North Polk produced 10 all-Heart of Iowa Conference selections after turning in a tremendous 12-2 conference record in 2018.


Senior pitcher Hannah Pals, sophomore shortstop Ellie Owen, senior center fielder Rebecca Ley and junior pitcher Sophie Swygman were named to the all-HOIC first team from North Polk. Junior pitcher Bailey Hougham, sophomore catcher Tricia Sporra, senior second baseman Sydney Albaugh and freshman outfielder Sydney Anderson made the second team.


Senior first baseman Paige Sandberg and freshman third baseman Hailey Steffen were named honorable mention.


Pals transferred to North Polk from Dowling Catholic and turned in a tremendous senior campaign to help North Polk take second in the HOIC to eventual Class 3A state runner-up Roland-Story.


Pals went 3-1 with a sensational 0.29 earned-run average, 45 strikeouts and just three walks in 24 innings on the hill during HOIC competition. She also hit .433 with three home runs and 14 RBIs.


Owen posted a .429 batting average with four doubles, 13 runs, seven steals and five RBIs and made 15 putouts and 10 assists. Ley came back from an ACL injury suffered last year to hit .409 with 11 runs and nine steals on offense and 14 putouts with no errors in the field during conference play.


Swygman hit .440 with four doubles and RBIs apiece. She also recorded 6-1 record with an 0.71 ERA, 55 strikeouts and eight walks in 49 ⅓ innings during HOIC contests.


The other players named to the first team were: Roland-Story’s Riley Holmgren, Hailey Louw, Madison Friest, Susie Weaver, Jenna Clark and Sydney Mathis; Nevada’s Grace Francis and Saydel’s Alle Thompson and Alexis Carney.


Hougham went 3-0 with an 0.50 ERA in 14 innings and hit .417 with four home runs and 17 RBIs for the Comets in conference games. Sporra posted a .320 on-base percentage with nine runs and threw out one base runner with no errors behind the plate.


Albaugh registered a .426 batting average with four doubles, two home runs, 12 runs and 13 RBIs. She also 16 putouts and 13 assists with only three errors in the field.


Anderson hit .488 with six doubles and nine RBIs in the conference. She made 10 putouts, two assists and one error defensively.


Also making the all-HOIC second team were: Nevada’s Mackenzie Garrett and Katie Sullivan; Gilbert’s Riley Nelson and Nessa Johnson; Greene County’s Jenna Beyers, Megan Carey and Samantha Hardaway; South Hamilton’s Marla Grubb and Breanne Diersen and Prairie City-Monroe’s Regan Freland.


Sandberg was as sure-handed as they come at first base, making 64 putouts and three assists with no errors against HOIC teams. She hit .231 with three runs on offense.


Steffen delivered a .346 batting average with eight runs in conference games. In the field she came up with 11 assists and seven putouts.


All-HOIC softball teams


First team


P - Riley Holmgren (Sr.), Roland-Story; Hannah Pals (Sr.), North Polk. C - Alle Thompson (Jr.), Saydel; Hailey Louw (Sr.), Roland-Story. IF - Madison Friest (Sr.), Roland-Story; Ellie Owen (So.), North Polk; Grace Francis (Sr.), Nevada; Susie Weaver (Jr.), Roland-Story. OF - Jenna Clark (Sr.), Roland-Story; Rebecca Ley (Sr.), North Polk; Alexis Carney (Sr.), Saydel. UTIL - Sophie Swygman (Jr.), North Polk; Sydney Mathis (Sr.), Roland-Story.


Second team


P - Mackenzie Garrett (Sr.), Nevada; Bailey Hougham (Jr.), North Polk. C - Tricia Sporra (So.), North Polk; Katie Sullivan (Fr.), Nevada. IF - Riley Nelson (Jr.), Gilbert; Sydney Albaugh (Sr.), North Polk; Jenna Beyers (Jr.), Greene County; Marla Grubb (Sr.), South Hamilton. OF - Sydney Anderson (Fr.), North Polk; Megan Carey (Jr.), Greene County; Nessa Johnson (Fr.), Gilbert. UTIL - Samantha Hardaway (Sr.), Greene County; Breanne Diersen (Jr.), South Hamilton; Regan Freland (So.), PCM.


Honorable mention


Jessica Hovick (Sr.), Roland-Story; Juliann Clark (So.), Roland-Story; Paige Sandberg (Sr.), North Polk; Hailey Steffen (Fr.), North Polk; Emma Griffin (Jr.), Nevada; Sydney Mosinski (Fr.), Nevada; Carissa Boley (Sr.), Saydel; Sabrina McKay (Jr.), Saydel; Cortney Harris (Jr.), South Hamilton; Lily Skartvedt (Jr.) South Hamilton; Danielle Hoyle (Fr.), Greene County; Lily Muir (Fr.), Greene County; Bella Nelson (8th), Gilbert; Samantha Grove (Jr.), Gilbert; Kenzie Johnson (Sr.), PCM; Madison Foster (Sr.), PCM.


Final HOIC standings


Roland-Story 13-1


North Polk 12-2


Nevada 7-7


Saydel 5-6


South Hamilton 5-6


Greene County 5-8


Gilbert 3-9


PCM 2-10