High-SchoolSoftball: Players of the Week

ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week

June, 7, 2012
6/07/12
10:11
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, June 5)

Here are the final ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week for the 2012 season. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player can be chosen twice in the same school year.

EAST

Jordyn Moquin, Southington (Conn.)
The junior pitcher led the Lady Knights into their first Class LL state championship game since 2004. In a 5-1 semifinal victory over Masuk (Conn.), she hurled a no-hitter through five innings and wound up with a three-hitter. She also helped her own cause with a two-run double in the fourth inning. Southington will play Amity (Woodbridge, Conn.) Friday in the title game.

SOUTHEAST

Meredith Burroughs, Aycock (Pikeville, N.C.)
Just a sophomore, Burroughs already is one of the most feared hitters in North Carolina. In Aycock’s 7-2 win last weekend over Foard (Newton, N.C.) that gave the Golden Falcons the Class 3A state title, Burroughs hammered a two-run homer in the first inning and later ripped a three-run homer in the third. The two homers also put Burroughs’ season total at 19, which ties the state single-season record. Burroughs’ team won its first-ever fastpitch state title and ended the year with 27 wins in its last 28 outings.

MIDWEST

Lindsay Swipas, Champion (Warren, Ohio)
The four-year Golden Flashes pitcher saved one of her best efforts until last as she led her team to its second straight Division III state championship. In the 2-0 title-game victory over Bloom-Carroll (Carroll, Ohio), Swipas didn't allow a hit until the bottom of the seventh inning and wound up with a one-hitter while striking out 10 batters to help Champion win its fifth state crown. She yielded a leadoff single in the final inning before retiring the next three batters to seal the victory. In 2011, she led Champion to a 28-0 record while winning 19 times. Swipas plans to attend Ohio State University and study accounting.

MIDLANDS

Kristen Davenport, Deer Park (Texas)
There’s a good reason why Deer Park is celebrating the first state title in school history since the 1955 football season. It’s due to Davenport’s dominance. When the Lady Deer opened up the Class 5A state semifinals by blowing past O’Connor (Northside, Texsas) 13-2, Davenport pitched five innings and went 3 for 4 with four RBIs. Her two-run double also ignited a 10-run uprising in one inning, which set a state tournament record. Then with just one more win to go for the state title, Davenport got the job done in a 6-0 triumph over Klein Collins (Klein, Texas). She pitched a three-hitter and went 2 for 4 with two RBIs at the plate.

WEST

Amber Padilla, Pomona Catholic (Pomona, Calif.)
The senior standout fired a perfect game and struck out eight to lead the Pacers past Bellarmine-Jefferson (Burbank, Calif.) 1-0 in the CIF Southern Section Division VII championship. Padilla also went 1 for 3 at the plate, but it was in the semifinals when her hitting was more prominent. She went 3 for 5 with three RBIs in that game as Pomona Catholic routed Mesa Grande Academy (Calimesa, Calif.) 24-0. For the season, Padilla finished 24-7 as a pitcher with a 0.94 ERA. Her hitting totals include a .567 average and 50 RBIs.

ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week

May, 31, 2012
5/31/12
10:05
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 29)

Here are this week’s high school softball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Susan Pardo, Kellenberg Memorial (Uniondale, N.Y.)
The senior right-handed pitcher led the Firebirds to a 29-0 record and the school's first Catholic High School Athletic Association state title by tossing a pair of shutouts in a doubleheader. The two-time CHSAA Pitcher of the Year struck out 26 and allowed only three hits in the two games. The Wesleyan University recruit fanned 15 batters, including the side in the seventh to finish the game, and yielded only two hits and two walks in the 5-0 final game win over defending champion Archbishop Molloy (Middle Village, N.Y.). In the 2-0 semifinal win over Sacred Heart Academy (Buffalo, N.Y.), she allowed only a first-inning leadoff single and fanned 11 batters.

SOUTHEAST

Samantha Smith, Gibbs (Knoxville, Tenn.)
After firing two shutouts earlier in the Class AA state tournament, Smith came up with a two-hitter to lead the Eagles past Goodpasture (Madison, Tenn.) 2-0 in a win that gave them the state title. Smith’s pitching sparked a 22-game win streak for Gibbs, which finished 42-5 and won its first state crown since 2000. Smith also is one of the top scholar-athletes in Tennessee with a 4.0 GPA and she is among the top 10 academically in her senior class.

MIDWEST

Mariah Schultz, Luther (Onalaska, Wis.)
The 5-foot-8 junior pitcher was perfect in a 3-0 Knights' victory over Melrose-Mindoro (Melrose, Wis.) in the Division 3 state regional tournament. Schultz, who was conference Most Valuable Player as a sophomore, hurled her perfect game for the 20-4 Knights while striking out 12 batters. She also provided the only run needed to win with a homer.

MIDLANDS

Cali Lanphear, Montgomery (Texas)
A senior catcher who is headed to Texas A&M, Lanphear has been on a slugging tear for the Bears in the Class 4A state playoffs. Three weeks ago, she blasted a grand slam to end a 2-0 sweep of Nederland (Texas). Two weeks ago, in a 2-0 sweep of Manvel (Texas), Lanphear had three hits in one game and had two homers and a double in the other. Then last week in the regional final, sandwiched around a loss to Little-Cypress (Mauriceville, Texas), she hit two-run homers in the two games that Montgomery won. Lanphear enters this week’s Class 4A state semifinals with 21 homers for the season.

WEST

Lindsey Clarkson, Central (Fresno, Calif.)
Facing a Clovis West (Fresno, Calif.) team that had upset FAB 50-ranked El Diamante (Visalia, Calif.) in its previous game, Clarkson put it all together and pitched a perfect game for the Bears in their 4-0 victory over the Golden Eagles in the CIF Central Section Division I championship. Clarkson only struck out five, but got numerous pop-ups and grounders and only went to a three-ball count twice. Central finished 28-6 and won its first CIF section title.

ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week

May, 24, 2012
5/24/12
11:30
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 22)

Here are this week’s high school softball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Steph Thomas, Immaculate Heart (Washington Township, N.J.)
The sophomore pitcher has led the unbeaten Eagles to the state No. 1 ranking with three victories while allowing no earned runs in the last week. Included were three perfect innings with six strikeouts in a key victory over Passaic (N.J.). On the season, she is 20-0 with 15 shutouts and a 0.51 ERA while allowing only one extra-base hit in 123 innings.

SOUTHEAST

Courtney Roberts, Hillcrest (Simpsonville, S.C.)
With a two-hitter that included eight strikeouts and no walks, Roberts concluded an inspirational ride in the South Carolina AAAA state playoffs. Her last pitching performance came in a 6-0 win over Carolina Forest (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) that gave Hillcrest a second straight win after the team lost the opening game of the state title series. Roberts also drove in the first run of the game with a double. Earlier in the postseason, Roberts pitched a perfect game against Mauldin (S.C.) and had a two-hit shutout over Boiling Springs (S.C.). She did all this in the aftermath of the sudden death of her father, Paul, who suffered a heart attack on April 9. Paul Roberts, 49, also was a well-known Greenville-area mentor to many other softball players.

MIDWEST

Kendra Marshall, Warsaw (Warsaw, Ind.)
The senior was a perfect 5 for 5 at the plate in a win over Tippecanoe Valley (Akron, Ind.) with three doubles and two home runs. On the week, she also belted four homers and six doubles with nine runs scored and 14 RBIs. In addition, Marshall batted .750 for the week to boost her season average to .517 with 40 RBIs.

MIDLANDS

Kelsee Selman, Hudson (Lufkin, Texas)
A junior who has committed to LSU, Selman led the Lady Hornets past Hargrave (Huffman, Texas) in last week’s Class 3A regional semifinals. In the first game of a best-of-three series, Selman pitched a five-hitter with 11 strikeouts and went 2 for 3 with a home run, double and four RBIs. Hudson won the series with an 8-6 win in eight innings in the second game. Selman hit a two-run homer to tie the score in the seventh inning and gave up one earned run in eight innings of pitching with eight strikeouts. She has 405 strikeouts on the season and is batting .358 with seven homers and 32 RBIs.

WEST

Cheridan Hawkins, Anderson (Calif.)
For the second year in a row, Hawkins and her ability to strike out batters has lifted Anderson to the CIF Northern Section Division IV title. The University of Oregon recruit struck out 14 in the Cubs’ 3-1 win against Wheatland (Calif.) in last weekend’s championship game. Earlier in the week, she had a no-hitter with 16 Ks as Anderson defeated Lassen (Susanville, Calif.). Hawkins ended the season with 440 strikeouts after collecting 510 as a junior and had nearly 1,300 for her career.

ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
10:05
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 15)

Here are this week’s high school softball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Natalya Smarra, Sto-Rox (McKees Rocks, Pa.)
The senior right-handed pitcher hurled a five-inning perfect game and batted in four runs as the Vikings (18-0) blanked Avella (Pa.) 14-0 in the first round of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Class A tournament. The four-year starter, who was a catcher/shortstop as a freshman before taking over the main pitching role as a sophomore, improved to 16-0 this season with a 1.09 ERA. She also has a .522 batting average and plans to play in college.

SOUTHEAST

Cristina Sacramento, Pembroke Pines Charter (Fla.)
If Niceville (Fla.) had won the Class 6A state title, it would have finished as Florida’s No. 1-ranked team for the season and would have been no worse than No. 7 in the final POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings. But Sacramento and her teammates had other ideas as her one-hitter helped pin a 1-0 loss on Niceville’s aspirations. Sacramento ended with 18 strikeouts and just one walk. In the semifinals, the senior standout also shined with a five-hit shutout in a 4-0 win against Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.). In that game, she also went 2 for 4 and drove in the first run. It was Pembroke Pines Charter’s first state title after three runner-up finishes. One of those state title losses prevented the Jaguars (who are now No. 33 in the FAB 50) from being the mythical national champion.

MIDWEST

Abbie Voas, Chanhassen (Minn.)
The junior infielder recorded a productive offensive week to lead her 13-4 team to six victories. She went 10 for 19 at the plate with five home runs, three doubles, 12 RBIs and 10 runs scored for the Division 1 team. Voas also set a school record during the week by belting three home runs in a 9-1 victory over New Prague (Minn.).

MIDLANDS

Abby Donnell, Rider (Wichita Falls, Texas)
A leadoff-hitting phenom who has committed to Texas A&M, Donnell did it all in leading Rider past Canyon (Randall, Texas) 9-0 in a Class 4A regional quarterfinal. Still just a junior, Donnell went 3 for 5 with three runs scored and also pitched a one-hitter with nine strikeouts. In Rider’s earlier 6-2 playoff win over Andress (El Paso, Texas), Donnell went 3 for 3 with two runs scored and pitched a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts. For the season, as 29-5-1 Rider gets ready to play Midway (Waco, Texas) in this week’s regional semifinals, Donnell is batting .594 with 57 hits, including 10 triples.

WEST

Heather Morales, Indio (Calif.)
In a 7-3 victory over Coachella Valley (Thermal, Calif.), Morales closed her regular season by smashing two home runs to give her 20 for the season. The junior first base/pitcher has moved to No. 2 on the state's all-time single-season home run list, but may not be able to move up to No. 1 since the record is 27. She also could slip a few spots as several other girls in California are putting up monster home run totals, including Sierra Romero of Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, Calif.) with 19. Still, it’s been a breakthrough season for Morales. She had two homers, two doubles and 10 RBIs in a game last month against Cathedral City (Calif.) and hit three home runs in a game twice. She also pitches (7-5, 0.69 ERA, 117 strikeouts) and has committed to play at Hawaii.

ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week

May, 10, 2012
5/10/12
11:05
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 8)

Here are this week’s high school softball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Dominique Chamberlain, Nazareth (Pa.)
The junior outfielder had a career game in a 15-0, four-inning rout of Easton (Pa.). The part-time starter knocked in six runs with a grand slam plus two doubles in three at-bats during the mercy-rule shortened game. Chamberlain, a left-handed batter, now has three homers on the season as the Blue Eagles improved to 11-6.

SOUTHEAST

Whitney Gillespie, Pelham (Ala.)
She may not have the gaudy strikeout totals of other pitchers in Alabama, but considering the schedule that Pelham has played and what she has done at the plate, there aren’t many players in the state quite like her. In Pelham’s 3-0 triumph last week over Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.) that gave Pelham a Class 6A area title, Gillespie hit a two-run homer and pitched a three-hitter. She went 2 for 3 with a run scored in the team’s previous state playoff game. For the season entering this week’s next round of the state playoffs, Gillespie has a 19-4 pitching record with a 0.91 ERA. She also had 48 RBIs and a .434 batting average.

MIDWEST

Cassie Gillespie, Notre Dame Academy (Toledo, Ohio)
The sophomore pitcher helped the Eagles avenge two regular-season losses to Clay (Oregon, Ohio) and capture a Division 1 sectional title with a 4-0 win. Gillespie hurled a complete-game, four-hit shutout and helped her own cause with a two-out, three-run home run in the fourth inning. The win advances the Eagles into the regional tournament semifinals this week against Central Catholic (Toledo, Ohio).

MIDLANDS

Katie Doerre, Tomball (Texas)
The offensive sparkplug for the No. 22 team in this week’s POWERADE FAB 50, Doerre came through with two hits and a homer when Tomball defeated Round Rock (Texas) 10-3 in the deciding game of a best-of-three Class 5A playoff series. Doerre also extended her latest hitting streak to 17 games. During the streak, she’s had one 4-for-4 and two 3-for-3 outings. Bound for Texas State University, Doerre heads into this week’s playoffs batting .563 for the season with 27 runs scored and 25 RBIs.

WEST

Shelby Abeyta, Copper Hills (West Jordan, Utah)
Two weeks ago in the title game of the Swing for Life tourney, Abeyta doubled and was the winning pitcher when Copper Hills beat Juab (Utah) 6-5. That accomplishment was entirely appropriate because just two years ago Abeyta herself survived a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. She’s now one of the team leaders at Copper Hills and had a four-hitter last week in a win over Jordan (Utah). Already this week, Abeyta struck out nine in a 3-1 win over Brighton (Salt Lake City). In addition to her outstanding play and courage in the face of adversity, Abeyta also is a member of Utah’s academic all-state team.

ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
10:31
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 1)

Here are this week’s high school softball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST
Olivia Tatara, Stone Bridge (Ashburn, Va.)
The junior catcher had a day to remember at the Battle of Ashburn Round Robin Softball Tournament. In three consecutive at-bats over two games against her school's two intra-city rivals, she belted three towering home runs. She also beat out a throw with a walk-off infield single to give her team a 6-5 win over Broad Run in the most dramatic of the contests. Earlier, her first two homers came late in a loss to Briar Woods. She then helped her team take a 4-0 first-inning lead with a homer in the next game vs. Broad Run, which was decided by her walk-off single.

SOUTHEAST
Katie Brignac, John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.)
The younger sister of Ashley Brignac, who won the 2011 Capital One Academic All-American of the Year award at Louisiana-Lafayette, led the Patriots to the Class 2A state title last weekend and a 31-0 final record. She scattered five hits when Curtis topped Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.) 2-0 in the Class 2A state final and had a two-hitter in the semifinals. The sophomore standout also had a no-hitter and came within one walk of throwing a perfect game earlier in the playoffs.

MIDWEST
Lilly Fecho, Glenbard North (Carol Stream, Ill.)
The senior left-handed pitcher and Purdue recruit has led the Panthers to a 20-0 record, the No. 1 ranking in the Chicago metro area, and the No. 25 FAB 50 ranking. Last week, after allowing only one earned run in five wins the previous week, she led Glenbard North to a 9-1 win over Naperville Central (Naperville, Ill.) to snap the Redhawks' 12-game winning streak. She had 11 strikeouts and allowed four hits. Later in the week, she fanned 11 in a three-hit 3-1 win over Wheaton Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.). She is 14-0 on the season.

MIDLANDS
Kelsey Stewart, Maize (Kan.)
A junior who has already committed to Florida, Stewart is smacking deep balls all over the Sunflower State. In an 11-4, 16-2 doubleheader sweep by the Eagles last week over Derby (Kan.), Stewart hammered three home runs in the first game and added a fourth homer for the day in the nightcap. She had a total of nine RBIs for the day. In her first 12 games, Stewart had hit nine homers with 41 RBIs and had a .691 batting average.

WEST
Hannah Cookson, Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta, Calif.)
The sophomore slugger comes from a school that is known for prolific power hitters. She continued to rip shots last week, one week after she tied a reported national record with two grand slams in the same inning during a win against Arcadia (Calif.). Her week included a 3-for-3 outing with three homers and five RBIs in a 16-0 victory over Muir (Pasadena, Calif.); a 3-for-4 performance with two homers and four RBIs in an 8-7 win over Hoover (Glendale, Calif.); and a 2-for-3 outing with one homer and four RBIs in a 15-1 romp past Poly (Pasadena, Calif.). Entering this week, Cookson was hitting .707 with 14 homers and 47 RBIs.

ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
9:33
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, April 24)

Here are this week’s high school softball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Andrea Chiaradio, Stonington (Conn.)
The first-year junior pitcher couldn't have been more perfect than she was in a 3-0 victory over Norwich Free Academy (Norwich, Conn.). A regular centerfielder as a sophomore, she opened eyes as a pitcher when she fanned all 21 batters in a seven-inning perfect game. She is 3-1 as a pitcher and was coming off her first setback of the season. Her perfect game came on the same day that Philip Humber hurled a major-league perfecto for the Chicago White Sox.

SOUTHEAST

Lindsey Fadnek, Coalfield (Tenn.)
A senior who has signed with Marshall University, Fadnek has been a strikeout machine since she was an eighth-grader for the Coalfield varsity. In the team’s 6-2 win on Tuesday over Oakdale (Tenn.), Fadnek tossed a no-hitter with 19 strikeouts and added a two-run homer with her bat. She had a 21-strikeout no-hitter earlier in the season and improved her career total after Tuesday to 1,696. Fadnek is a four-time all-state Class 1A selection and after last season was chosen first-team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

MIDWEST

Mackenzie Becker, La Crosse Central (Wis.)
The senior catcher helped the 9-0 record Red Raiders to four wins last week, including a monster outing in a 10-0 blanking of Holmen (Wis.). She went 4 for 4 with two home runs and a double while batting in eight runs. The feature hit was a second-inning grand slam. In a weekend doubleheader sweep of Eau Claire Memorial (Wis.), she also knocked in four runs and belted another homer.

MIDLANDS

Heather Stearns, Hebron (Lewisville, Texas)
In the final game of what has been a remarkable regular season for Stearns, she smacked her 13th homer and pitched a four-hitter with 18 strikeouts to lead Hebron past Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) 2-1. Earlier in the week, Stearns collected four hits and three RBIs in a 16-5 victory over Allen (Texas). Stearns, who has signed with Baylor, tied a state record earlier this season when she smashed four homers in one game against Pilot Point (Texas).

WEST

Ashley Thompson, Connell (Wash.)
Whether it’s hitting or pitching, Thompson is one of the best in the West this season. The University of Washington recruit isn’t facing the greatest competition, but is dominating on both sides of the plate for the 12-0 Eagles. Last weekend in a pair of 25-0 routs against Wahluke (Mattawa, Wash.), Thompson hit two homers on the day and pitched a perfect game in one of the wins. Earlier this season, the 2011 Class 1A State Player of the Year had a no-hitter and hit two homers in a win over Riverside (Chattaroy, Wash.). She led Connell to the Class 1A state title last season and had 18 strikeouts in the state final.

ESPNHS Softball Players of the Week

April, 19, 2012
4/19/12
10:20
AM ET
Here are this week's high school softball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

(After games of Tuesday, April 17)


EAST
Kirsten Wilson, Riverside (Ellwood City, Pa.)

The junior has been a dominating pitcher for the unbeaten Panthers after earning all-section honors as a first baseman last season. She is 6-0 on the mound with 84 strikeouts so far this season, including 19 in one game two weeks ago, and a 0.18 ERA. She also sports a .667 batting average. Last week, Wilson hurled a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts and added a homer and five RBIs in a 10-0 blanking of Freedom (Pa.).

SOUTHEAST
Kasey Cooper, Dothan (Ala.)

As a sophomore last year, Cooper set a state record for most hits in a season with 106, and she’s having another great season as a junior. On Monday, she celebrated her commitment to Auburn by showing off her skills in two games. She went 2 for 4 and blasted her 17th homer of the season as Dothan blanked Russell County (Seale, Ala.). She then pitched a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts and added a double at the plate in a 6-1 win over Opelika (Ala.). Last week, Cooper smacked home runs in back-to-back wins against Rehobeth (Ala.) and Henderson (Troy, Ala.), and against Henderson struck out 15 in pitching six shutout innings. Cooper is likely to be used as an infielder at Auburn.

MIDWEST
Macy Oswald, O'Fallon (Ill.)

The senior shortstop and Wisconsin recruit continued her stellar play this season for the No. 2 ranked team in the St. Louis metro area. In a 12-2 decision over Collinsville (Ill.), she went 3 for 4, including a two-run homer in the first inning. In the field, she made two diving stops of potential hits, one saving a run, as Collinsville threatened to change the game’s momentum.

MIDLANDS
Chelsea Thomas, McKinney (Texas)

The Dallas Morning News Player of the Week has gained additional recognition this week from ESPNHS. In a 5-0 victory over McKinney North (Texas), she didn't allow a hit and struck out 15 batters while driving in all five of McKinney’s runs, which included hitting a grand slam. Thomas, just a sophomore, only struck out 10 in her next game, but it was a no-hitter and would have been more except that the 13-0 victory against J.J. Pearce (Richardson, Texas) only lasted five innings.

WEST
Breanna Macha, Red Mountain (Mesa, Ariz.)

The sophomore standout has been the leader so far for a team that is No. 7 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and is going for a third straight state title. In a 17-3 victory last week over Skyline (Mesa, Ariz.), Macha went 3 for 4 with two homers and four RBIs. She followed that up by pitching a two-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 5-0 win against Mountain View (Mesa, Ariz.). Heading into a Tuesday game this week, Macha was among the state leaders in homers (10), RBIs (47) and pitching strikeouts (111). She has committed to Arizona State.

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