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Softball: 8th annual Gold Glove Award winners

Softball: 8th annual Gold Glove Award winners


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

As important as a batter that hits for power and average, having a player star on the defensive side of the field is a luxury that coaches wish they could share across all nine positions.

These are the players that make the difficult plays look easy.

The players that make the impossible possible.

The players that win games for their teams.

Flashing the leather on the softball diamond is a skill that separates the playmakers from the players.

And the best are so valuable that their award is made out of gold.

The Gold Gloves.

And this year’s recipients are presented below, as I proudly introduce my 8th annual High School Softball Gold Glove winners.



Junior, second base

Notable Statistics: .960 fielding percentage, 2 errors in 20 games.

Coach Sam Petrash: “Sophie is a key part of our defense for many reasons. She has the most total chances and assists/putouts of any position player other than catcher and first base. Her quickness allows us to run pick-plays and backdoor plays that either result in outs or keeping runners close to bases. We’ve already executed more than twice as many double plays and pickoffs than last season in eight less games because of her versatility and quickness. Second base in our defense is critical because of how hard our pitcher (McKennah Metzger) throws. We see more action on the right side than we do on the left side. One of the two errors Sophie made was an aggressive throwing error trying to double a runner at first off a line drive up the middle. The other was a back door play on a high throw she tried to get the tag down too quick on. Our defense is very aggressive, and we encourage our players to move the ball around to find outs. Two aggressive errors in our aggressive system is very impressive.”



Junior, catcher

Notable Statistics: .991 fielding percentage, 1 error in 113 total chances, thrown out three of the five base-runners attempting to steal on her this season.

Coach Sam Petrash: “Everything we run goes through our catcher. Sophie has unusual quickness coupled with strength for a catcher. Teams do not run on us.”



Junior, first base

Notable Statistics: .976 fielding percentage.

Coach Matt Helm: “Kayleigh has been a fixture for the past three seasons and has been a lockdown corner player. She can be trusted at any spot, really, and has stepped in at times at third base and catcher. She has all the tools needed between the glove, arm, footwork and the bat to have another big year and beyond.”



Junior, second base

Coach Beth Dyer: “Mckayla has stepped into a new position this year for the team. She is a quick and agile player, who can cover a lot of territory. Mckayla is constantly willing to work to improve and has been a big playmaker this season.”



Senior, pitcher/outfield

Notable Statistics: 1.000 fielding percentage.

Coach Tina Faulhaber: “Lizzy has played in every game this season and is a very capable and athletic defensive player on the mound, where there is little time for error — and in the outfield, where tracking and running down fly balls takes a completely different set of skills. She is a two-year team captain and a calming presence on the field for the whole team. She is an amazing young woman on and off the diamond.”



Senior, catcher/third base

Coach Jeff Fankhauser: “Olivia is our team leader — both defensively and offensively. She goes above and beyond in countless ways for the team, and we are better because of it.”



Junior, pitcher/shortstop

Notable Statistics: .920 fielding percentage, 82 strikeouts in 60 innings.

Coach Chloe Kramer: “Whitney has been a dual threat in the circle and at the plate for us. In the circle, she had made 14 appearances, earning three wins, including a perfect game against Akron Garfield.”



Senior, centerfield

Notable Statistics: 1.000 fielding percentage.

Coach Paige Byers: “Abby is always giving 100 percent after any ball to support her team. Her hustle and arm strength keep runners from getting on base and from advancing when they do get on base. She is a great leader defensively and role model to our younger outfielders.”



Senior, centerfield

Notable Statistics: .900 fielding percentage.

Coach Erin Muncy: “Lexi is very athletic and gets a good jump on the ball. She covers a bunch of ground with her speed and truly is the leader of the outfield. Lexi’s leadership on and off the field is what will be missed the most.”



Senior, centerfield

Notable Statistics: Four years of .900-plus fielding percentages.

Coach Leroy Moore: “Sam has tremendous range in the outfield that allows her to get to balls that, in most cases, would fall for base hits. She isn’t afraid to dive and get dirty, which has allowed her to make some amazing catches that highlight her athleticism.”



Sophomore, catcher

Coach Brenda Flarida: “Bayley is our most consistent fielder. She does a tremendous job of blocking the ball and not many balls ever get by her. She has caught every game and works very hard behind the plate.”

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