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Panthers' Clinton, Dent receive Mid-State, Section 8AA honors

Danielle Dent led the Panthers with a .462 batting average, including a school-record 16 doubles. (Vance Carlson / Enterprise)

Cady Clinton, Danielle Dent and Maria Goetz combined to hit .451 with 31 runs and 38 RBI as the Park Rapids fastpitch softball team finished second in the Mid-State Conference standings with a 9-3 record.

That's the main reason those three players headlined this year's 15-member all-conference team.

Also helping the Panthers finish second in the conference for the second year in a row were honorable mention selections Leeza Tostenson and Morgan Kelly.

In 12 conference games, Clinton batted .467 (21 for 45) with 16 runs, 13 RBI, three doubles and 11 stolen bases. Clinton also went 4-2 with a 1.00 ERA in seven pitching appearances. Clinton, who was an all-conference selection last season, allowed 35 hits and 18 runs in 35 innings. However, only five of those runs were earned. Clinton also struck out 27 batters while walking only one. Clinton pitched two shutouts, throwing a no-hitter in a 10-0 win over Crosby-Ironton and allowing four hits in an 11-0 victory over Pequot Lakes. When not pitching, the senior played first base.

Dent, a senior catcher, hit .488 (20 for 41) in 12 conference games with two runs, 10 RBI, 12 doubles and one home run. Dent was an all-conference honorable mention player the last two seasons.

Goetz, a junior, played 12 conference games in left field and hit .389 (14 for 36) with 13 runs, 15 RBI, two doubles and five stolen bases.

Kelly capped off her senior season by batting .257 (9 for 35) with seven runs, eight RBI, one double and two stolen bases in 12 conference games as the starting right fielder.

Tostenson, a junior, started at third base and batted .425 (17 for 50) with 12 runs, 14 RBI, six doubles, one home run and six stolen bases in the 12 conference games.

The other all-conference players were Stephanie Perkins, Kendra Grothmann, Sam Holweger and Stephanie Hahn of Wadena-Deer Creek; Mallory Malikowski, Stephanie Miller and Tara Sailer of Perham; Abby Edin and Rachael Hoemberg of Staples-Motley; Sarah Wilson of Detroit Lakes; and Chelsey Thorson and Brooke Serfling of Pequot Lakes.

Earning all-conference honorable mention honors were W-DC's Cecelia Sakry and Lexi Hoemberg; Perham's Natalie Wierbos and Kristina Januszewski; Staples-Motley's Heather Zetah, Cardi McGillivray and Angie Bernstrom; Detroit Lakes' Shayna Dugger; Pequot Lakes' Katie Peterson; and Crosby-Ironton's Natalie Everson and Kayla Minarich.

W-DC repeated as conference champs with a 12-0 record. Following Park Rapids' 9-3 mark were Perham and Staples-Motley at 7-5, Detroit Lakes at 4-8, Pequot Lakes at 3-9 and Crosby-Ironton at 0-12.

In addition to earning all-conference honors, Clinton and Dent received Section 8AA honors.

For the season, Clinton hit .318 (28 for 88) with 23 runs and 14 RBI in 23 games and had an 8-4 record and 1.67 ERA in 71 1/3 innings. Dent repeated as an all-section player after batting .462 (36 for 78) with 16 RBI in 23 games.

Joining those two Park Rapids players on the all-section team were Crookston's Erika Wheelhouse; Detroit Lakes' Callea Butz; Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Kaylee Pender; East Grand Forks' Chelsey Grassel; Fergus Falls' Aly Erickson, Erika Magnusson, Kelly Ross and Cristina Masten; Frazee's Stephanie Montoya, Kari Shipman and Abby Berven; Ottertail Central's Carley Nelson, Lindsay Nelson, Calley Nelson and Toni Hagen; Pelican Rapids' Amy Field; Perham's Mallory Malikowski; Roseau's Dawn Comstock; Thief River Falls' Hailey Peterson, Cassie Gunderson and Katy Rook; Wadena-Deer Creek's Steph Perkins and Kendra Grothmann; and Warroad's Meghan Merriman.

OTC defeated Fergus Falls 6-3 in the section title game and ended up placing fourth at the state tournament.