomahawks, Ashley was a dynamic center fielder with extraordinary speed and a strong arm. She erased many would-be base hits with her aggressive play and threw out numerous base runners attempting to take the extra base.

As impressive as she was on defense, her offense may have been even better. She combined stellar bunting skills with extraordinary foot speed to earn many infield base hits. As a left handed slap hitter, she easily turned infield ground balls into hits. Once on base, she made taking the extra base look easy. During the summer of 2012, Ashley batted .325 with .400 OB%; tied for team lead in home runs(3/all of which were inside the park), and scored 23 runs.

As one of the fastest, if not the fastest, girls to ever play for the Tomahawks, Ashley's play inspired the creation of the first ever "Gamebreaking Performer Award".

I am so very proud of having been her coach and wish her all the best.



Monday, May 13
Peyton Banal to play at the St. Charles Community College, Cottleville, MO

We are pleased to announce that Peyton Banal has signed to play her collegiate softball at St. Charles Community College, located in Cottleville MO. She is the daughter of Melanie and Sonny Banal.

Peyton didn't let the fact three pitchers were already on the roster keep her from accepting an offer to join the Tomahawks when the opportunity arose. In fact, nothing seemed to bother Peyton. She was always so confident, cool, calm, and collected – perfect qualities for a pitcher. Those qualities helped her lead the team in wins and strikeouts her first season. Aside from earning her share of wins as a starter, she also picked up several wins and saves in relief.

Even though the team wasn't as successful her second year, Peyton didn't let that keep her from having another stellar year, pitching in many games both as a starter and in relief. She looks so calm on the mound / I liked to say she has ice water in her veins.  Aside from pitching, Peyton fielded her position exceptionally well, robbing many batters of hits up the middle. She was also a very good first basemen and aggressive outfielder.

During her tenure with the team, Peyton was also instrumental in helping the Tomahawks organization raise over $4500 which was donated to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness and Make-A-Wish foundations.

After being recognized as our Most Pivotal Player her first year, she was selected as our Best Defensive Player in her final year - the first time in our 6-year history a pitcher has been recognized with this award. Peyton had a profound impact on our team and the success we enjoyed during her tenure and will definitely be missed! We wish Peyton all the best during her collegiate career and beyond.



Monday, May 28
Rachael Conley signs Letter of Intent with Kaskaskia College

I'm pleased to announce Rachael Conley of Wesclin High School has signed a Letter of Intent to play her college ball at Kaskaskia College in Centralia IL. She is the daughter of Lesley and Mitch Conley of New Baden IL.

Rachael was a member of a highly successful 14U Tomahawks team before enjoying two stellar years as starting shortstop for the Tomahawks 16U team, playing almost every inning. She played hurt and sick, never wanting to sit down. She lead in innings played during her time on the team. As the centerpiece of a very good defense, she consistently made difficult plays look routine. Her play was instrumental in developing an aggressive culture that enabled the team to win over 65 games during her two years with the Tomahawks 16U.

On offense, she was a great bunter, great at getting on base, and a very aggressive base runner. She established a Tomahawks 16U record with an incredible 27 walks during her first summer with the team. After spending much of her time batting down in the order, she was elevated to the top of the order during her last summer where she batted .358. However, those numbers don’t reflect the high number of quality at-bats she had.

Rachael’s efforts were instrumental in helping create two community service fundraising campaigns which were directly responsible to our success in raising over $3800 which we donated to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and the Make-A-Wish foundation.

In recognition of her achievements, Rachael was recognized as Top Performer at her last post season awards banquet. We wish Rachael all the best in her collegiate softball career and in the pursuit of her long term career goals beyond softball.



Sunday, March 4
Ciara Schaefer signs Letter of Intent with Kaskaskia College

We are pleased to announce that Ciara Schaefer has signed a Letter of Intent to play collegiate softball at Kaskaskia College in Centralia IL. She is the daughter of Cindy and Matt Schaefer of Red Bud IL.

Ciara joined the Tomahawks 16U team for the fall 2009 season where she quickly asserted herself as a key member of the team. She was a two-year starter who rarely sat out. Her aggressive play on both offense and defense were instrumental in developing an aggressive culture that enabled the team win over 65 games during her Tomahawks career. She was a very good all around player and a very popular teammate.

There are lots of words that could be used to describe Ciara. Words like desire, determination, dedication, consistency, fun, bubbly, reliable, gritty, aggressive, and tenacious. On offense, she excelled at having quality at bats where she was one of only two players with more walks than strikeouts during the 2011 summer season. She had many key hits and runs batted in along with her aggressive base running. On defense, Ciara fielding skills at second base were unsurpassed. Her speed, incredible range, and strong arm enabled her to play second base like few others.

When she wasn't playing second base, Ciara was turning in many key pitching performances. During the 2011 summer season, Ciara led our pitching staff in innings pitched with 81 and recorded the lowest ERA 3.198 . She concluded her career by pitching two shutout victories during our last tournament in Mattoon. Her efforts also contributed to our success in raising almost $3800 which we donated to Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and the Make-A-Wish foundation.

In recognition of her many contributions to the team, the coaching staff recognized Ciara as the "Best Defensive Player" last summer with the team. We wish Ciara all the best in realizing her goals in college and beyond.



Sunday, March 4
Allison Niehaus signed a Letter on Intent with Lindenwood University in Belleville IL

We are pleased to announce Allison Niehaus has signed a Letter on Intent to play college softball at Lindenwood University in Belleville IL. She is the daughter of Dana and John Niehaus of Troy IL.

Alli joined the Tomahawks 16U team for the fall 2009 season where she quickly asserted herself with her offensive prowess. Much of her time with the team was spent batting third in a high scoring offense that continually pressured opposing defenses. Her play was instrumental in developing an aggressive culture that enabled the team win over 65 games during her two years with the Tomahawks.

As a two-year starter for a very competitive Tomahawks team, Alli played all out on every play. After recording the highest batting average (.506) and leading the team in home runs and triples in her first season, she finished her second season with the second highest batting average (.366), most home runs (4), most triples (5), most doubles (10) , and highest slugging percentage (.652). She also led the team with 35 runs batted in. Her efforts also contributed to our success in raising almost $3800 which we donated to Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and the Make-A-Wish foundations.

In recognition of her many contributions to the team, the coaching staff recognized Alli as the "Best Offensive Player" and "Impact Player" during her two years on the team. We wish Alli all the best in her collegiate career.



Sunday, March 4
Malerie Chappell Signs With Kaskaskia College

Malerie Chappell has signed a Letter of Intent to play her college ball at Kaskaskia College in Centralia IL She is the daughter of Sherry Chappell of Salem, IL and John Chappell of Odin, IL. As one of three pitchers on the 2010-11 16U team, Malerie was very instrumental in our success. Even though Malerie only played one season with the team, she pitched in several big games against some of the better teams we faced. The thing that impressed the most about her was her intensity, her competitive nature, and her ability to play through pain. Her really commanding mound presence no doubt contributed to her excellent 3 to 1 strikeout ratio. Getting strikeouts in key situations can be very helpful to a defense. That defense helped us finish 3rd in the prestigious Collinsville 16U/18U Select league comprised of some of the better teams and players in the Metro East.

Malerie finished her Tomahawks career by pitching a perfect game in our last tournament of the 2011 summer season. At the Tomahawks award banquet following the 2010-11 season, Malerie was recognized with the "Most Intensity" award. We wish her all the best in her collegiate softball career and in attaining her other goals beyond softball.



Tuesday, September 13
Kristin Rolla Will Play For Webster University

Kristin has elected to play her college ball at Webster University in St Louis, MO. She is the daughter of Chris and Leanna Rolla of O'Fallon and Danielle's twin sister.

Kristin was a charter member of the Tomahawks, playing two years with the team. During those two years, the team won over 100 games, attended ASA Class A Northern Nationals twice, and finished 13th out of 64 teams in 2009.

Kristin enjoyed two stellar years as a starting outfielder for the Tomahawks, playing left field her first year and center the second. Countless base runners were thrown out trying to take an extra base. Those teams we played often didn't try her a second time. Even though she was very slight of build, her nickname was "Arms" both because of her strong throws and also because of her ability to crank the ball for extra base hits. Kristin will be working towards a degree in Video & Film Production.



Monday, May 2
Erica Wilson Signs With Rend Lake

Erica Wilson of O'Fallon will play college ball at Rend Lake College located in Ina, IL. She is the daughter of Leah and Bob Wilson of O'Fallon.

Erica was a charter member of the Tomahawks organization, playing two full years on the 16U team. During those two years, the team won over 100 games, attended ASA Class A Northern Nationals twice, and finished 13th out of 64 teams in 2009.

As one of three pitchers on the staff, Erica pitched and won her share of big games against some of the best competition in the Midwest. She was the winning pitcher in the championship game of the 2008 18U Belleville league which the team won 1- 0. That was the team's first ever league championship.

Her pitching efforts were instrumental in helping the team win the first tournament championship in Tomahawks history. She was the winning pitcher in the semifinal game and earned a save in the championship of the Metro East Ice Summer Freeze softball tournament in 2008.

Possibly her largest contribution to the team was when she anchored the staff for the team that won the 2008 Belleville fall high school league and finished with a record of 12-0. Along the way, the team scored more runs (79) and allowed fewer (19) than any other team. She finished with a .99 earned run average. As a reward for the team's success, they earned a berth in the 2009 ASA Class A Northern Nationals.

Erica pitched several key games during the summer of 2009 but none bigger than the dominating shutout against a very good Patriots team in the ASA Class A Northern Nationals. Virtually the same team that defeated them the previous fall. Aside from her success on the mound, Erica was a true team player and a huge part of the success the team enjoyed during her time on the team.

At her final Tomahawks award banquet following the 2008-2009 season, Erica was recognized with the "Most Pivotal Player" award.



Thursday, April 14
Karly McLauglin Signs With Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Karly McLaughlin of Edwardsville signed a Letter of Intent to play collegiate softball at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Division III school located in Cambridge. Massachusetts. Attending MIT has long been a goal of Karly's and we're extremely happy for her. For anyone unfamiliar with MIT, it is one of most renowned academic institutions in the entire world. Karly will be pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering. She is the daughter of Lorella and Bill McLaughlin of Edwardsville IL.

Karly played one full year with the Tomahawks where she made quite an impression. Her pitching stats for her 2010 summer season were: 19 wins (5 losses), 157 innings pitched, 180 strikeouts (only 11 walks), earned run average: 1.07. At the plate, Karly batted .300 and led the team in doubles (8).

To say Karly was an overachiever would be an understatement, she set and lived the standard for others to emulate. All our girls are encouraged to be all they can be by embracing the Keys to a Winning Effort – Focus, Commitment, and Self-Discipline. These keys can be applied to life just as easily as softball. No one ever totally exemplified this concept until Karly – she lives it. She was very respectful to her teammates and coaches, regularly carried team equipment back and forth from the parking lot without prodding, and was always in attendance at every team function. Her efforts as a member of the team were unsurpassed. She literally inspired teammates to play harder and coaches to be better coaches.

Karly’s efforts in the classroom were equally remarkable. Her final high school GPA was 4.65 on a scale of 4.0. This is achieved by taking an excelling at all honors classes which she needed to be accepted to MIT. Needless to say, it was quite an honor to be asked to write a letter of recommendation on her behalf to the softball coach at MIT.

At the post season awards banquet, Karly was recognized as our Most Valuable Player not only for her superb play but also for her actions as role model for others to follow both on and off the field. Even with all the really great players who have worn the Tomahawk uniform, several of whom have gone on to earn D1 athletic scholarships, Karly is the only recipient of this award.

We wish Karly all the best in her collegiate softball career and in the pursuit of her long term career goals beyond softball.



Thursday, December 16
Lacey Gill elects to play at Southeastern Illinois College

I'm pleased to announce another former Tomahawk has committed to play college softball. Lacey Gill of Nashville High School has elected to play for to Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) in Harrisburg, I.

Lacey joined the Tomahawks for the fall of 2008 and played one full year with team. Her numerous contributions were one of the reasons the team was so successful in it's second year of competition. Highlights included an undefeated Belleville High School fall league where they scored more runs and allowed fewer than any other team. Counting their fall tournament record, they finished the fall season with a record of 18-4. The summer team finished with a record of 37-20 (against some of the best competition in the entire Midwest) and a tie for 13th out of 64 teams in the prestigious ASA Class A Northern Nationals.

Even though catcher was her primary position, Lacey soon proved she was capable of playing a number of positions. However, her greatest contribution to the team may have been at the plate. Lacey was a coach's dream. Not only did she bat .319 with 24 RBIs during the 2009 summer season, she also lead the team in sacrifices.

We wish Lacey all the best in her collegiate career.



Friday, December 3
Kelsey Barbeau earns a position on the Maryville University softball team as a walk on.

Kelsey, the daughter of Ron and Kathy Barbeau, attended Gibault high school and played for the Tomahawks during the summer of 2009. Even though Kelsey joined a very competitive Class A team with lots of returning players she quickly earned a spot in the starting lineup. Her versatility enabled her to play a number of positions. During the course of the season she played first base, second base, and outfield while consistently batting second in the batting order.

During her lone summer with us, Kelsey batted over .300 and drove in 21 key runs. She also proved to be a great table setter (much like a second leadoff hitter) by earning 18 bases on balls compared to only 7 strikeouts. Even though she had offers to play ball at a four-year college and a junior college, Kelsey elected to walk on at Maryville where she will pursue a degree in Sports Management.

We wish her nothing but the best in all her future endeavors.



Thursday, November 18
Brianna Butler commits to play for the University of Missouri-St. Louis

Brianna Butler from Triad High School has committed to play softball at the University of Missouri-St Louis, an NCAA Division II school located in St Louis, MO.  

Brianna was a charter member of the Tomahawks organization, playing two full years on the 16U team. As the #3 hitter in the lineup, Brianna consistently led the team in many offensive categories. In her final summer season with us, Brianna lead the team with a .497 batting average along with a .539 on base percentage. She was first in hits (75), first in home runs (2), first in doubles (14), second in runs scored (48), and third in runs batted in (37). All this despite being pitched around by our opponents (she earned 12 walks, some intentional).

Brianna was a huge part of our defense as well. Even though she was capable of playing numerous positions, she regularly started in right field where she took away many hits with her hustle and strong arm (throwing many batters out at first base).  Brianna was also a key member of our pitching staff where she crafted a 2.49 earned run average.

The team won over 100 games during those two years, attended ASA Class A Northern Nationals twice, and finished 13th out of 64 teams in 2009. Needless to say, Brianna was a huge part of all that.

At her final Tomahawks award banquet, we created a new award in her honor entitled the "Best All Around Player".

We wish Brianna all the best in her collegiate career at UMSL.



Thursday, November 11
Ali Trickey signs with Missouri State University

Ali Trickey of Belleville East Township High School has signed a Letter of Intent with Missouri State University, a Division I school located in Springfield, MO. She is the daughter of Diana and Duane Trickey of Belleville.

Ali joined the Tomahawks for the 2009 summer season where she quickly established herself as one of the elite leadoff batters in the Metro East. Aside from a batting average of .373 and an on base percentage of .439, Ali stole 26 bases while being thrown out only 3 times.

While many girls (literally) shied away from the pressure of joining a team with eight returning starters and lofty expectations, she quickly earned a starting role at third base where she was instrumental in helping form a dominating defensive unit that carried the team to a record of 37-20 (against some of the best competition in the entire Midwest) and a tie for 13th out of 64 teams in the prestigious ASA Class A Northern Nationals.

Ali was a vocal leader on an off the field. As a result of her inspiring play, she was selected as the Most Competitive Player that summer.

We wish Ali all the best in her collegiate softball career and in the pursuit of her long term career goals beyond softball.



Tuesday, November 2
Lauren "G" Smith gives verbal commitment to University of Tennessee-Martin

Lauren "G' Smith of O'Fallon has given a verbal commitment to play softball at the University of Tennessee-Martin - a Division I school located in Martin, TN.

Lauren was a charter member of the Tomahawks organization, playing two full years on the 16U team as the starting catcher. During those two years the team won over 100 games, attended ASA Class A Northern Nationals twice, and finished 13th out of 64 teams in 2009. Lauren possessed a strong arm which enabled her to throw out many would-be base stealers or those who strayed too far off the base they were occupying. She regularly batted 4th in the lineup and was a clutch hitter. In her last summer with the team, Lauren finished with a .420 batting average and lead the team with 47 RBIs.

During her junior year of high school, Lauren blasted 17 home runs which was one shy of the IHSAA state record. She also drove in 65 runs and finished the season with a batting average of .589. Lauren was named PLAYER OF THE YEAR by the St. Louis Post Dispatch & Belleville News Democrat.

Needless to say Lauren was a major reason the Tomahawks enjoyed the level of success they achieved while she was a member of the team. We wish her all the best during her senior year in high school and her upcoming college career.



Sunday, May 16
Stephanie Shewmaker signs with Blackburn College

Stephanie Shewmaker of O'Fallon signed a Letter of Intent to play softball at Blackburn College, a Division III school located in Carlinville IL. She is the daughter of Bobbie and Frank Shewmaker of O’Fallon IL.

Stephanie was a charter member of the Tomahawks organization, playing two full years on the 16U team. As the regular shortstop, she played more innings than anyone else during that time exhibiting great range and a strong arm. The team won over 100 games during those two years, attended ASA Class A Northern Nationals twice, and finished 13th out of 64 teams in 2009.

Stephanie never missed a game or a start and was the consummate teammate, providing strong leadership. She regularly batted 4th or 5th in the lineup and was a clutch hitter. In Stephanie's last summer with the team, she finished with a .357 batting average and had 41 RBIs.

At her final Tomahawks award banquet, we created a new award in her honor entitled the "Top Warrior Award". That award is presented annually to the player who plays the most innings over the course of that year.

We wish Stephanie all the best in her collegiate softball career and in the pursuit of her long term career goals beyond softball.



Saturday, March 20
Jessi Holland Commits Signs With Austin Peay University

We are pleased and proud of this former Tomahawk making her our first Division I commitment. Jessi signed a Letter to Intent to play her college ball at Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She is the daughter of Dina and Bobby Holland of O’Fallon IL.

Jessi Holland was a charter member of the Tomahawks 16U team from Aug 2007-Dec 2008. During that time, she was the consummate leadoff hitter and base stealer. Her batting average was .400 with an on-base percentage of .432. She was an amazing 17 for 17 in stolen base attempts.

Her offense was only surpassed by her excellent defense at third base. Her fearless and aggressive play, quick glove, and strong arm established the gold standard for future Tomahawk third basemen. We always wanted the ball in her hands any time the game was on the line. Her competitive level was so high that she played most of her final summer season with a broken thumb.

We wish her all the best as she pursues her lifelong dream of playing DI softball and in the pursuit of her long term career goals beyond softball.



Thursday, March 25
Mallorie Love signs with McKendree University

Mallorie Love has signed a Letter of Intent to play her college ball at McKendree University in Lebanon IL. She is the daughter of Dawn and John Carroll of Odin IL.

Mallorie was a charter member of the Tomahawks, playing on the 2007 fall and 2008 summer seasons. As the only 2nd year player on the original team, she provided stellar leadership both on and off the mound.

On the mound, she was a workhorse pitcher. During her tenure with the Tomahawks, Mallorie compiled the following stats 22-8, 4 saves, 35 Earned Runs in 149.1 innings for an ERA of 1.44 to go along with 121 strikeouts and only 25 walks. Needless to say, the team looked forward to Mallorie being on the mound. She won and saved countless big games in her short tenure with the team.

She truly set the standard not only for other Tomahawk pitchers to follow in her footsteps but for each player to wear a Tomahawks uniform since. She was instrumental in establishing the winning culture the organization will enjoy for years to come. In addition to her stellar play, she will always be fondly remembered as the first of many Tomahawks to play collegiate softball.

We wish Mallorie all the best in her collegiate softball career and in the pursuit of her long term career goals beyond softball.