Former W-G, Adel players enter Softball Hall of Fame

Lisa McNeley of Woodward-Granger and Melody Cook of Adel were two of four 2021 inductees who entered the IHGSAU Sotball Hall of Fame Thursday.

FORT DODGE — Lisa McNeley of Woodward-Granger, Melody Cook of Adel, Hailey Sweet of Martensdale-St. Marys, and Ashley Vanderloo of Sioux City East were inducted Thursday into the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Softball Hall of Fame.

The ceremony was held prior to the start of the Class 2A championship game at Harlan Rodgers Park.

McNeley pitched for head coach Jeff Cupp at W-G from 1989-1993. She broke out as a sophomore, twirling a 41-8 record while batting .515 and leading Iowa in hits (92), triples (14) and RBIs (94). As a senior she was 39-2 while hitting .455 with 11 doubles and 11 home runs.

The Hawk standout was a two-time first team Class 1A All-State player, was chosen once for the All-Class First Team All-State squad and earned 1A Player of the Year honors. She finished with a 117-20 record in the circle and played collegiately at Florida Southern, where she was a second team NCC

Cook toed the rubber for Adel from 1973-1977. A second-team all-state choice each of her last three seasons, she helped guide Adel to a sixth and a 10th-place finish at the (then) one class State Softball Tournament. In 1975 she threw 215 innings, recording 253 strikeouts while walking 129 in the process. As a senior she fired a no-hitter, one-hitter, and then a two-hitter in sectional action, losing only to eventual state champion Urbandale.

Her prep record of 162-47 rates 21st on Iowa’s career victory list, a total she achieved despite sharing duties in the ring with 103-game winner Julie Goodrich in her first few years.

Sweet started all five of her seasons at M-SM, during which time the Blue Devils claimed one state title, where once the runner-up and twice the third-place finisher while also placing fourth one year. She hit .447 (21-for-44) with eight runs scored and five RBIs in her five state tourney appearance, and remains the only player to be named to five all-tournament teams. A career .439 hitter, Sweet was the 2012 Class 1A player of the year.

Vanderloo began her career as an infielder for Sioux City East, playing from 2005-2009. She batted .303 as a freshman, but then led the state in hitting as a junior (.602) and a senior (.561). A force at the plate, Vanderloo was an all-state selection three times in her career and finsiehd with 214 hits, 116 runs scored and 82 stolen bases.

She began a college career at the University of Iowa, recording a hit and four runs while batting eight times in 15 games. Unfortunately, her playing days were cut short with a career-ending injury.


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