LEROY — LeRoy High School softball coach Doug Hageman sees them as three distinct individuals who banded together to leave one common legacy for those who will follow.
"They certainly raised the bar on our expectations of what we can accomplish in the LeRoy softball program," Hageman said.
An ultra-competitive Marissa Adams, an always positive Skielyr Trenkle and a dependable, ready-to-serve Shaylee Clow joined together to help raise the LeRoy program to new heights.
They'll join together as teammates for a final time Monday on the Area squad in the 24th annual Pantagraph All-Star Softball Game at Champion Fields in Normal.
The three led LeRoy to a 26-8 record and a regional title in their senior year.
All three will be continuing their softball careers with Adams committed to Heartland, Trenkle going to Millikin and Clow headed for Kishwaukee Community College near DeKalb.
After posting back-to-back 20-win seasons and doubling the school record for career victories with 54, Adams will bring a healthy thirst for competition when she squares off against a stout Intercity batting lineup.
"She babysits for me and she's competitive when she's playing tag with my 6-year old," Hageman said.
"Since T-ball, I've always been competitive," Adams said. "If there's a score being taken or a winner or loser, my heart just pounds. I love competition and I always want to be number one."
The scores being taken include those in the classroom. She graduated as the class valedictorian.
Adams struck out 170 batters in 167⅔ innings while posting a 20-8 record with a 2.09 ERA. She went the distance in 22 of her 26 starts and tossed six shutouts.
While keeping the competitive fires burning, she says she also found enormous value in simply having fun.
"My sophomore year I put a lot of pressure on myself," she said. "My junior year, I just decided to go out and have fun and I saw the results improve."
Gaining experience in knowing the HOIC hitters helped as well, as Adams posted her first 20-win season as a junior before matching the win total this spring.
While she'll take this summer off from travel ball, pitching has always been a year-round endeavor. In addition to playing in the BNGSA summer leagues, she's been getting pitching instructions from Jim Adams (no relation), former coach at Tri-Valley.
"I've been working with Jim Adams since I was seven or eight years old," she said. "He's helped me grow so much. I've learned so many pitches from him and how to get the most out of each pitch. I work with him year-round."
"She is, without a doubt, one of the hardest working kids when it comes to the craft of pitching, of understanding what pitches to throw and how to get hitters out," Hageman said.
While Adams has been a consistent force in the circle, Trenkle and Clow played a number of positions throughout their careers.
Trenkle spent each summer in center field on her BNGSA travel team and was recruited by Millikin as an outfielder. Filling a team need, she played shortstop at LeRoy and showed her versatility by earning second-team all-state honors her senior year.
"She's very gifted athletically and moved from the outfield to help us out," Hageman said. "She had a willingness to do what's best for the team and never said a word about the position switch."
In fact, Hageman said he's never heard a discouraging word from Trenkle.
"I don't know that I've ever seen her have a bad day," he said. "She has such a good positive demeanor. I'm envious of her upbeat mentality."
"I think it's the people I'm around, my team, friends and family that keep me positive," Trenkle explained.
Trenkle belted six homers and drove in 36 runs while batting .487 in the leadoff spot. Hageman said he moved her to leadoff to get more at-bats for the school's career leader in average and extra-base hits.
"At first it was difficult," Trenkle said. "I didn't like being the first person to see the pitcher, but I became comfortable there."
The versatile and athletic Clow has played right field, second base and first base. She's also probably raked the dirt around each of the bags and likely would have mowed the outfield grass if asked.
"I don't think there was ever a game this year when she didn't come up to me afterward and ask me what she could do to help out," Hageman said.
"I like getting things done and helping people," Clow said.
Clow says she got off to a slow start her senior year, but raised her average to .293 by season's end and helped the team with three homers and 23 RBIs.