Eagles earn all-state softball honors

Pictured is Columbia shortstop Courtney Weilbacher, who ranked seventh in the St. Louis area with a .530 average this spring and earned second team all-state honors. (John Spytek photo)

The season may have ended in heartbreak for the Columbia softball squad this spring, but the talent put on display by several Eagles did not go unnoticed.

Columbia finished 28-5 this season under head coach Rhonda Major, capturing a regional title in the process before falling in the sectional final to Herrin.

The Illinois Coaches Association released its Class 3A All-State Softball Team last week, with Columbia landing four of its players on the list.

Earning second team all-state honors was senior shortstop Courtney Weilbacher. With a single in the sectional final loss on June 3, Weilbacher collected her 200th career varsity hit for the Eagles, marking the first such accomplishment in school history.

Weilbacher, whose older sister Brianna pitches at Iowa State University, led the Eagles in hitting this spring with a .530 average. She also had five home runs, 35 RBIs, 52 runs scored and 10 triples.

Her average ranked seventh in the entire St. Louis area. Her 10 triples led the area.

Earning third team all-state honors from Columbia were junior catcher Chelsy Pena, junior infielder Calli Wibbenmeyer and sophomore infielder Lexi Touchette.

Pena, whose older sister Taryn plays at Drake University, hit .418 with five home runs, 35 RBIs and 43 runs for the Eagles this spring.

Wibbenmeyer finished second on the team in hitting at .516, adding three home runs, 35 RBIs and 42 runs.

Touchette hit .423 this spring with seven home runs and 47 RBIs.

Pena, Wibbenmeyer and Touchette will all return next spring with several other standout performers from the 2017 squad in an attempt to improve on this year’s showing.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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