All-Tribune Softball First Team
Name School Yr. Pos. Comment
Val Kaff Mountain View Sr. P Tribune Player of Year after record-breaking season headed to Michigan State
Bre Macha Red Mountain Jr. P POY candidate was state championship pitcher for third consecutive season; Hit .380 with 8 HR, 31 RBI; 19-4 record, 2.23 ERA and 200 strikeouts
Jordan Beck Red Mountain Jr. C As clutch as they come and underrated defender; hit .474/.600 on-base/.887 slugging with 10 HR and 41 RBI
Alyssa Fernandez Red Mountain So. IF Hit .388 with all 9 HR in final six weeks; 40 RBI and 43 runs
Kylie Shull Basha Sr. IF Arguably best overall IF in East Valley hit .470 with 51 RBI, .470; headed to Grand Canyon University
Dani Nelson Gilbert Jr. IF Formed dynamic duo on left side with Marisa Stankiewicz; 56 RBI, 10 HR and 15 SB
Jackie Hernandez Desert Ridge Sr. IF Shortstop and leadoff hitter and captain of surging Desert Ridge squad had .508 OBP
Kaila Jacobi Horizon So. OF Elite defensively and arguably team’s second-best player .386/.483/.792, 10 HR and 36 RBI
Willow Kalinen Pinnacle Sr. OF Set school records in hitting and runs; will play at New Mexico
Alex Astorga Gilbert Jr. OF Hit .481 with 55 runs and 14 stolen bases
Tamara Statman Horizon So. Util Elite pitcher at 24-6, 1.72 ERA, 286 K and .188 BAA became top hitter with .481/.538
Dallas McBride Chaparral Jr. Util POY candidate; hit .500/.561/.903 with 36 runs, 13 HR, 43 RBI; 20-8 with 194 K on mound
Hailee Siroky Basha Jr. DH Solid C/1B combo hit .472/.525/.910 with 9 HR, 50 RBI
Player of the Year: Val Kaff, Mountain View
Coach of the Year: Stefanie Ewing, Chaparral: Kept her team together through early-season injuries, late-season injuries, a coaching shuffle to begin state tournament and her own injury to reach Div. I championship game as No. 14 seed.
All-Tribune Softball Second Team
Name School Yr. Pos. Comment
Mariah Valencia Paradise Valley Jr. P Catalyst of P.V. and a top pitcher in Div. II: 15-5 record, 158 K in 115 IP and 1.92 ERA
McKenna Isenberg Corona del Sol Sr. P Arguably hardest thrower in EV finally stayed healthy and showed pitching/hitting prowess
Sidney Ryan Mountain View Jr. C Often was Mountain View’s offense; Hit .426 with 45 RBI and 3 of her 14 HR came in postseason
Michelle Poe Williams Field Sr. IF Arguably most feared Div. II hitter in EV: .576 with 4 HR, 40 RBI, 35 runs and 25 doubles
Ashley Hill Red Mountain Jr. IF Strong MI with TJ Beeson hit .397/.441 with 41 RBI and 30 runs
Marisa Stankiewicz Gilbert Sr. IF .879 slugging, 9 HR, 40 RBI and excellent defense at 3B
Mariah Gonzales Highland Sr. IF Section co-Player of the Year because of .551/.582/.918, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 8 SB and glove at SS
Mallory Bellknap Xavier So. OF .523 OBP, 21 RBI, 40 runs and 11 SB already committed to Georgia
Alana Anderson Chaparral Jr. OF .454 avg, 49 hits, 34r, 18 rbi, 540 OBP
Laynee Gomez Perry Sr. OF Leadoff hitter and speedster went .496/.549 with 27 SB and 43 runs
Madison Merrell Queen Creek Sr. Util .607 OBP and .909 Slugging with 8 HR, 39 RBI and four triples; 17-5 1.83 ERA on the mound
Andy Wellins Desert Mtn. Sr. Util Carried young Wolves team with 21-8 record, 1.71 ERA and 164 K to go with .517 avg. and 40 RBI
Margaret Stahm Horizon Sr. DH “Down” season with .849 slugging, 10 HR and 33 RBI was heavily relied on to be the offense
Apache Junction: Hailey Gonwa, Sr., OF; Maggie Hamlin, Sr., IF; Catlin McDowell, Jr., Util; Arcadia: Amanda Byler, Sr., IF; Shannon Feeney, Sr., OF; Sarah Phillips, So., Util; Basha: Brielle Breland, Jr., IF; Brooke Breland, So., OF; Lynea Klemmedson, Jr., P; Cactus Shadows: Hanna Caban, So., IF; Taylor Decker, Sr., C; Campo Verde: Bailey Bergman, Sr., P; Paige Hess, Jr., IF; Samantha Leighty, Jr., OF; Madi Johnson, Jr., C; Chandler: Tori Blakesley, Sr., IF; Kayla Escobar, Sr., IF; Chaparral: Blakley Koziol, Sr., IF; Lauren La Terra, So., IF; Corona del Sol: Christy Farrell, Sr., OF; Kylie Holmes, Fr., OF; Brianna Schrimpf, Sr., IF; Desert Mountain: Sam Pederson, So., IF; Lexi Pierson, Sr., OF; Cheyann Tucker, So., C; Desert Ridge: Chryse Hausenfluck, Jr., C; Bailey Klitzke, Fr., P; Alyssa Sanchez, Sr., IF; Desert Vista: Madison Bailey, Sr., OF; Danielle Block, Sr., P; Aly Cerminara, Sr., C; Michaela Duarte, Jr., IF; Naomi Ricciotti, Sr., IF; Dobson: Jordan Barajas, Sr., IF; Tabitha Hannon, So., C; Maddie Johnson, Sr., OF; Kelly Stumpber, Fr., OF; Gilbert: Taylor McCord, Jr., C; Emma Ocker, So., OF; Hamilton: Rayven Cannon, Sr., IF; Cheyenne Noli, Fr., P; Christine Olivas, Jr., IF; Shannon Rackoski, So., OF; Highland: Hollie Letourneau, Sr., Util; Cheyenne Moffett, Jr., IF; Higley: Jenna Coates, Sr., IF; Horizon: Gabby Moreno, Fr., IF; Marcos de Niza: Kayla Jacobs-Cornish, Sr., IF; Eryca Garcia, Sr., C; Stephanie Montanez, Sr., OF; Mikaela Rodriguez, Fr., IF; Mariah Romero, Jr., OF; McClintock: Mary Mentz, So., IF; Dian Nordstrom, Jr., OF; Traci Tolon, Sr., IF; Mesa: Allison Gray, Fr., IF; Justine Mustacchia, Fr., Util; Amber Smith, Jr., IF; Mountain Pointe: Brooke Burchfield, Sr., OF: Corina Goings, So., IF; Hannah Hoban, So., C; Kristen McCann, So., P; Mountain View: Brittany Lindblom, Jr., OF; Page Roberts, Jr., IF; Theodora Yellowman, Jr., IF; Paradise Valley: Sidney Coy, Sr., OF; Denali Johnson, Sr., IF; Christy Smith, Sr., Util; Perry: Brittany Hopper, Jr., C; Jillian Leslie, Sr., P; Devon Ryan, Sr., IF; Pinnacle: Dani Dockx, Jr., IF; Jessica Hallett, Jr., IF; Willow Kalinen, Sr., OF; Kourtney Pock, So., IF; Poston Butte: Samantha Castoldi, Sr., IF; Taylor Clark, Sr., C; Emily Lodge, Sr., Util; Queen Creek: Ryland Estrada, Sr., IF; Ryann Holmes, Fr., IF; Lexi Valenzuela, Sr., C; Red Mountain: TJ Beeson, Sr., IF; McKenzy Gutierrez, Jr., IF; Marian Ruff, Jr., Util; Alex Wiley, Sr., OF; St. Mary’s: Alycea Espinoza, Sr., IF; Adeline Gomez, So., IF; Krystal Guevara, Sr., IF; Danielle Nuanez, Sr.; Danielle Ruiz, Fr., OF; Saguaro: Dana Morris, Jr., IF; Jenna Nimtz, Jr., C; San Tan Foothills: Rubelle Garay, Sr., IF; Allie Gardner, Sr., C; Tiffany Haugen, Sr., IF; Schyler Johnson, Sr., IF; Sarai Marquez, So., Util; Scottsdale Christian: Erin Hayes, Jr., IF; Jenna Miller, So., IF; Skyline: Bianca Gonzales, Jr., IF; Jaycee Lindley, Fr., IF; Morgan Roberts, Sr., Util; Valley Christian: Natalie Denk, So., OF; Jenelle Hunt, Sr., P; Larae Hunt, Sr., C; Hannah Johnson, Sr., IF; Westwood: Emily Mattison, Sr., OF; Madison Stayner, Jr., C; Williams Field: Sami Galvez, So., C; Brittany Heyer, Sr., IF; Trinity Watts, So., OF; Xavier: Megan Donahey, Fr., OF; Karlee Johnson, Fr., P; Jackie Martinez, Jr., OF; Kendyl Melton, Sr., IF; Katie Park, Sr., C; Amanda Preach, So., OF; Samantha Sydenham, So., IF.
Memorable Moments from the 2013 Season
Four galore: There’s still no stopping Red Mountain. After winning an unprecedented fourth big-school state championship in their fifth consecutive trip to the finals, the Lions still may not be done. Behind a pair of top-notch pitchers in Bre Macha and Marian Ruf, a deep lineup led by Macha, Jordan Beck and Alyssa Fernandez, a whole lot of work on defense and a change in some attitudes from March to May, the Lions ravaged the competition by a 39-9 margin in the postseason. The Lions and Peoria Sunrise Mountain (Division II) left little doubt as to who the best teams in the state were in 2013. Bad news Arizona: Red Mountain is expected to return its entire core group of girls next season as they fight for a fifth.
Tournament treats: Plenty of non-Red Mountain side stories exploded throughout the season and postseason. Perry got off to a sizzling start to the season, which included capturing the Marcos de Niza/McClintock tournament title over Williams Field. Mountain View won the Dorado Classic in Tucson, and Xavier won both the Sun Blast and Gator Kickoff tournaments for a second consecutive season. Led by Tamara Statman and Margaret Stahm, Horizon won the Marcos de Niza/Dobson tournament in late February, then won the Desert Mountain tournament in late March by beating juggernauts Basha, Red Mountain and Canyon del Oro (plus Mountain Ridge earlier in the tournament) before reaching the state tournament’s elimination-round semifinals. Chaparral was the No. 14 seed after losses to Xavier and Horizon late in the regular season, but despite injuries to players and coaches, an assistant quitting before the tournament began and an off-the-field tragedy, the Firebirds caught fire and reached the Div. I championship game. Desert Ridge wasn’t part of many preseason tea leaves, but freshman Bailey Klitzke and some solid defense behind her led arguably the best season in Jaguars’ history. Chris Crowl’s Desert Vista team did much the same in its best season in school history behind ace Danielle Block to reach the fourth round of the tournament.
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune sports editor. He can be reached at email@example.com or (480) 898-6576.