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New England softball Gatorade POY winners

6/4/2015

This morning, St. Peter-Marian's Erin Gallo was named Gatorade Player of the Year for softball in Massachusetts.

Here are the winners from the other five New England states:

CONNECTICUT: CAROLINE TABER, FITCH

The 5-foot-8 junior right-handed pitcher led the Falcons to a 22-0 record, an Eastern Connecticut Conference title and the No. 1 seed in the Class L state tournament at the time of her selection. A two-time Connecticut High School Coaches Association Class L First Team All-State honoree, Taber posted a 19-0 record with a 0.12 ERA and 210 strikeouts against just eight walks in 121 innings pitched through 22 games. Also a first baseman, Taber batted .415 with nine extra-base hits, 30 RBI and 30 runs scored, recording a .484 on-base percentage and .561 slugging percentage entering the postseason. The New London Day’s 2014 All-Area Player of the Year, she led Fitch to the 2014 Class L state title as a sophomore.

Also a member of the debate team, Taber has maintained a 4.28 weighted GPA in the classroom, ranks No. 2 in her graduating class and has served as the fundraising chair for her school’s student government. In addition to donating her time as a peer tutor and youth softball instructor, she has also volunteered on behalf of the National Honor Society and at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital.

“Caroline Taber is absolutely awesome,” said Liz Sutman, head coach of rival Waterford High. “Fitch is a great program, and obviously she’s a huge part of that program. She’s a dominant pitcher and dominant hitter. She’s at the top of her class academically. She’s a class act. She’s a great girl and an awesome player. She’s a hard worker. She’s everything. She encompasses the whole thing.”

Taber will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

RHODE ISLAND: RACHEL KANTOR, NORTH KINGSTOWN

The 5-foot-10 senior right-handed pitcher and infielder had led the Skippers to an 18-1 record and a berth in the Division I state tournament at the time of her selection. Kantor had posted a 16-1 record with a 0.71 ERA thru 19 games. She had struck out 95 batters in 69 innings pitched, allowing just 38 hits and 11 walks. A 2014 Providence Journal First Team All-State honoree, she was batting .367 with two home runs and a .533 slugging percentage.

Kantor has maintained a weighted 3.92 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally at the NK5K road race and as a youth softball coach.

“Rachel is without a doubt the key to her team’s success,” said Stefanie Bello, head coach of La Salle Academy. “She has the ability to not just throw strikes but she controls the batters with her movement and pitch location. She makes the batters over-think what pitch is coming next.”

Kantor will attend Wesleyan University, where she will play softball beginning this fall.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: KAYCEE CARBONE, ALVIRNE

The 5-foot-6 senior shortstop led the Broncos to a 14-4 record and a berth in the Division I state tournament, scheduled to begin June 3. Carbone batted .620 with a pair of home runs, 29 runs scored and an .880 slugging percentage through 18 games. A First Team All-State selection, she has struck out only twice in 50 at-bats and made just two errors in 55 fielding chances at shortstop.

Carbone has maintained a 4.20 weighted GPA in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the St. Vincent de Paul Society charity, the Alvirne Dance Marathon to benefit the Boston Children’s Hospital and as a youth softball coach.

“Kaycee Carbone epitomizes what a student-athlete should be,” said Phil McElroy, program director of the Polar Crush 18U Gold team. “She possesses the qualities necessary to excel in the classroom and on the softball field. Her work ethic is outstanding and her competitive nature makes her an outstanding performer under pressure. She also displays great sportsmanship at all times and is an excellent role model.”

Carbone has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst this fall.

MAINE: JEN JONES, SANFORD

The 5-foot-8 junior right-handed pitcher and outfielder has led the Spartans to a 13-2 record and a berth in the Class A state tournament, scheduled to begin June 9. Jones posted a 13-2 record with a 1.43 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 107 innings through 15 games and has struck out at least 10 batters in every game she has pitched this spring. A First Team All-State selection, she has also batted .470 with 25 RBI and a .720 slugging percentage.

Jones has maintained a 90.5 average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Nasson Community Center and as a youth soccer and volleyball coach.

“Jen Jones is a great leader of her team on and off the field,” said Sanford High head coach Mike Bailey. “Her softball skills speak for themselves through her stats. She also takes five classes a day out of a four-class-per-day schedule by coming in early to school to further her education. She is an all-around great example of a high school student-athlete.”

Jones will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

VERMONT: BAYLEE PORTS, MOUNT ANTHONY UNION

The 5-foot-2 senior right-hander had led the Patriots to a 15-1 record and the second seed in the Division 1 state tournament at the time of her selection. Ports owned a 14-1 record and a 0.64 ERA in the circle entering the postseason. A two-time First Team All-Marble Valley selection, she struck out 166 batters in 88 innings pitched, surrendering just 38 hits and 11 walks. Ports also threw eight shutouts and two no-hitters, while contributing 19 RBI at the plate.

Ports has maintained a 3.79 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of the American Red Cross, an animal shelter and Bennington Project Independence, which assists disabled and elderly adults in the community.

“Baylee Ports is a great pitcher,” said Julie Fifield, head coach at Burr and Burton Academy. “Smart, with great control. She knows how to throw a variety of pitches and knows when to use them.”

Ports will begin a year of post-graduate studies in the fall at Miss Hall’s School, a prep school in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.