(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.