West Valley Preps
This is the fifth year West Valley Preps has announced honors for the best softball players it covers in the Northwest Valley.
Here is the 2017 All West Valley Preps softball team:
C – Grace Schmidt (Junior) Sunrise Mountain
1B – Ursula del Campo (Senior) Cactus
2B – Pilar Gutierrez (Senior) Sunrise Mountain
SS – Alynah Torres (Sophomore) Cactus
3B – Sophia Carroll (Freshman) Shadow Ridge
OF – Brynlee Gibbs (Senior) Cactus
OF – Lizzy Cartwright (Senior) Deer Valley
OF – Madison Gomez (Sophomore) Ironwood
UT – Hayley Bejarano (Senior) Shadow Ridge
P – Devynn Marshall (Senior) Shadow Ridge
P – Emile Guerra (Junior) Cactus
P – Hannah Krosky (Senior) Sunrise Mountain
C – Payton Alsobrooks (Senior) Mountain Ridge
1B – Ashleigh Perkins (Sophomore) Liberty
2B – Dren Meginnis (Sophomore) Centennial
SS – Katie Hatcher (Sophomore) Paradise Honors
3B – Natalie Del Ponte (Junior) Centennial
OF – Mackenzie Federico (Junior) Willow Canyon
OF – Ashlyn Buntin (Sophomore) Paradise Honors
OF – Rosemary Rodriguez (Senior) Dysart
UT – Kaliegh Holland (Senior) Willow Canyon
P – Alanna Moran (Junior) Centennial
P – Alicia Anaya (Junior) Valley Vista
P – Cassidy Young (Senior) Shadow Ridge
Underclassmen to watch: Cactus – Carson Gambs OF (Soph.), Kaitlyn Leyvas, C (Fr.); Centennial – Makenzie Celaya C (Soph.); Deer Valley – Lauren DePalma OF (Fr.); Dysart – Yadhira Mendoza UT (Fr.); Kellis – Madison Fusich (Soph.); Liberty – Tatum Chestnut OF (Fr.); Mountain Ridge – Mikenzie Zaitz 1B (Fr.); Northwest Christian – Hope Flisyn OF (Soph.); Paradise Honors – Makenah Rau 1B (Fr.); Peoria – Andraya Romero 1B (Fr.); Shadow Ridge – Aris Carroll IF (Fr.), Mickaela Covarrubio OF (Soph.); Sunrise Mountain – Sydney Bickel UT (Fr.), Summer Pells 3B (Fr.); Valley Vista – Andraya Rhinehart (Soph.); Willow Canyon – Carrigan Foster P/3B (Soph.).
Player of the year: Alynah Torres, Cactus – I guess we won’t write her in pen for this award for four straight years — Shadow Ridge’s Sophia Carroll may have something to say about that — but it will be close to automatic at this rate. Pitchers were more careful with the slugging shortstop, and she still batted .617, smashed 12 home runs and drove in 71 runs. She had OPS of 1.786. And the Arizona State University commit is more than an offensive machine. Torres had a fielding percentage of .966 on 116 total chances
Runner-up: Hanna Krosky, Sunrise Mountain – Krosky was still one of the Mustangs’ top sluggers. But she’s here for what was almost her debut season as a pitcher. After three years as the team’s power hitting first baseman, Krosky took a role in the circle — probably to save wear and tear on sophomore Dallis Mitchell initially. But by the stretch run, Krosky was clearly the team’s best pitcher. Despite rarely throwing even in club tournaments, she held her own against Cactus in a semifinal upset and versus power-packed Tucson Canyon del Oro in the 4A title game loss.
Coach of the year: Jody Pruitt, Sunrise Mountain – It sis not end in the program’s fifth state title, but 2017 may have been the best coaching job in the history of Mustang softball. Beyond the early pitching quandary, Sunrise Mountain also lacked power compared to its elite teams of the past. Yet the offense still rolled. Sunrise Mountain knocked off Cactus and hung with Canyon del Oro, the two teams in 4A with a clear advantage in overall talent.
Runner-up: Vicki Bejarano, Shadow Ridge – Two more big steps for the standard bearing program in Surprise. The Stallions improved all the way to the No. 2 seed in Division II, won their first two playoff games and pushed runner up Tucson Sahuaro before collapsing in an elimination game against Queen Creek. Bejarano has been clear that she expects more of the program, but the Stallions continue to make progress as the competition gets tougher.