All-Area Softball POY: Monticello's Chrissy Gadbury
WHITE HEATH — She would walk through the house, mad and annoyed.
Chrissy Gadbury wanted to go swimming. Maybe see her friends. Shop for a few hours. Eat some custard.
Practice at the nearby ball diamond in her small, rural Piatt County town was on the docket.
Pitching, fielding groundballs and hitting were all facets Chrissy worked on with her dad, Scott, and her older sister, Tori, during sessions that began when she was still in elementary school.
“He told me that I needed to get some experience,” Chrissy said. “He made me practice every day. I didn’t really like it all the time.”
Scott Gadbury knew on more than one occasion that practice wasn’t his youngest daughter’s favorite activity.
“We would come home sometimes and she’d be slamming doors,” Scott said with a laugh. “My wife would look at me, and I would say, ‘We just had a bad practice.’ But we’d be back out there the next day.”
Softball is more than a game for the recent Monticello graduate. It’s become a staple of her life.
“I’m very, very thankful that he made me practice because I wouldn’t be in this situation without him,” Chrissy said. “All the clutch hits I had, I couldn’t have done that without him helping me.”
The postseason heroics, the powerful arm and bat and the leadership Gadbury provided throughout her senior season with the Sages led the program to new heights: a third-place finish in Class 2A this season.
And led Gadbury to accolades she probably didn’t imagine when she was a 9-year-old first starting out in the sport. Gadbury headlines The News-Gazette’s 25th All-Area softball team as Player of the Year.
“She’s had so many people stop her and stop us in the grocery store since the season ended,” said Tami Gadbury, Chrissy’s mother. “It’s just given them a lift seeing her and her team do so well. Her grandfather is 85, and all his cronies are all old athletes. It’s just given them something to watch and enjoy. It’s done a lot for Monticello.”
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Gadbury emerged as the elite softball player in the area this spring.
With her bat she hit .358 with 10 home runs and a single-season school-record 48 RBI. With her right arm, she produced a 26-5 record, a 2.22 ERA, 150 strikeouts and only 24 walks.
Those numbers, however, didn’t factor into how sleeping arrangements were divvied up during the team’s overnight stay for the state tournament earlier this month in East Peoria.
Gadbury roomed with teammates Claire Huisinga and Megan Magsamen. With only one bed and one couch in their room at the Sleep Inn and Suites in Washington, Gadbury was relegated to sleeping on the floor.
“Claire was on the bed, and she was sick, so there was no way one of us was going to share a bed with her,” Gadbury said. “Megan took the couch. It was a really great night.”
The last statement is tinged with a boatload of sarcasm. Talk to Gadbury for more than 10 minutes, and the trait comes out, along with a sly sense of humor.
Ask Monticello coach Courtney Hoffman to describe Gadbury’s personality and the first thing she does is laugh.
“It’s Chrissy,” Hoffman said. “You can’t describe her. She’s funny and sarcastic. There’s never a dull moment. She’s that kind of kid where you know something fun is going to happen.”
Allie Hislope knows. The Sages catcher has played softball with Gadbury for the last decade, starting with the Decatur-based CIGS Rebels.
She also knows Gadbury has an affinity for dairy products. Like the Peanut Butter Cup Snowstorm at Jarling’s Custard Cup in Champaign.
“I go there a little too often, actually,” Gadbury said with a smile. “Probably about twice a week.”
Or anything from Cold Stone Creamery. Gadbury visited the ice cream store one time earlier this school year. She checked out its hours online and made the trek from White Heath. But when she arrived, the store was closed.
“She emailed Coldstone’s corporate headquarters, and they emailed her back with an apology,” Hislope said, trying her best to contain a laugh. “She’s pretty serious about that stuff.”
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Gadbury didn’t let her uncomfortable night of sleeping on the floor affect her performance the next day during the 2A third-place game. She threw a complete game, holding Beecher to five hits, and drove in two runs during the Sages’ 6-1 victory.
It was consistent with what she did all season, but her postseason performance enhanced her reputation.
“I started a new job recently, and people I don’t even know yet are coming up to me saying, ‘We’ve seen your daughter on TV or read about her in the newspaper,’ ” Scott Gadbury said. “It’s definitely been great.”
After hitting a solo home run against Maroa-Forsyth to help Monticello win 2-1 and claim a regional title, Gadbury’s performance increased as each game took on a bigger magnitude. She hit a grand slam and threw a shutout during the Sages’ 7-0 win against Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley in a sectional semifinal. Then she stroked a two-run single to break a 2-2 tie in the top of the 12th inning before finishing off Tremont with her pitching in the bottom half of the inning to lift Monticello to a 4-2 win in the sectional title game.
“We just knew that when Chrissy came up to bat,” Hoffman said, “something amazing was going to happen.”
Gadbury wasn’t so sure.
“The regional title game I was freaking out a little bit,” she said. “The sectional championship I was freaking out more. During the 10th inning, I was in the dugout crying because I thought we were going to lose. Everyone was like, ‘Chrissy, the game is tied. Calm down.’ I just can’t handle the pressure sometimes. Everyone calls it my 10th-inning breakdown. Once I went in the dugout after my hit, everyone was on top of me and hugging me. I said, ‘Guys, we still have to get three outs.’ I had to calm myself down because I still had to pitch.”
She wasn’t done yet with the late dramatics.
Perhaps the most memorable hit in Monticello softball history came from Gadbury.
She lifted a pitch over the left-field wall at Eichelberger Field for a two-run home run to give the Sages a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh against Dupo during the 2A super-sectional game. Again, she had to go back out for the bottom half of the inning to pitch, but she handled the nerves and sent the Sages to state.
“I was so proud of her,” Tori Gadbury said. “I couldn’t believe she could do that. If I was up there, I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress and the pressure. I’d almost be in tears.”
Hislope was on deck when Gadbury hit the home run. It’s a memory Hislope doesn’t plan on forgetting.
“I couldn’t even concentrate during my at-bat,” Hislope said. “It was definitely a moment of nothing but goosebumps.”
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Gadbury still has chances to produce more spine-tingling sensations with her softball career. The 18-year-old is planning on playing softball at Heartland Community College in Normal, although her first career choice might not pan out.
“I was going to go into nursing, but then I realized you have to have knowledge in the subjects of anatomy and chemistry,” Gadbury said. “I really, really struggle with those classes. You have to have some knowledge in those subjects, and I don’t.”
She has a backup plan, though.
“I’d like to be a teacher and a coach,” Gadbury said. “I want to be a coach really bad.”
If she fulfills that objective, she can reflect back on the four-year career she had with the Sages (19 home runs, 101 RBI, .351 average; 40-12 pitching record, 2.39 ERA, 278 strikeouts, 41 walks). The 90-34 record Monticello had with her in uniform. The two regional titles she helped the school win, the first sectional title since 2006 and the first state tournament appearance.
And, of course, those practices with her dad and older sister at the ball diamond in White Heath.
“I was always a basketball-first guy, but I just fell in love with softball,” Scott Gadbury said. “Some people used say they’d have to kick us off the field. Chrissy really put the time in this year. She wanted to be the best she could. I’m so proud of her.”
News-Gazette softball Players of the Year ...
YEAR PLAYER SCHOOL POS.
2014 Chrissy Gadbury Monticello P
2013 Alie Tarrant Mahomet-Seymour P
2012 Elizabeth Everingham St. Joseph-Ogden P
2011 Elizabeth Everingham St. Joseph-Ogden P
2010 Hannah Bowen St. Joseph-Ogden 2B
2009 Monica Rondon Champaign Central C
2008 Kelsi Hoey Tuscola P
2007 Terra Ramsey Westville 1B
2006 Morgan Finn St. Joseph-Ogden P
2005 Kaci Young St. Joseph-Ogden P
2004 Nikki Davis Arthur-Lovington P
2003 Elizabeth Piatt Monticello OF
2002 Merdle Anders St. Joseph-Ogden OF
2001 Molly Lawhead Monticello P
2000 Joella Koss Unity P
1999 A.J. Reeley Danville P
1998 Kristen King St. Joseph-Ogden P
1997 Kristen King St. Joseph-Ogden P
1996 Kelly Duitsman St. Joseph-Ogden 2B
1995 Syndrea Porter Rantoul 2B
1994 Erin Riddle Rantoul SS
1993 Ali Franzen Rantoul P
1992 Michele Suits St. Joseph-Ogden OF
1991 Amy Scharlau St. Joseph-Ogden 2B
1990 Stef Fiscus St. Joseph-Ogden P
... and Coaches of the Year
YEAR COACH SCHOOL
2014 Courtney Hoffman Monticello
2013 Mark Jones Mahomet-Seymour
2012 Randy Wolken St. Joseph-Ogden
25th News-Gazette All-Area First Team
NAME SCHOOL YR. POS. COACH
Taylor Edwards Arcola Jr. OF Craig VanDeVeer
Chrissy Gadbury Monticello Sr. P/POY Courtney Hoffman
Lea Hall Salt Fork Sr. DH/C Kali Ford
Brittany Hay Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman Sr. Inf. Kim Fraser
Allie Hislope Monticello Sr. C Courtney Hoffman
McKenzie Krutsinger Unity Jr. P Kelley Wedel
Molly McElwee St. Joseph-Ogden Jr. OF/Inf. Randy Wolken
Mady Poulter St. Joseph-Ogden Jr. Inf. Randy Wolken
Brittany Ribbe Bismarck-Henning Sr. OF Mike Stephens
Emilee Schwing Fisher So. Inf. Ken Ingold
Alyssa Spoerer Mahomet-Seymour Sr. Inf. Mark Jones
Erin Walker Tuscola Sr. P Lenny Sementi
Anna Watson Tuscola So. Utl. Lenny Sementi
All-Area Second Team
NAME SCHOOL YR. POS.
Karli Allen Tuscola So. Inf.
Taylor Bauer Watseka Jr. P
Krista Broom Urbana Jr. OF
Megan Burton Danville Fr. C
Devin Curry Watseka Sr. C
Haley Ginger Clinton Jr. Inf.
Amy Janson Centennial So. Inf.
Kalyn Learnard Salt Fork Jr. Inf.
Allison Rose St. Joseph-Ogden So. OF
Toree Stalter Fisher So. Inf.
Megan Tool Clinton Jr. C
Samantha Valentine Monticello Jr. Inf.
Kaitie Wildman A-L/A-H Sr. P
All-Area Special Mention
NAME SCHOOL YR. POS.
Leah Allison St. Thomas More So. P
Lanie Andrews Bismarck-Henning Sr. Inf.
Ashley Anglin Mahomet-Seynour Jr. OF
Alyssa Aupperle LeRoy So. C
Lexie Boaz St. Joseph-Ogden Sr. P
Sophie Catlin Monticello So. DH
Madi Clark Unity Sr. Inf.
Andrea Coursey St. Joseph-Ogden Fr. Inf.
Zayna Flahaut Paxton-Buckley-Loda So. P
Hannah Fortune Mahomet-Seymour Sr. Inf.
Mindy Garrelts Milford Sr. P
Lexi Hall Centennial Sr. Inf.
JiCee Lacey Westville Jr. Inf.
Lindsey Loewenstein Danville So. Inf.
Taylor Lovett Urbana Sr. Inf.
Katie McTaggart Watseka Jr. OF
Mycaela Miller A-L/A-H Fr. Inf.
Reni Nugent Champaign Central So. OF
Alissa Peelman Danville Jr. P
Miranda Pruitt Villa Grove/Heritage Sr. Inf.
Maria Rangel Schlarman Sr. P
Allison Rose St. Joseph-Ogden So. OF
Stephanie Shook Cerro Gordo/Bement Jr. OF
Lexi Sliva Georgetown-RF/C Sr. P
Jordan Smith Rantoul Jr. OF
Sydney Spelman Arcola Jr. OF
Danielle Staske Centennial Jr. P
Haley Toohill Clinton Sr. Inf.
Brenna Walker Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley So. P
Morgan Zindars Armstrong-Potomac Sr. P
All-Area Honorable Mention
ARCOLA — Klaire Karmazinas, Sr.; Kauryn Karmazinas, So.
ARGENTA-OREANA — Mariah Hart, So.
ARMSTRONG-POTOMAC — Megan Cain, Jr.; Ashley Gayheart, So.; Makenzie Vinson, So.
ARTHUR-LOVINGTON/ATWOOD-HAMMOND — Sherelle Coller, Sr.; Logan Kauffman, Fr.; Alex Miller, Sr.; Briana Morgan, Sr.; Emily Seegmiller, Jr.
BISMARCK-HENNING — Lindsey Andrews, So.; Masyn Clow, Sr.; Emmie Hawkins, Jr.; Phoenix LaCombe, So.
BLUE RIDGE — Taylor Builta, Jr.; Megan Tsevelekos, Jr.
CENTENNIAL — Makena Brillhart, So.; Briana Perry, Sr.; Aolani Sprout, Jr.
CERRO GORDO/BEMENT — Haley Hicks, Jr.; Kristie Krigbaum, Sr.; Josie St. Pierre, Jr.; Haley Wright, Jr.
CHAMPAIGN CENTRAL — Becca Crisman, Sr.; Imani Maatuka, Jr.; Maddie Omer, So.; Jenni Sola, Sr.
CLINTON — Rachel Borland, Jr.; Mally Hickman, Sr.
DANVILLE — Mackenzie King, So.; Kennedy Richards, So.
FISHER — Kelsey Fredrickson, Jr.; Rachel Tobeck, Jr.; Leah Williams, Jr.
GEORGETOWN-RIDGE FARM/CHRISMAN — Megan Burris, Jr.
GIBSON CITY-MELVIN-SIBLEY — Blythe Borton, Jr.; Emily Elder, Sr.; Sydney Vetter, Jr.; Amber Wittemann, So.
HOOPESTON AREA — Annie Goble, So.; Rylee Martin, Jr.
IROQUOIS WEST — Tailere Keister, Jr.; Taylor Lund, Jr.
LeROY — Hannah Bogle, So.; Ali Dial, So.; Annika Kolic, Jr.; Skielyr Trenkle, Fr.
MAHOMET-SEYMOUR — London Acree, Jr.; Lucy Stahl, Jr.; Emily Ziegler, Jr.
MILFORD — Erin McNally, Sr.
MONTICELLO — Layne Buzan, Jr.; Emily Chitwood, Sr.; Ashley Gulliford, Jr.; Claire Huisinga, Sr.; Megan Magsamen, Jr.; Megan Taylor, Jr.
OAKWOOD — Hannah Grubb, So.; Kylie Harden, So.
PAXTON-BUCKLEY-LODA — Ariel Flessner, Sr.; Skylar Harris, So.
PRAIRIE CENTRAL — Sabrina Gomez, Jr.; Sydney Matson, Sr.; Cassie Somers, Jr.
RANTOUL — Hannah Cargo, Sr.; Kaylee Denton, Sr.; Allison Jordahl, Jr.
RIDGEVIEW — Taylor Hastings, Sr.; Kayla Reynolds, Jr.; Danielle Powell, Sr.; Dani Washington, Sr.
SALT FORK — Emilie McFadden, Sr.; Kaylee McFadden, Jr.; Logan Sanford, So.
SCHLARMAN — Joslyn Dietzen, Jr.
SHILOH — Jessica Hunt, Jr.; Lauren Moses, Sr.
ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN — Ashlynn McConaha, So.; Hannah Monk, So.
ST. THOMAS MORE — Mary Kate Hansen, Sr.; Emma Powell, So.; Josie Powell, Sr.
SULLIVAN — Taylor Gottfriedt, Sr.
TUSCOLA — Morgan Little, Jr.; Peyton Shelmadine, Jr.
UNITY — Madison Routh, So.
URBANA — Kiara Moses, So.; Makayla Perkins, Sr.; Chelsea Skinner, Sr.
VILLA GROVE/HERITAGE — Becky Bishop, Jr.; Micaela Childress, Jr.; Myranda Mayhall, So.; Cedar Richardson, Sr.
WATSEKA — Samantha Hodolitz, Sr.; Colleen Suchy, Sr.
WESTVILLE — Morgan Gallion, So.