All-Tribune First Team
Player School Yr. Pos. Comment
Michelle Duncan Gilbert Sr. P The “Greg Maddux” of pitchers capped career with a 26-7 record, 0.98 ERA and school’s first semifinal berth
Tess McPhereson Notre Dame Jr. P Two-way stud with 1.54 ERA, 285 Strikeouts, .458 and 40 RBI at the plate for 4A-II semifinalists
Elise Oldham Saguaro Jr. C Batted .587 with seven HR, 40 RBI and 54 runs
Gracie Goulder Cactus Shadows Sr. IF Tribune Player of the Year as prolific on defense as offense; headed to Georgia
Haley Culley Red Mountain Jr. IF Arguably best leadoff hitter in state with .539 OBP, 26 SB and 42 runs
Nicole Bailey Notre Dame Jr. IF Top five most-feared hitter in 4A-II; 1.010 slugging percentage, six HR, 47 RBI 46 runs
Kasey McCravey Desert Mountain Jr. IF Widely considered best defensive player in the Valley also set hit .446 with school-record 45 runs and 27 RBI
Courtney Sherwin Red Mountain Sr. OF Constantly pitched around, and yet had .612 OBP, six HR and 47 RBI
Leah White Horizon Sr. OF Arguably best leadoff hitter in Valley with .668 OBP, 68 runs, eight triples and 38-for-38 in stolen bases
Mandi Grebe Perry Jr. OF Unanimous East Sky Region Player of the year hit .461 with 26 extra-base hits (including 10 HR) and 38 RBI.
Siera Phillips Red Mountain Jr. UTIL Fiesta Region POY hit .500 with 45 RBI (including six in 5A-I title game); 10-4, 2.47 ERA on the mound
Theresa Asta Basha Sr. DH Big-time production in middle of lineup; hit .461 with nine HR, 30 RBI and 42 runs despite team’s slow start
Player of the Year: Gracie Goulder, Cactus Shadows
Coach of the Year: Rich Hamilton, Red Mountain: With a freshman pitcher (Bre Macha) predominantly on the mound, half of its lineup new and another trip through the loser’s bracket, the Lions repeated as 5A Division I state champions.
All-Tribune Second Team
Player School Yr. Pos. Comment
Jenna Makis Pinnacle Jr. P 28-8 with 12 shutouts, 258 strikeouts and 1.98 ERA for 5A-II semifinalists
Allison Schullo Horizon Sr. P Practically came out of nowhere; was big reason for No. 1 seed. Posted 1.95 ERA and hit four HR with 43 RBI
Katie Appelbe Xavier Sr. C Best Gator all season headed to Harvard
Sam Davis Chaparral Sr. IF Top defensive player also hit .522, 45 runs, 16 RBI and 26 SB
Heather Shomperlen Mtn. View Sr. IF Toros SS and best hitter with 20 extra-base hits, 32 RBI and excellent postseason
Nicole Newbury Horizon Jr. IF Hit nearly .600 with six HR, 47 RBI and already owns school record for doubles; plus-defender
Nicole Upshaw Hamilton Sr. IF Heart of upstart Huskies with 25 RBI, 38 runs, 16 stolen bases
Haley Walker Pinnacle Sr. OF Table-setter for Shea Palmer and Co. hit .500 with 47 runs and 33 SB
Sara Goodrum Red Mountain Sr. OF 1st team all region, BA .477, SLG .538, OB .520, 59 hits, 54 runs
Sierra Whitmer Mesa Jr. OF Underrated sister duo with Aubrey; slugged .845 with four HR, 31 RBI and 180 K on mound
Reba DePriest Skyline Sr. UTIL Four-year starter and .420 hitter with 2.35 ERA with 221 K headed to James Madison
Ayssa Vargas Mesquite Sr. DH .500, seven HR, 31 RBI, 30 runs, .827 slugging percentage
Apache Junction: Ashley Gonzales, Sr., OF; Autumn Rhodes, Jr., IF; Lindsey Skinner, Sr., IF.
Arcadia: Brandi Heimburg, Sr., OF; Shelby Koontz, Jr., OF.
Basha: Courtney Hiruko, Fr., IF; Kailey Regester, Jr., P; Lauren Regester, Sr., IF; Kylie Shull, Sr., IF.
Cactus Shadows: Elyssa Hartsock, Sr., OF; Camille McIver, Sr., P.
Campo Verde: Kennedy Garcia, Jr., C; Paige Hess, Fr., IF.
Chandler: Jordan Blakesley, Sr., C; Laurasia Rosso, So., OF; Kristal Whiteside, Jr., IF; Vanessa Ybarra, Sr., IF.
Chaparral: Ashtyn Coleman, So., OF; Bryce Villalpando, Sr., IF; Skylar Weinstein, So., P.
Corona del Sol: Abby Spiel, So., OF; Katie Tripp, Sr., C.
Coronado: Lyndsie Kreiger, Sr., OF; Amber Webster, Sr., UT.
Desert Mountain: Maddie Francis, Sr., IF; Jessica Guffey, Sr., OF; Ashley Palmer, Jr., IF; Andy Wellins, So., P
Desert Ridge: Jackie Hernandez, So., IF; Courtney Stoll, So., C; Jasmine Zaker, Sr., OF.
Desert Vista: Emily Panther, Jr., IF.
Dobson: Morgan Browning, Jr., C; Jacklin Lewis, Sr., P; Kailey Olcott, So., IF.
Gilbert: Elysia Mesa, Sr., IF; Cassie Vela, Sr., OF.
Hamilton: Stephanie Beuther, Sr., OF; Abby Kohler, Sr., P; Sam Reynolds, Fr., OF.
Highland: Kayla Carter, So., IF; Ashley Moffatt, Jr., OF; Savannah Panell, Jr., C.
Higley: Cassidy Boggs, So., IF; Jenna Coates, So., C; Madison Merrill, Fr., P.
Horizon: Jamie Morgan, Sr., IF; Margret Stahm, So., IF.
Horizon Honors: Mikaela Downes, Sr., C.
McClintock: Dynasty Lauvai, Jr., IF; Kendi Nordstrom, Sr., C.
Mesa: Melissa Milligan, Jr., C; Aubrey Whitmer, Jr., IF.
Mountain Pointe: Ciara Gonzales, Jr., UT; Chandler Hillman, So., OF; Nyla Wambold, Jr., IF.
Mountain View: Annie Dyer, Sr., OF; Jenna Hudson, Sr., UT; Erin Manuel, Jr., IF.
Notre Dame: Mary Ahern, Jr., OF; Lindsey Buckner, Jr., IF.
Paradise Valley: Sidney Coy, So., OF; Marissa Geith, So., C; Denali Johnson, So., IF; Alexis Nixon, So., IF; Alisha Ramirez, Jr., IF; Mariah Valencia, Fr., P.
Perry: Jillian Leslie, So., IF; Toni Martinez, Sr., IF; Jessica Wilkinson, Sr., P.
Pinnacle: Makenzi Dallas, Sr., C; Shea Palmer, Jr., OF; Katie McCallister, Jr., IF.
Poston Butte: Taylor Clark, So., C.
Queen Creek: Amanda Baldwin, Jr., P; Raianna Dobbs, Jr., IF; Ryland Estrada, So., IF; Kelsey Montgomery, Jr., IF; Lexis Valenzuela, Fr., C.
Red Mountain: Brittany Dvorak, Sr., IF; Breanna Macha, Fr., P; Ashley Sunderhaus, Sr., IF.
Saguaro: Sami Hansen, Jr., IF; Elise Oldham, Jr., IF; Taylor Secemski, Jr., P.
Seton Catholic: Madison Austin, Jr., P; Vanessa Flores, So., IF; Courtney Rodriguez, Jr., IF; McKenna Wiegand, So., OF.
Skyline: Sella Gonzalez, Sr., OF; Jenny Willis, Sr., IF.
St. Mary’s: Ariel Armendariz, So., IF; Karina Pacheco, Sr., OF.
Tempe: Day Day Shaw, Jr., OF.
Tempe Prep: Monica LeBeau, Jr., C; Caroline Libsock, So., P; Alexa Muniz, Jr., IF; Marissa Rich, So., IF.
Valley Christian: Jenelle Hunt, So., P; Larae Hunt, So., C.
Williams Field: Jessica Delawder, Fr., UT; Sierra Vigil, Sr., OF.
Xavier: Emma Bogart, Sr., IF; Natalie Both, Jr., P; Jackie Martinez, Fr., OF.
Memorable Moments from the 2011 Season
“The Red Mountain Way”: It’s a phrase coined because Red Mountain consistently takes the path of most resistance. For the second consecutive season and third time since 2006, Red Mountain won a state championship the hard way. With half of its lineup anew and freshman Bre Macha providing postseason pitching duties, the Lions rolled to the No. 1 overall seed in the 5A Division I state tournament. In a game that began two hours late, a loss to Mountain View in the quarterfinals ultimately meant the Lions would have to sweep a semifinals doubleheader against the Toros to reach the title game. They did on consecutive comebacks, including once in the final inning, to meet Basha in the title game. Again, the Lions trailed big early, and, again, the Lions came back and held on for a 5-4 win and the state title.
Fresh faces: The 5A-I championship game came down to a pair of regulars, but not before a couple newbies put a jolt of new intrigue into the mix. Led by Michelle Duncan on the mound and some timely hitting, Gilbert reached the state semifinals for the first time in school history, and won its first semifinal doubleheader against Basha before falling in the elimination nightcap to the Bears. Across the Rose Mofford Softball Complex, Mountain View overcame some early injury woes and position shuffling, and became the hottest team in the state from mid-April through the state semifinals, a place the Toros had never previously reached either in the school’s illustrious athletics history.
Desert Valley dominoes: Even before the season began, the carousel churned. Horizon eventually removed Ben Wick as its softball coach in the wake of a driving-related arrest. In less than a year, Bryan Casey went from the MLB minor leagues to coaching freshman to being Wick’s replacement. It worked as the Huskies won the difficult Desert Valley Region title and were the No. 1 seed in 5A Division II. Not a lot was known about Pinnacle or Chaparral under new coach Lindsay Pelsnik, but the Pioneers and Firebirds both reached the semifinals until Pinnacle ran into the Glendale Deer Valley buzzsaw, and Chaparral lost in heartbreaking fashion to Tucson Ironwood Ridge on a freak overthrow in the seventh inning.