PITTSBURG — After another competitive season of softball in Crawford County, it’s time to take a look back on the standout players who are deserving of spots on the 2017 All-County Softball Team.
The team is made up of a coach of the year, a list of first-team players and a list of honorable mentions. The first-team includes a pitcher, a catcher, four infielders, three outfielders and a utility player. The list honorable mentions include a pitcher, catcher and 11 utility players.
The players were selected by Morning Sun sports editor Jordan Buckamneer based on statistical outputs in offensive, defensive and pitching categories within their respective leagues.
2017 Morning Sun Coach of the Year
Jim Vinze - GHS
It was a historic year for Girard High School athletics, as the Lady Trojans won the state championship in softball on the heels of winning it all in basketball. Although momentum from the success in one sport can carry over to the next, many players in the lineup were still on the basketball court long after other softball teams began practicing. The late start caused Girard to stumble out of the gates, but Vinze helped his team overcome the adversity and get hot at the right time.
2017 Morning Sun All County First-Team
Pitcher: Shaylun Grosstephan - GHS, junior
Every championship-caliber team needs an ace in the circle, which the Lady Trojans had in Shaylun Grosstephan. She was a force all season long and only got better when the pressure was on. Grosstephan had an ERA of 1.16, notched 81 strikeouts and finished with a record of 11-2. In addition to her pitching dominance, Grosstephan wasn’t a liability at the plate. She had a batting average of .506 to go along with a team-high 46 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
Catcher: Autumn Walker - NHS, senior
It was a rough season overall for the Vikings, but Walker’s presence behind the plate and in lineup was something they could count every time out. Walker had a batting average of .561 with 25 RBIs and committed just two errors on 75 attempts on defense.
Infield: Kaylee Harper - FHS, senior
With Harper’s power at the plate, she may as well have been considered in scoring position while standing in the batter’s box. Despite nearly every opponent pitching her carefully, Harper still managed to lead the Raiders in batting average (.560), on-base percentage (.602), slugging percentage (1.03), hits (47), RBIs (54) and home runs (8). Harper was also solid defensively at first base with a fielding percentage of .972.
Infield: Jacey Murphy - GHS, junior
Murphy was everything a coach could ask for out of a leadoff hitter. Murphy led her team in batting average (.615), on-base percentage (.629), slugging percentage (.780), hits (56) and runs scored (39).
Infield: Aubree Beitzinger - PHS, sophomore
Beitzinger’s combination of plate discipline and speed on the basepaths made her an ideal leadoff hitter. She finished second on the Purple Dragons with 36 hits, which was good for a batting average of .500. Beitzinger was also a speed threat on the basepaths, leading her team in steals (31) and runs scored (30).
Infield: Madison Vogel - PHS, junior
Vogel capitalized on many RBI opportunities in the three-hole, as she led PHS in hits (37), batting average (.552), on-base percentage (.605), slugging percentage (.880) and RBIs (24). Defensively, Vogel was a consistent middle infielder with a fielding percentage of .958.
Outfield: Sydnee Crain - GHS, junior
A staple near the top of the lineup, Crain was an excellent table setter and did a fantastic job patrolling center field for the state champs. She was the team leader in runs scored with 42 and notched 22 RBIs on 42 hits for a batting average of .506 and an on-base percentage of .577. Defensively, she committed just two errors on 27 balls hit her way for a fielding percentage of .926.
Outfield: Calea Augustin - GHS, senior
The lone senior for the Lady Trojans made her last season at Girard a memorable one, as she capped off a great athletic career with another state title. Hitting in the middle of the lineup, Augustin drove in 27 runs on 26 hits with a batting average of .388 and a slugging percentage of .657.
Outfield: Myla Turner - PHS, junior
Hitting in the two-hole and playing center field for the Purple Dragons was the speedy Turner. Turner tallied 34 hits for a batting average .479 and drove in 16 RBIs. She was also second on the team in on-base percentage (.513) and slugging percentage (.816). On the basepaths, Turner stole 13 bases on 14 attempts.
Utility: Shelby Smith, GHS junior
Batting cleanup for the state champs was the versatile Smith, who had a unique mix of power and plate discipline. Smith led the Lady Trojans in on-base percentage (.634) and walks (12), while finishing second on the team in batting average (.582) and RBIs (30). Defensively, Smith was reliable at the hot corner with a .898 fielding percentage and was also great in the circle with an ERA of 2.52 through 63.2 innings of work.
2017 Morning Sun All County Second-Team
Pitcher: Mollie McCully - FHS, senior
As the ace in the circle for the Raiders, McCulley ended her final season with a 2.98 ERA. She allowed just 55 earned runs with 44 strikeouts through 129 innings of work and finished with a record of 13-4.
Catcher: Gwen Smalley - FHS, senior
It’s not often a catcher bats second in the lineup, but Smalley wasn’t an average player. In addition to driving in 32 runs on 28 hits for a .373 batting average, she was also second on the team in runs scored with 30. Defensively, Smalley committed just three errors on 69 attempts for a fielding percentage of .957.
Megan Colvin - SHS, junior
It was a rough year for the Southeast softball team, but Colvin provided some much-needed stability in the circle. Despite the team’s struggles, Colvin retired 57 batters on strikes with 28 earned runs for an ERA of 2.88 through 68 innings of work. At the plate, Colvin drove in 10 runs and tied for a team high in runs scored with 20.
Jaylynn Jenkins - GHS, junior
Although Jenkins hit ninth in the batting order, she acted as more of a second leadoff hitter with great plate discipline. She tied her teammate Smith for most walks drawn with 12 and totaled 20 base hits for a batting average of .417. Jenkins also drove in 18 RBIs and crossed the plate four times.
Madison Walker - NHS, junior
Batting third and playing shortstop, Madison Walker was arguably the best, all-around player for the Vikings. With a .525 batting average, an on-base percentage of .542 and 17 runs scored, Madison Walker had the offensive statistics of a standout player, but really shined defensively. She committed one error on 58 attempts for a fielding percentage of .983.
Lindsey Fox - NHS, senior
As the workhorse in the circle for Northeast, Fox brought plenty of strengths to the table. In addition to notching 40 strikeouts in 43.1 innings pitched, she was also a .500 hitter with 13 runs scored. At second base, Fox stayed error-free in 30 attempts.
Julia Falletti - FHS, senior
Falletti was an excellent table setter for the Raiders all season long, as she was second on the team in hits with 29 and led FHS in walks drawn with 11 for an on-base percentage of .484. She also had a team-high 43 runs scored and was third in batting average at .377.
Kamryn Osborn - FHS, senior
Playing alongside Falletti in the middle infield, Osborn was another quality piece to the Raiders’ puzzle. She finished with a .347 batting average with 16 RBIs and 15 runs scored. Osborn sported an on-base percentage of .440, with nine walks and four strikeouts on the season.
Madison Davis - FHS, sophomore
Davis played beyond her years at the hot corner as the only underclassmen on a senior-laden team. Davis was second on the team in hitting with a batting average of .388 and drove in 16 runs with as many runs scored. She also drew seven walks for an on-base percentage of .443.
Shelby Blythe - FHS, senior
Blythe’s talent on defense in centerfield was matched only by her eye at the plate. She had a batting average of .303 while collecting 14 RBIs and 17 runs scored. In the field, she committed three errors on 41 balls hit her way for a fielding percentage of .927.
Kayla Meyer - FHS, senior
Meyer was another strong asset to the Raiders this season with a batting average of .306 and an on-base percentage of .383. She also crossed the plate 26 times and drove in 12 runs with six walks drawn.
Kate Radell - SMC, sophomore
Radell came through in a big way during the postseason, but was reliable all year long. She had a batting average of .356 and drove in nine RBIs. She was also solid defensively with a fielding percentage of .920.
Allie Evans - SMC, senior
Evans was given responsibility of being the team leader as the only senior on a team with many underclassmen and did the job well. She finished with a batting average of .293, an on-base percentage of .341 and a slugging percentage of .463.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.