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)
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.