Liz Thon helps Whitnall softball team become a real power in 2014
Junior infielder on All-Suburban team
Large strides were made by the Whitnall softball team in 2014.
The Falcons posted a 24-4 overall mark and shared the best record in the Woodland Conference with South Milwaukee at 16-2, including a split of two games with the Rockets.
They outscored their foes 251 runs to 53, putting up a team batting average of .387 with a total of 295 hits.
The pitching and defense were solid, too, as they allowed two runs or less in 22 of their 28 contests.
Right in the middle of it all was junior infielder Liz Thon, a two-time team captain who batted .485 with 16 extra-base hits, including three home runs. She was extremely productive in the middle of the order, driving in 41 runs and scoring 32 more.
She also fielded at a 93 percent clip with 56 total chances at third base.
"She had another fantastic season," said head coach Tom Hickman. "She put up big totals in hits and RBIs and hit more home runs this season. She is also a vacuum at third base and makes all the big plays."
Thon garners honors
For her fine play at the plate and in the field, Thon is a member of the NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team for the second-straight season.
She was also named to the Woodland Conference East Division first team for the third straight year as well as the All-Woodland squad, which encompasses both divisions.
Because she played so well as a sophomore, Thon came into this season with somewhat of a target on her back. Other teams did everything they could to make sure she did not beat them.
"Thon had to deal with many teams trying to pitch around her this season," Hickman said. "Her patience at the plate and willingness to draw a walk continued to put pressure on defenses."
The frequent walks, though they may have been frustrating, helped Thon post an on-base percentage of .528 this season.
She also continued to play the game with extreme desire and enthusiasm.
"I just enjoyed being with my teammates and playing the game I love," she said.
Thon, a three-year starter for Whitnall, is happy to be a big part of the team's resurgence.
"We set many goals this year," she said. "Every game, we had a different goal, and we wanted to win the conference. I was really happy with the drive the team showed.
"We had some youth on the team, and the juniors, sophomores and freshmen all played well. Everybody was cohesive, and the young players all stepped up."
Outlook is bright
Hickman said the upward trend should continue in the years to come.
"The talent level continues to rise, and the expectations are changing from a 'hoping to compete' to 'expecting to win' mindset," he said. "Next year's team could be the most experienced yet, with five potential senior starters and eight upperclassmen."
Thon will be one of those senior starters, and she is hoping to help the Falcons win big again.
"Whitnall is making a name for itself in softball," she said.
After that, Thon plans to play some more in college and is looking at such schools as Wisconsin Lutheran and Lakeland.
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