Southwest's Ickes earns All-State softball honor

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
All-State honors Southwest sophomore softball player Nicole Ickes was named to the Class 2 All-State softball second team. Ickes hit .643 this season for the Lady Trojans and has only struck out twice in her two varsity seasons.

Southwest sophomore Nicole Ickes was named to the 2012 Class 2 All-State softball second team.

The Southwest sophomore was also a unanimous choice for All-District and All-Region first teams.

"Two strikeouts in two seasons," Southwest softball coach Tony Eagleburger said. "Two is all she has."

In just her second year of playing at the high school level, Ickes led the Lady Trojans to a 13-9 record and compiled a mind-boggling stat sheet along the way.

Ickes batted .643 this season with a slugging percentage of .821 and an on-base percentage of .705. She used her sprinter's speed to steal 35 bases in 36 attempts and turn simple bunts into automatic doubles.

"The only time Coley was out on a bunt attempt was when she left the batter's box early," said Eagleburger. "If she lays a bunt down, it is impossible to throw her out at first, and then you know she's going to steal second. So for her, a bunt is as good as a double."

Don't forget that she has struck out just twice in her high school career, once in each season.

But as impressive as Ickes' offensive stats are, it's her defense that sets her apart.

"She makes the spectacular look ordinary," said Eagleburger. "Coley is one of those players that just finds outs. She never gives up on a play, always believes that she can field the ball and throw out the runner. She has that instinct to know when to throw behind a runner to create an out and shorten an inning."

Ickes' wizardry at shortstop inspired her teammates to play better too.

"The other girls know that they have a chance for an out or a double play on every at bat with Coley on the field," said Eagleburger. "She has a great glove and a real gun, and they know they have to be in position and prepared at all times."

Of her five fielding errors, Eagleburger blamed two on her intense competitive spirit.

"Those two balls were deep in the hole, and any other shortstop would have been happy just to keep the ball in the infield," he said. "Coley not only laid out to field the ball but tried to make the impossible throw to first for the out on both plays. You can't fault your best player for wanting to win that badly."

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