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Frank Sinatra famously sang about love and marriage going together like a horse and carriage and not being able to have one without the other seems somewhat of a fitting theme for recent Glenwood City graduates Madelyn Oehlke and Delanie Fayerweather.
On the softball field, each were standout performers but together, whether Oehlke was throwing the pitches and Fayerweather was catching them or they were at the plate swinging their bats, the duo made each other, and their team even more special.
A fact, not only recognized by Glenwood City coaches and fans but others around the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and state.
The power-hitting and pitching-catching pair have been named to the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association’s (WFSCA) Small Schools All-State Teams which includes athletes from Division 3, 4, and 5.
Fayerweather, who was just named the Division 4 Player of the Year by the WFSCA, was a first team all-state selection while Oehlke earned all-state honorable mention honors.
The pair was also recently tabbed as the 2021 Dunn-St. Croix Co-Most Valuable Softball Players of the Year.
The two were also named to the District 1 small school first team All-District squad while freshman Ryeah Oehlke (Maddie’s younger sibling) was tabbed as an honorable mention all-district player.
“Maddie and Delanie are two special athletes that helped pull this past season together,” stated Glenwood City head coach Matthew Schutz. “They have been a team since third grade.”
“In high school, Delanie has caught since her freshman year and Maddie played center field her freshman and sophomore years,” continued Schutz. “We wonder what could have been their junior year as pitcher and catcher with a slug of returners (in a season that never was due to COVID-19), but they continued their winning ways in 2021.”
“They got all the young athletes to buy into their previous success,” said Schutz of Maddie and Delanie. “They earned all those wins, both of them batting over .500 for the season, along with freshman Ryeah Oehlke. All three combined for 16 home runs.”
In 2021, Maddie Oehlke set the school record in season wins with 20 and finished with 210 strikeouts to boot this season, joining Maggie Wallin as the only Toppers pitchers to eclipse that 200 plateau.
At the plate this past season, Maddie Oehlke had the second most hits on the team with 43 (just two behind younger sister Ryeah) which included five doubles, four triples, and five home runs. She also tallied 36 RBIs, scored 35 runs, and stole nine bases.
As for Delanie Fayerweather who led the Toppers on and off the field, she holds many of Glenwood City’s best marks in many batting career statistics, and this was only in three seasons.
Over that span, Fayerweather recorded 95 hits including 15 home runs, 94 RBIs, and a .492 batting average with a .876 slugging percentage. She allowed less than ten passed balls as a catcher and she kept base runners from even thinking about stealing.
While she was pleasantly shocked to win the State’s Division 4 softball player of the year award, Fayerweather was also quite proud to not only earn the Dunn-St. Croix player of the year award but to share it with her teammate Maddie Oehlke.
“It was a goal at the beginning of the season for me to achieve this,” said Fayerweather of the D-SC Most Valuable Player award. “I know Maddie and I talked about it all season. We were like, “If you get it, and I don’t, we’re going to have an issue.” We basically made a pact about it that kept running on throughout the season. We knew when it came time for it, there wasn’t much of a question as to who deserved it because we know we (both) did. And when coach Schutz announced it to the team, Maddie and I just hugged each other so tight. We’ve worked so hard and that feeling of being great TOGETHER is just indescribable.”
“It’s cool and all to have that honor by yourself, but it’s just different with Maddie and I,” added Fayerweather. “We have been the dream duo and we knew coming into our senior season we were going to be unstoppable.”
“When you have been a pitching and catching duo for so long, it is hard to imagine not being awarded the same thing,” she continued. “We always said to each other that she makes me a good catcher and I make her a good pitcher. So, being named co-players of the year together is just everything we ever worked for.”
And it is a combination that Coach Schutz will dearly miss next season and beyond.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll never have another combination like these two seniors,” stated Coach Schutz. “They left their mark with the Glenwood City program. They taught the younger players how to work and compete. They left the bar high for them. Their desire to win and compete, and their skills and knowledge of the game are going to be missed a ton next season.”