Nina Howard, flashing improvement in both the field and at the plate, was a catalyst for Salem which flirted with a 20-win campaign.
The Lady Tigers finished one victory short of that plateau, as third-seeded Salem fell to second-seeded Osage 5-4 in a nine-inning heartbreaker during the semifinals of the Missouri Class 3 District 10 Tournament.
That ended Salem’s season with a 19-5 mark.
For her efforts Howard, a senior second baseman, was selected to the Missouri Class 3 All-Region First Team, which covered schools in Districts 9-12. That includes Missouri Class 3 state champion Jefferson City Helias, which defeated Sullivan 3-1 Saturday in the state tourney title game.
Howard finished with a .524 batting average, including 12 doubles, 41 runs scored, 35 RBI, a .577 on-base percentage and a .732 slugging percentage.
At second base she committed just two errors to finish with a .973 fielding percentage.
Here is the Missouri Class 3 All-Region Team (including Districts 9-12):
Pitchers: Izzy Erickson, sr., Reeds Spring; Alexa Rehmeier, jr., J.C. Helias; Katie Brooks, jr., Bolivar; Halle Miles, fr., Logan-Rogersville; Madeline McCall, soph., McDonald County; Camryn Schaller, sr., Southern Boone.
Catchers: Maddison Cantrell, sr., Reeds Spring; Paige Clines, jr., Fulton; Jenna Lane, soph., Logan-Rogersville.
Infielders: Sydney Hedgepath, jr., Fulton; Whitney Kinser, sr., McDonald Co.; Avery McClure, soph., Bolivar; Ashley Coambes, sr., Logan-Rogersville; Kaitlyn Kolb, sr., Blair Oaks; Nina Howard, sr., Salem; Shelby Ince, sr., Logan-Rogersville.
Outfielders: Kaesha George, sr., Monett; Taylor Woehr, sr., Helias; Emme Hall, jr., Bolivar; Rita Santillan, sr., McDonald County.
Utility: Kiah Pittman, soph., Fulton; Paige Leithead, sr., Logan-Rogersville.
Pitchers: Alexa Hopkins, jr., McDonald County; Andi Siebeneck, soph., Blair Oaks; Chelsea Beville, sr., Seneca.
Catchers: Riley Heckenkamp, sr., Helias; Ellie Kliethermes, jr., Blair Oaks; Reagan Myrick, fr., McDonald County.
Infielders: Abbi Thompson, sr., West Plains; Paige Severns, soph., Bolivar; Taylor Kettle, sr., Fulton; Kaydin McKnight, jr., Seneca; Lexie Essick, soph., Reeds Spring; Kenley Haslag, sr., Helias; Mariah Prince, soph., Southern Boone.
Outfielders: Ashley Nolan, jr., Reeds Spring; Rylee Kolb, sr., Helias; Natalie Otto, sr., Blair Oaks; Meghan Hager, soph., Logan-Rogersville.
Utility: Kyren Postlewait, jr., Cassville.
Coming next week:
Feature story on senior Nina Howard
Howard was the lone all-region selection for Salem.