Sunday, June 17, 2012
All-Area Softball Team 2012
Pitcher : Erin Hager, Lake Dallas, Sr. A senior leader on a relatively young, upstart squad, Hager was the main threat for the Lady Falcons in the circle, compiling an 11-2 record with a 1.43 ERA to go with 127 strikeouts. But she also did her fair share of damage at the plate with a .354 batting average. She drove in 19 runs and scored 10 while racking up eight doubles on the season. Pitcher : Suzette Palmer, Guyer, Jr. For the second straight season, Palmer was arguably the most important player on the Guyer team. Palmer got nearly all the time in the circle, compiling a 16-11 record with a 2.70 ERA and was also the team’s leading hitter. She hit .476 on the season with a team-high 34 RBIs with two home runs and 14 doubles while sporting a .667 slugging percentage and scoring 20 runs. Pitcher : Carol Raabe, Ryan, Soph. A first-team District 4-4A selection, Raabe picked up where she left off last season as a freshman and improved on it. The Lady Raiders’ main pitcher compiled a 21-11 record with a 2.40 ERA with 170 strikeouts. She was also the Lady Raiders’ top hitter as she finished the season with a .400 average to go with five home runs and 32 RBIs. Catcher : Kelsie F inch, Liber ty Christian, Sr. Finch turned in yet another spectacular offensive year for the Lady Warriors. The senior catcher led the team in most offensive categories, including her .552 batting average. She also had three home runs and drove in a team-high 30 runs while scoring 29 times. She also made the most of her at-bats, racking up a lofty slugging percentage of .880 to post a 1.49 OPS. Catcher : Kelsey Tuck, Lake Dallas, Soph. With freshman Chrisa Head making a splash this year in the circle, the Lady Falcons seem poised to be solid in their battery for a while with Tuck behind the plate. The sophomore was the team’s leading hitter, sporting a .452 batting average and was second on the team with 23 RBIs. She also scored 28 runs and had four triples, which helped her rack up a 1.16 OPS. Infielder : Erica Bjorndal, Sanger, Jr. The second baseman is one of several key pieces of the Sanger softball team that has the Lady Indians poised for a huge season next year with a loaded incoming senior class. Bjorndal hit .414 for the Lady Indians and was second on the team in home runs with two, as well as RBIs with 36. She was also a key part of the Sanger running game, swiping eight bases. Infielder : Logan Even, Aubrey, Jr. Even was one of the area’s top hitters this past season, racking up a .529 batting average with 14 doubles. She also was the Lady Chaparrals’ leading run producer, driving in a team-high 32 runs. She was also a big part of Aubrey’s defense playing at shortstop, which is described by many as the anchor of a defense along with catcher. She had a .960 fielding percentage. Infielder : Madison McElroy, Ponder, Sr. As a key senior, McElroy was a big reason why the Lady Lions advanced to the area round of the Class 2A playoffs after finishing second in District 9-2A. The third baseman was a firstteam all-district selection after leading Ponder in hitting with a .478 average. She hit one home run and also had a team-high 22 RBIs while scoring 17 runs. Infielder : Blair O’Brien, Arg yle, Jr. More known for her skills on the volleyball court, O’Brien was also the best player for the Lady Eagles on the diamond. A shortstop, O’Brien was named the District 9-3A Defensive Player of the Year with a .944 fielding percentage. She also was the team’s best hitter with a .446 batting average to go with a home run and 16 RBIs while also stealing seven bases. Infielder : Anna Payne, Liber ty Christian, Jr. One of a trio of Lady Warriors who hit better than .500 on the season, Payne was a key member of the Liberty Christian team. The shortstop was not only a key member of the team defensively, but she also hit .507 with a .791 slugging percentage. She had a team-high four triples to go with a home run and 21 RBIs while pacing the Lady Warriors with 32 runs. Infielder : Alicia Weber, Guyer, Sr. In her second season as a full-time starter, the senior third baseman had a breakout year for the Lady Wildcats. Weber hit .462 with 23 runs and was second on the team with 33 RBIs despite often hitting in the leadoff spot or the No. 2 hole. In District 7-5A play, Weber stepped her game up to another level, hitting .500 in district play with 16 of her 23 runs. Outfielder : Kennedy Been, Guyer, Jr. Been re-defined her game in 2012, becoming one of the area’s most feared hitters. Once District 7-5A play rolled around, she helped lead Guyer to a third-place finish in the top-heavy district. Been hit .439 on the season but upped her game in district play, hitting .519 with an astronomical .923 slugging percentage. She finished with four homers, six triples and 32 RBIs. Outfielder : Morgan Tur koly, Sanger, Fr. A key member of a youthful Sanger team, Turkoly burst on to the scene in 2012 while helping lead the Lady Indians to the Class 3A regional quarterfinals. The left fielder showed plenty of range on defense while hitting in the No. 2 spot in Sanger’s order and racking up a .500 average to lead the team. She also caused headaches for opponents on the bases, stealing eight bags. Notable: In what was the best season Pilot Point has had since 2005, Cagle was undoubtedly the key component to the Lady Cats’ success. The Northwestern State commit continued from her successful sophomore campaign with another stellar season. She led the Lady Cats at the plate with a .455 batting average and a .549 on-base percentage. She scored 24 runs, drove in 25 runs and drew 20 walks while also picking up four triples and stealing nine bases. As great as she was at the plate, her biggest contribution came in the pitching circle where she dominated the competition. Cagle finished the season with a 1.88 ERA and a 19-12 record with 209 strikeouts and just 27 walks. She helped lead the Lady Cats to a Class 3A Region II semifinal appearance before eventually losing to Paris North Lamar in two games. Cagle was also named an all-state selection and was honored with MVP recognition in District 9-3A.
CO-NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Preslee Gallaway ¯
Pilot Point, SS/P, Freshman
Notable: Continuing a line of Pilot Point freshmen who have been key contributors at the varsity level, like Skylar Cagle and Allison Strittmatter before her, Gallaway played well beyond her years for the Lady Cats in 2012. The hard-hitting freshman led the team with 27 RBIs while hitting .412 and scoring 22 runs. She had two triples and hit two home runs, only striking out eight times in the clean-up spot. She was also a perfect 10for-10 on stolen-base attempts. While fielding well at shortstop, Gallaway was also an effective pitcher as the team’s No. 2 arm. Gallaway finished the year with a 5-1 record and a 1.05 ERA with 72 strikeouts while earning her share of district victories.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
¯ Kaley Reding
Aubrey, P, Junior
Notable: Aubrey was one of three good teams jumbled at the top of the District 9-3A standings throughout the year — a district eventually won by Pilot Point. But the Lady Chaparrals’ success could be chalked up to the play of Reding in the pitching circle. The junior hurler finished the season with a 19-8 record and was a major pest to opposing lineups. Reding posted an ERA of 1.53 and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 6to-1 with 217 strikeouts and only 37 walks.
CO-NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Notable: Taylor was a welcomed addition to an upstart Lake Dallas team that qualified for the playoffs in 2012. Taylor earned Newcomer of the Year honors in District 4-4A after a season that saw her hit .448 with two home runs, six triples and 32 RBIs, scoring 36 runs to lead the Lady Falcons in all but one of those offensive categories. The freshman shortstop was also huge defensively in one of the more important positions on the diamond. Taylor committed just six errors on the season and compiled a .900 fielding percentage.
Lake Dallas, SS, Freshman
Andie Beer, Ponder, Soph. Kayla Cunningham, Ryan, Jr. Victoria Eakman, Sanger, Soph. Meghan Eilers, Sanger, Sr. Ciera Frith, Ryan, Sr. Melanie Funk, Aubrey, Jr. Nicole Kornet, Liberty Christian, Sr. Kimber Kuhn, Pilot Point, Sr. Jessica Orozco, Ponder, Soph. Rachel Rainwater, Liberty Christian, Jr. Chrystal Reese, Pilot Point, Sr. Mikayla Stogsdill, Sanger, Soph. Kaitlyn Thomas, Guyer, Jr.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Denton, C, Senior
Notable: The Lady Broncos’ catcher was one of few bright spots for Denton this past season. A senior leader who toiled through a rough patch of years during her career, Specht led the Lady Broncos with a .460 batting average, a home run and 16 RBIs to earn Co-Offensive Player of the Year honors on the 4-4A all-district team. But she was also a standout defensive player as Denton’s backstop. The catcher compiled a fielding percentage of .956 to finish her high school career.
Team selected by Denton Record-Chronicle staff in consultation with area coaches.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Notable: In his sixth season at the helm in Pilot Point, Ramsey had his best season with the Lady Cats and took his team further in the playoffs than any other area team. The Lady Cats, who will move down to Class 2A next season, went out with a bang in Class 3A, earning a District 9-3A championship before going on to sweep Princeton in the area round of the playoffs and topple the state’s No. 1-ranked team, Lovejoy, thanks to a 4-1 victory in a one-game playoff in the Class 3A Region II quarterfinals. In all, the Lady Cats lost just one district game en route to their district crown and finished the season with 24 wins before eventually being swept by Paris North Lamar in the Class 3A Region II semifinal.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Notable: Nordie did a little bit of everything for the youthful Lady Indians, helping Sanger to a second-place finish in a competitive District 9-3A and a run to the Class 3A Region II quarterfinals where it lost to defending state champion Celina. Nordie led the Lady Indians in just about every offensive category while earning Offensive Player of the Year honors in 9-3A. She hit .462 with four home runs and an area-leading 42 RBIs and stole 12 bases. In the circle, Nordie was equally good, compiling a 12-3 record with a 1.82 ERA and 123 strikeouts.
Photos are by Denton Record-Chronicle photographer David Minton, along with DRC file photos and courtesy photos.
Sanger, P/IF, Junior
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Pilot Point, P/SS, Junior