It didn’t come as a surprise that Boonville Lady Pirates softball players Camryn Monteer and Jamie Lemmons were recently selected to the NCMC All-Conference Team for the 2017 season.
After all, Monteer and Lemmons did lead the Lady Pirates in almost every category this season.
While both were named as position players, Monteer earned her third straight all-conference selection while Lemmons picked up her second all-conference selection.
Of course both players would probably give up any accolades to win their final NCMC title. In the final-team standings, Mexico captured first at 12-0 while Fulton and Hannibal tied for second at 8-4, Kirksville fourth at 6-6, Marshall fifth at 5-7, Boonville sixth at 3-9 and Moberly seventh at 0-12.
Boonville Lady Pirates softball coach Christie Zoeller said to say this season didn’t go as she had hoped is really more of an understatement.
“I think that in about half of our conference loses the games really could have gone either way,” Zoeller said. “We just always seemed to have one bad inning that took us out of some very close games. To go 3-9 in conference is not what any of us thought would happen this year.
“I do think that a lot of the conference schools have really improved over the last couple years and we are at a point right now where we are rebuilding and working on building confidence in our young players and pitchers. I was also disappointed that we didn’t have more players honored with all-conference recognition but I think that is what you have to expect with a record like ours.”
While playing shortstop the last-three years for the Lady Pirates, Monteer was definitely one of the top players in the NCMC night in and night out. While leading the team in hitting with a .557 average, Monteer also finished first on the team in at-bats with 70, hits with 39, singles with 27, doubles with 11, runs scored with 29 and stolen bases with 34.
Zoeller said Monteer has been a true leader of the team this season.
“As our lead-off hitter she really does set the tempo for our games,” Zoeller said. “She can do so many things at the plate and is usually successful in whatever she tries. I think the fact that she can slap, bunt, or swing away makes her a triple threat at the plate and very hard to defend. She also has amazing speed on the bases and at this point in the season is only three stolen bases away from tying the school record for most in a season.  She is also a leader on the dirt. She has incredible range as a short stop and has shown that she will do anything to make the play.
“She has seen a lot of action on the left side of the field and only has four errors out of more than 90 attempts. She is one of the hardest working kids I’ve had the privilege of coaching and I know I can always count on her to give me everything she’s got. She is also a stand out in the eyes of the other conference coaches. She ended in a tie with Hannibal’s shortstop receiving the most votes and being considered a co-conference MVP.”
As for Lemmons, the junior standout has also been a steady force for the Lady Pirates since she first stepped on the field as a freshman.
While currently hitting .532 for the season, Lemmons is considered more of a power hitter. In 22 games this season, Lemmons leads the Lady Pirates with six home runs along with 21 RBIs, 11 base on balls and a slugging percentage of .984. Lemmons and Monteer are also tied for on-base percentage for the season at .603.
“Jamie has played a huge part in the success we have had this season,” Zoeller said. “When I talked to her early on about maybe having to play some 3rd base this year, she told me she would do whatever she needed to do to help her team. That is exactly what she has gone out and done this season. Third base was not a natural position for her but she worked hard at it every-day until she found her comfort there. Her true position is as a first baseman.
“She has saved us more times than I can recall by making amazing digs or leaping to stop a ball from going by. She has quick reflexes and just moves well to the ball. She is a leader for us defensively but where she stands out most is at the plate. She is just a strong, powerful hitter. At this point she has six home runs on the season and has clinched the career home run record as a junior.  When she swings the bat it just comes of hard no matter if it’s going out, or if it’s a line drive somewhere. Jamie is a hard working kid that is also very deserving of this award.”