June 25, 2008
Hartquist heads up all-star squad
On the heels of an OHSL Freedom Division Championship and the record-tying 21-win season by her team, Homer Central senior Stephanie Hartquist earned her third OHSL Freedom Division Softball Player of the Year honor.
The infielder joined three teammates as First-Team All-Star selections as voted on by the league coaches. Hartquist earned Player of the Year honors in 2006 and shared Player of the Year status a year ago.
Phoenix standout Jill Murphy was the Freedom Division Pitcher of the Year.
Other players from Freedom Division regular season champion Homer joining Hartquist on the first team were senior pitcher Halee Riley, senior shortstop Ashley Brown and sophomore catcher Gabby Luety. Also named to the first team was Cortland High junior catcher Melanie del Rosario.
Rounding out the first-team all-stars were third baseman Kassie Vandenburgh and centerfielder Jenna Rossi of Phoenix; Fulton pitcher Jessica Palmitesso and catcher Tori Trovato; pitcher Lauren Daly from East Syracuse-Minoa; Jamesville-Dewitt catcher Leah Porter and pitcher Rachel Verdoliva from Mexico.
Three Homer players and two Cortland players were tabbed for Freedom Division Second-Team All-Star status. Representing the Trojans are junior centerfielder Courtney Rainbow, senior second baseman Danielle Swarm and junior first baseman Jessica Rigg while senior right fielder Lauren Shirley and junior shortstop Andrea Turcsik were the Purple Tiger selections.
Rounding out the second-team all-stars are Phoenix right fielder Brittany Carbacio and catcher Kayleigh Troia from Phoenix; first baseman Kristen Kush and right fielder Alicia Vann of Fulton; ES-M shortstop Chelsea Casciano and second baseman Jennifer Lee; shortstop Caitlin Titus and first baseman Megan Maycumber from Jamesville-DeWitt; Mexico right fielder Chelsea Givo and Fowler shortstop Ashley Encarnacion.
Honorable mention status was awarded to Cortland junior third baseman Kayleigh Mital, junior centerfielder Kaleigh Smith and sophomore pitcher Maggie Reagan; second baseman Sarah Mentor, shortstop Sarah Bregg and first baseman Gabby Toth of Phoenix; shortstop Jackie Locastro and third baseman Page Locastro from Fulton; ES-M third baseman Jaime Evans, first baseman Mallory Martino and centerfielder Andee Fox; Jamesville-DeWitt pitcher Jennifer Keeler; Mexico shortstop Megan Gayne and Fowler pitcher Ashley Lane.
Following are quotes from Homer coach Cris Colasurdo and Cortland High’s Mick Lowie on their first-team all-stars.
Coach Colasurdo on Hartquist: “Steph has been a leader and another coach on this team. She is an example of a true leader, as she put her teammates and the success of the team before any personal glory. She always strived to do her best for the success of the team. After five years, she leaves behind a legacy that speaks loudly. Steph was MVP or Co-MVP of the team for 4 years, Player of the Year or Co-Player of the Year for the league for three years, All-League recognition of honorable mention in eighth grade, second team as a ninth grader, and first team 10-12 grades, All-CNY team for two years, Section 3All Star Team, as well as leading the team in most statistics each year on varsity.
“Any coach is blessed to have had Steph on their team because of the person and team player she is, as well as being a superb softball player. She is the complete package a coach looks for, and Colgate will do well with her on their roster. It will be very different not having her come back, as she has for four years, but she has been a great role model for the younger players, who now know what it takes to be successful.”
Hartquist hit .620 (49x79) with 14 doubles, six triples, eight home runs, 32 RBIs, 39 runs scored and 7-for-7 in stolen bases.
Colasurdo on Riley: “After being MIP last year, Halee continued to develop as a pitcher this year, due to her desire to succeed. Halee worked well with Gabby to make a tough combo that allowed only three hits or less in 15 games. Halee was a very controlled pitcher, issuing zero walks in 14 games and only one walk in six games, while also striking out 152 batters in 120 innings pitched. Halee’s mental aspect of pitching was a determined and focused one, keeping her composure throughout the game. She knew she had the defense to back her up. She improved throughout the year as a defender on the mound and at first. Halee would also help her teammates stay positive and focused throughout the games. She has been an asset to the team and will be missed next year.”
Riley had a 1.32 earned run average and gave up just 88 hits in facing 451 batters (.195 batting average against).
Colasurdo on Luety: “Gabby is a talented player, who has already earned the respect of opposing coaches after her first full season on varsity as a sophomore. Gabby has the ability to play anywhere and has played third and outfield, as well as catching. Gabby became our main catcher – a position that is most natural for her and one I give much responsibility to and expect a lot from. Gabby handled the responsibility and expectations with maturity. She worked with the pitchers this year to help keep them focused and composed during games. Being the catcher, she also called the game-she knew the hitters, as well as what pitches were working well for that pitcher. Gabby performed this important role with great expertise for a young player. She and Halee developed a combo that was tough to hit. Gabby’s strong bat also provided the offensive power Homer needed this year; and along with Steph, they were a dynamic hitting duo who were 1-2 on the team in almost every offensive statistic. I’m fortunate to have Gabby returning for another two years.”
Luety hit .541 (40x74) with 10 doubles, seven triples, seven home runs, 43 RBIs, 30 runs scored and a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases.
Colasurdo on Brown: “Ashley has been a constant force in the field the past four years. She is an excellent shortstop with a strong arm. Even though she spent most of her time at short, I was confident that she could play anywhere I needed her. Her range at shortstop did not let many balls through the infield. Ashley also helped out with the pitching by coming in after fourt or fifth innings-not always an easy task, especially when the game was still close and on the line. However, Ashley was ready and helped secure some needed wins, including two must win games versus Phoenix, one for the league championship and the other in semifinals for sectionals. Ashley also has a knack for teaching the younger kids, as demonstrated in our clinics for young softball players. Ashley is another senior leader who helped develop a strong, successful team this year. She has been an asset to the team and will be missed next year.”
Brown hit .275 (22x80) with four doubles, one home run, 17 RBIs and 20 run scored with five stolen bases. She had a .940 fielding percentage with just seven errors in 116 fielding chances. Pitching her ERA was 0.84 with 35 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched.
Lowie on Melanie DelRosario: “I am certain that all of the coaches recognized Melanie’s abilities as a hitter and a fielder. She did a very nice job at catcher for us and had a solid year at the plate, with a .320 batting average. She was an honorable mention selection last season at shortstop before moving to third base and finally to catcher for this season.”
OHSL Freedom Division
Final standings: Homer 15-1 (21-3 overall), Phoenix 13-3 (23-3), Fulton 10-6 (10-7), East Syracuse-Minoa 9-7 (14-12), Jamesville-DeWitt 9-7 (10-10), Mexico 9-7 (10-9), Cortland 4-12 (4-12), Chittenango 2-14 (3-16), Fowler 1-15 (1-18)
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