Poynette junior Casey Fountain always had confidence in her team because of the Pumas' grit and perseverance.
“We always know we have to keep pushing, keep grinding,” she said.
And when Fountain was pitching, she remained positive and self-assured because she knew the Pumas' softball team had her back in the field.
Of course, it was Fountain who gave the Pumas supreme confidence when she was in the circle – or sparking the offense at the plate.
Poynette softball Bob Tomlinson has known Fountain since she was a kindergartner and has been impressed by Fountain’s work ethic and athleticism ever since.
“I knew she’d be super at something some day because she’s just always worked hard. … She was athletically and physically talented,” Tomlinson said after Fountain led Poynette to its second consecutive WIAA Division 3 state softball championship earlier this month at Goodman Diamond.
She led top-ranked, top-seeded and undefeated Poynette to a 4-0 victory over second-seeded Campbellsport as the Pumas defended their WIAA Division 3 state championship.
“I love it,” she said. “It is so exciting.”
Fountain struck out 13 and allowed only one hit in a complete-game shutout victory for the Pumas (30-0).
Fountain also collected four hits, including two doubles, drove in the game’s first run in the third inning and scored a run in the fifth inning.
“It’s so exciting,” Fountain said. “This was our goal all season. The Poynette Pumas never won two championships in a row. So, this was what we were working for and we made it.”
Fountain, undefeated in the circle this season, struck out 14, walked one and allowed two hits in seven innings while blanking Prescott 7-0 in the Division 3 semifinal.
For her efforts this season, Fountain has been named the Wisconsin State Journal’s All-Area Softball Player of the Year.
Fountain also was the player and pitcher of the year in the Capitol North Conference. She also was a Small Schools first-team all-state selection by the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association and named the WFSCA’s Division 3 player of the year.
Also considered for the honor were Sun Prairie junior pitcher Maddie Gardner, who led the Cardinals to a Division 1 state runner-up finish and was named a WFSCA Division 1 player of the year along with Oshkosh North’s Sydney Supple; Verona senior outfielder Molly McChesney and Verona senior pitcher Meghan Anderson, who were named Big Eight Conference co-players of the year; and Monroe senior pitcher Olivia Bobak.
Wisconsin State Journal All-Area Softball Coach of the Year: Bob Tomlinson, Poynette.
Tomlinson directed Poynette to the Capitol North crown, an undefeated season and the Division 3 state title, with victories over Prescott 7-0 in the semifinal and Campbellsport 4-0 in the title game.
The championship was the fifth for Poynette in 11 state appearances (one title in Division 2, four in Division 3).
The Pumas finished 30-0 and have won 54 consecutive games over the past two seasons.
Also considered for the coaching honor were Sun Prairie’s Jamie Olson, Monroe’s Joe O’Leksy, Verona’s Todd Anderson and DeForest’s Jerry Schwenn and Lori Grundahl.
Wisconsin State Journal All-Area Softball team
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Casey Fountain, jr., Poynette: Fountain led Poynette to WIAA Division 3 state title. The Capitol North Conference player and pitcher of the year; selected to Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association Small Schools all-state first team; WFSCA Division 3 player of the year.
Maddie Gardner, jr., Sun Prairie: University of Wisconsin recruit Gardner led Sun Prairie to WIAA Division 1 state runner-up finish. She was WFSCA Large Schools all-state first team; WFSCA Division 1 player of the year with Oshkosh North’s Sydney Supple; Big Eight Conference first team.
Meghan Anderson, sr., Verona: Northern State University commit Anderson led Verona to the Big Eight title and a Division 1 sectional final berth; Big Eight first team and conference co-player of the year with teammate Molly McChesney; WFSCA Large Schools all-state first team.
Olivia Bobak, sr., Monroe: MATC commit Bobak, the Cheesemakers’ top pitcher and hitter, led Monroe to a share of the Badger South Conference title with Watertown and to a Division 2 state runner-up finish; Badger South first team; WFSCA Large Schools all-state second team.
Catcher -- Cammi Riemer, sr., DeForest: Winona State commit Riemer led the Norskies to the Badger North Conference crown and a sectional semifinal berth; a unanimous first-team selection in the Badger North; WFSCA Large Schools all-state first team.
Kylee Lukes, jr., Jefferson: Lukes was a Rock Valley Conference first-team selection and the league player of the year; WFSCA Large Schools all-state first team; she led Jefferson to the Rock Valley title.
Grace Radlund, so., Sun Prairie: Radlund was a first-team all-Big Eight choice for conference runner-up and Division 1 runner-up Sun Prairie; WFSCA Large Schools all-state first team.
Lauren Harshbarger, sr., Watertown: Harshbarger led Watertown to a share of the Badger South title with Monroe; unanimous first-team second baseman in Badger South; WFSCA Large Schools all-state second team.
Sydney Updike, so., Monroe: Updike, playing shortstop, helped lead the Cheesemakers to the Badger South co-championship and to a Division 2 state runner-up finish; first-team all-Badger South; WFSCA Large Schools all-state second team.
Molly McChesney, sr., Verona – Akron commit McChesney led the Wildcats to the Big Eight title and to a Division 1 sectional final; first-team all-Big Eight selection and the conference co-player of the year with Meghan Anderson; WFSCA Large Schools all-state first team; WisSports.net senior outfielder award winner.
Lucy Cuff, jr., Poynette – Cuff helped lead the undefeated Pumas to the Capitol North title and the Division 3 state championship; first-team all-Capitol North; WFSCA Small Schools first-team all-state.
Korra Wasley, jr., Dodgeville – Wasley helped lead Dodgeville to the SWC title and a Division 3 sectional final matchup against Poynette; first-team all-SWC; WFSC Small Schools first-team all-state.
Lindsey Murphy, sr., Dodgeville; Taylor Shaw, sr., DeForest; Tayler Kraemer, sr., Wisconsin Heights; Morgan James, sr., Mineral Point; Grace Borne, jr., Dodgeville; Autumn Congdon, sr., Fort Atkinson; Kayla Gray, so., Wisconsin Dells; Kasie Keyes, jr., Verona; Ashley Hellenbrand, sr., Poynette; Kaitlyn Filter, sr., Waterloo; Sabrina Reuter, sr., Sun Prairie.
Chelsea Naber, sr., Janesville Parker; Jacey Walker, jr., Beloit Memorial; Aidyn Messmann, fr., Jefferson; Grace Hilber, sr., Sun Prairie; Alyssa Bostley, so., Verona; Brianna Jessie, sr., Lake Mills; Lauren James, jr., Mineral Point; Molly Anderson, jr., Poynette; Bailey Neuberger, sr., Marshall; Jada Wood, jr., Wisconsin Heights;
Paige Bacchi, jr., Watertown; Natalie Bittner, so., Beloit Memorial; Peyton Blang, sr., Monona Grove; Megan Bloyer, so., Oregon; Kat Brandl, sr., Fort Atkinson; Brianna Brandner, jr., Portage; Madison Brickson, sr., Stoughton; Shaylyn Dunn, sr., Watertown; Olivia Hebert, so., Middleton; C.C. Hiorns, so., Middleton;
Jadyn Holman, sr., Mount Horeb; Abby Humphrey, so., Janesville Craig; Caitlyn Kesilewski, sr., Waunakee; Madison Moore, sr., Madison Edgewood; Sara Ott, fr., Pardeeville; Jade Parchem, jr., Baraboo; Katie Pederson, so., Verona; Jordan Pipkin, jr., Johnson Creek; Erika Reif, so., Milton; Trista Ripp, jr., Waunakee;
Grace Scharfenberg, sr., Beaver Dam; Joia Simonson, sr., Portage; Mallory Stingley, sr., Reedsburg; Taylor Tschumper, jr., DeForest; Taylor Von Behren, jr., DeForest; Kristina Warren, so., Wisconsin Dells; Eden Welling, so., Madison La Follette.