JEFFERSON — Kylee Lukes broke the home run record at Jefferson with 12 homers and for her successes, she was named first-team all-state for the large schools in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association.
Lukes was a machine, homering in six consecutive games at one point, as she led the Jefferson Eagles (23-4, 17-1 Rock Valley Conference) to a conference championship for the first time since 1994.
“The biggest factor for me was putting in extra work,” Lukes said. “That helped me know my ability and to trust and believe in myself.”
Fort Atkinson senior utility player Autumn Congdon was named second-team all-state as well. Congdon will play softball at Georgetown next year. Congdon was named first-team all-Badger South and first-team all-area for the large schools in District 3.
Lukes, the Jefferson shortstop, earned first team all-RVC, first-team all-District 3 and was Player of the Year in the RVC after hitting for a .466 average.
There could be a piece of Lukes that enjoyed beating up on local rivals and appreciated winning Player of the Year more than first-team all-state, but Lukes is thinking on a deeper, bigger scale than local rivalries.
“With this award, I’m being grouped with athletes in an elite class around the state of Wisconsin,” Lukes said.
Now, the junior has the off-season to showcase her talents for opportunities at the next level. The biggest area of her game she plans to address isn’t her swing or her defense; instead, it’s a consistent approach to the mental side of the game.
“In the game, it would show when I would get anxious,” Lukes said. “I get anxious for two reasons: One, I love playing the game and get pumped up when I’m playing it; two, I would constantly be telling myself I need to hit this ball or I need to make this play and that put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself.
“It shows how I am as a player and how I continuously strive to be better every day.”
And now it’s time to harness that.
RVC represented in all-District 3
Juniors A.J. Schumacher and Morgan Gransee each were selected as first-team all-District 3 players for their contributions as Whitewater Whippets.
Schumacher and Gransee each were first-team all-RVC selections. Schumacher was a first-team all-state selection last year as a sophomore catcher.
Freshman Aidyn Messman earned first-team all-District 3 for Jefferson as a catcher. Jefferson sophomore pitcher Claire Beck earned honorable mention all-District 3. Both were named first-team all-RVC.
L-Cats, Warriors recognized in all-District 3
Bri Jessie was the only first-team all-District 3 small school selection from Jefferson County. Jessie was joined by sophomore pitcher and teammate Taylor Roughen and crosstown rival Olivia Krieser of Lakeside Lutheran.
Both Roughen and Krieser were honorable mention selections.