The hard work never stopped for Ashlynn McPeak.
The 2021 Charleston High School graduate, an All-Apollo player who helped the team win a Regional and Apollo Conference championship, was named an NJCAA 2nd Team All-American for Danville Area College.
“I was in total shock when I found out, and I was so overwhelmed with happiness to see my name on that list,” said McPeak. “I felt extremely blessed and grateful.”
McPeak led Danville in hits (79), doubles (22), runs batted in (53) and was tied for the lead in stolen bases (33) and home runs (6). Plus, McPeak was second in batting average (.397).
McPeak also posted a .411 on-base percentage and a .628 slugging percentage for a 1.039 OPS.
“Coming into the season, I didn’t know what to expect at this new level of softball,” said McPeak. “I was just focused on working hard and winning with my team.”
Danville, which featured primarily freshmen, posted a 43-14 record, including an 18-6 record in the conference. The team just missed winning a share of the conference with Parkland College and Spoon River College, who both finished 19-5.
DACC qualified for the District P Championships after defeating both Spoon River and Parkland College in the Region 24 Tournament. McPeak said that this was right around the time she felt everything had come together.
“A big moment for me was right before we played Parkland in the Region 24 tournament,” said McPeak. “I was at the field early talking to Coach Matt (Cervantes), and he helped me realize that my game was coming together and we were coming together as a team at the perfect time.”
Despite losing to Illinois Central Community College in the championship, the team earned an automatic bid. DACC defeated St. Louis Community College in two straight games to qualify for the NJCAA National Championships, where they lost their opener, 5-4.
For now, McPeak is enjoying the moment.
“Being an All-American shows me what all the countless hours of practice and hard work can lead to,” said McPeak. “It pushes me to continue to work hard and be the best softball player I can be for my team.”