Thursday, December 18, 2014

Girls named to all-area softball squad

By GREG MAST, Herald Sports Editor | 6/11/2013

Many of the best high school softball players in the area combined a drive with talent.

They led their teams in a lot of areas and received postseason honors. Those type of athletes highlight the 2013 Herald all-area softball team.

Team members include:

Kendall Blanco, junior, IF/pitcher, Ottawa

Blanco put together a solid season for the Cyclones. She committed just two errors in the field at shortstop and as a pitcher. She went 3-5 in the circle with an ERA of 6.15. She hit .400 with two home runs, six doubles, 22 runs scored and 16 RBIs. She was an all-league selection.

Kylie Foster, sophomore, IF, Ottawa

Foster was a fixture at first base and in the middle of the order for the Cyclones. She had just one error this season. She hit .430 with a team-best 26 hits, 21 RBIs, 10 doubles and three home runs.

Hannah Hedges, junior, IF, Ottawa

Hedges switched between second base and shortstop. She was a dependable defensive and offensive player. She hit .380 in the second slot in the order. She scored 19 runs and had 24 hits. She was an all-league selection.

Elizabeth Seimears, senior, pitcher, Ottawa

Seimears shouldered a big load this season as one of three seniors on the squad. She was the Cyclones’ ace pitcher and played second base when not pitching. She went 6-3 with a 3.84 ERA. She had 48 strikeouts and issued just eight walks. She had one error. She hit .390 with 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored. She is an all-league selection.

Maddie Magner, junior, catcher, Anderson County

Magner put her heart and soul into leading the Bulldogs. She had a lethal bat and arm behind the plate. She led Anderson County in hitting with a .461 average, 19 RBIs and a home run. Behind the plate, she threw out 16 base stealers and picked off five other runners. She was a first-team all-league selection.

Kenzie Hayward, junior, IF, Central Heights

Hayward can flash the leather as well as hit for a high average. The Viking junior committed just three errors in three years at first base. She also saved her team several throwing errors with her glove work. She hit .429 and led the Vikings with 21 runs scored. She is an all-league performer. She was selected all-league and all-area in volleyball in the fall.

Sam Stegner, senior, pitcher, Central Heights

Stegner led a young Central Heights team with her all-around softball skills. She was the Vikings’ ace pitcher and top run producer with the bat. She was 10-3 with an earned run average of 3.31. She had 109 strikeouts. She hit .500 and led Central Heights with 20 RBIs. She signed to play softball with Independence Community College. She was an all-league selection.

Tori Broers, sophomore, IF, Wellsville

Broers successfully made the switch from first base to second base. She also was a key hitter, batting in the middle of the order for the Eagles. She hit .442 with 17 RBIs and 14 runs scored. She was an all-league performer.

Justine Dougan, junior, IF, Wellsville

Dougan is a fixture at third base and in the middle of the Eagles’ batting order. She is a three-year starter. She was a clutch hitter, batting fourth in the order. She hit .491 with 23 RBIs, 15 runs scored, eight doubles and two home runs. She was an all-league selection.

Moriah Kayhill, junior, IF, Wellsville

She is a complete softball player. Kayhill makes her presence felt all over the field. Wellsville coach Chris Rose called her the heart of the team.

“Moriah is extremely versatile ... she can slap, control slap, drag bunt and hit from the right side,” Rose said.

“She is the first girl to practice and the last one to leave and is always taking extra reps,” Rose continued. “She is a winner and our leader. Moriah is a once-in-a-career type of player a coach gets because she is unselfish, driven and extremely coachable.”

Kayhill hit .529 with 20 runs scored and 16 stolen bases at the top of the order. She was an all-league selection.

Ashley Sparks, sophomore, OF, Wellsville

Sparks lit a spark under the Eagles with her all-around skills.

“Ashley may be one of most gifted athletes that I have ever coached,” Rose said. “She can hit, run, throw and catch. She makes plays in center field that no other player could make.”

She hit .380 with 19 RBIs, 18 runs scored and had four triples. She was an all-league selection. She is a two-time all-league and all-area selection in volleyball. She was selected all-state in the fall.

Charley Fine, sophomore, IF, West Franklin

Fine was the Falcons’ leader in nearly everything this past season. She was the team’s top hitter (.358), hits (21) and stolen bases (14). She also had two doubles, two triples and seven RBIs.

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