Herald All-Area Softball capsules

June 30, 2012 

Ashley Allard, catcherjunior, Braden River

By the numbers: A repeat first-team choice, Allard again demonstrated she was the area's best backstop with her bat and glove and ability to hit in the clutch. She led the Pirates in doubles (10), was third in RBIs (23) and runs scored (23) and topped the team in walks (13). She committed only one error all season for a .997 fielding percentage.

Fast facts: The Bradenton native is a pioneer of sorts, becoming the first person in her family to play sports at the high school level. Despite her considerable offensive skills, she enjoys defense the most and is considered a natural leader. Her favorite subject is psychology, and her favorite movie is "21 Jump Street." She lists her career highlight as hitting a homer in the district title game as a sophomore.

What's next: She hopes to earn an athletic scholarship to college after next season and is leaning towards majoring in pharmacy or anesthesiology.

Taylor Bell, INFfreshman, Manatee

By the numbers: The top newcomer of the year in Manatee County, Bell made playing shortstop look easy with only two errors in 28 games for a team-leading .974 fielding percentage, while displaying great range and a strong arm. She showed offensive talent, topping the Canes with three homers and nine stolen bases while hitting .348 with 21 RBIs and 30 runs scored.

Fast facts: Taylor is the younger sister of Heather Bell, a former Bayshore softball standout. The 15-year-old started playing competitively at age 6 and was named player of the year for the Manatee Twisters organization in 2003. An honor student, her favorite subject is math. In 2008, she was named American Legion Student of the Year and finished in the top 10 percent of her class this past year.

What's next: Bell will play travel ball with the USA Patriots 16-and-under Gold team this summer. She wants to follow her sister and earn a college athletic scholarship.Rachel Brown, OF/INFsenior, Bradenton Christian

By the numbers: A repeat first-team selection, Brown led the Panthers in batting average (.600), hits (42), RBIs (31), on-base percentage (.610) and triples (5) while stealing a team-high 18 bases without getting caught. Playing infield and outfield, she did not make an error all season.

Fast facts: Brown will go down as one of the best female athletes in school history. She excelled in basketball and softball and was named Bradenton Christian Female Athlete of the Year for 2011-'12 while earning her second straight all-state selection for softball.

What's next: Brown will attend Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville. She wants to be an elementary school teacher and perhaps teach art, which is her favorite subject.

Therese Byrne, OFjunior, Manatee

By the numbers: An offensive juggernaut, the fleet-footed centerfielder acted as the table-setter in her leadoff role, topping the Hurricanes in batting average (.406), hits (39) and runs scored (31) while stealing an astonishing 22 bases in 23 attempts and causing havoc on the base paths.

Fast facts: Despite her offensive talents, the native of Daytona enjoys playing defense the most and running down fly balls. Her most memorable moment came last season when the Hurricanes upset state-ranked Braden River. Her favorite movie is "The Hangover," her favorite food is pizza, and her favorite car is a Mustang.

What's next: She hopes to earn a softball scholarship to college. Her favorite subject is English, and she is thinking about majoring in journalism.

Huntyre Elling, Psenior, Lakewood Ranch

By the numbers: Elling pitched the Mustangs to the state tournament. She finished the season with 168 strikeouts and an 0.83 ERA in 135 innings, giving up only 30 earned runs while compiling a 21-5 record and a 0.97 WHIP.

Fast facts: Elling comes from an athletic family that includes her father, Robert, who played football at the University of Florida. She said her most memorable moment came this past season, when she led the Mustangs to their first state softball tournament appearance. Her favorite food is mashed potatoes, and she lists her favorite subject as lunch. Her favorite move is "21 Jump Street," and her favorite car is a Charger.

What's next: Elling has accepted a scholarship to Indian River State College. She wants to become an occupational therapist, own a business and someday own a house on the beach.

Dana Hutchins, INFsenior, Lakewood Ranch

By the numbers: A repeat first-team selection, Hutchins continued to show her powerful offensive skills with a .571 slugging percentage built on a .381 batting average that included 24 RBIs, 21 runs scored and two homers. She was a defensive stalwart at third base.

Fast facts: Athleticism abounds in Hutchins' family. Her father, Russell, played baseball at Southeast, and her uncle, Ron, played football and baseball there. Her cousin, Michelle, played softball at Palmetto. Music is also popular in her family, and she plays the piano. Her favorite ride is her aqua blue 2004 Toyota Higlander, and her favorite book "Pretty Little Liars."

What's next: Hutchins will attend Morehead State University on a softball scholarship. Her plans are to earn a doctorate in physical therapy.

Kelsey Koleff, INF/P/OFsenior, Southeast

By the numbers: Koleff played in every varsity softball game the past four years and started in all but one. Extremely versatile, she played nearly every position, including catcher. She led the Noles with a .348 batting average, 21 RBIs and a .536 slugging percentage. Won three games as pitcher.

Fast facts: Koleff was named Southeast High Female Athlete of the Year for her softball and volleyball play and was editor of the school yearbook. She was a member of National Honor Society and graduated in the top 10 percent of her class. She loves cats, the Tampa Bay Rays, the color yellow and everything about Florida State University. Her father, Mike, ran track for FSU and was a three-sport high school standout.

What's next: Koleff plans to attend FSU and is leaning toward majoring in pre-med. She sees herself being successful in whatever she chooses.

Hannah Loyer, OF/Pjunior, Braden River

By the numbers: The outfielder/pitcher turned out to be the team's most valuable offensive weapon. She led the Pirates with a .477 batting average, a .705 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage while driving in a team-high 26 runs. Loyer also had a team-high 14 extra-base hits that included four triples and a homer.

Fast facts: A Bradenton native, her father, Russell, played football at Bayshore. Despite her offensive powers, the right-handed Loyer prefers to pitch. She gets to do a lot of that with her Tropic Wave travel ball team out of Venice. She attributes her improved hitting to her batting coach, Mike Morgan. Her favorite subject is English, her favorite book is the "Hunger Games," and her favorite movie is "Bridesmaids."

What's next: Her hope is to play at Florida Southern because she likes smaller schools and the softball program. She is thinking about majoring in sociology or anthropology.

Natalie Maglich, P/INFsophomore, Cardinal Mooney

By the numbers: Maglich led the Cougars with a .530 batting average and 32 RBIs while scoring 26 runs and knocking out 18 extra-base hits (15 doubles, three triples). On the mound, she compiled a 1.84 ERA and struck out 94 in 91 innings with a 10-5 record.

Fast facts: Maglich's father, Douglas, played baseball at Riverview. Active in school affairs, she is in the student government association and Key Club. She prefers to pitch because she says she likes having control of the game. Favorite subject is science, and she wants to work forensics. Her favorite movie is "Soul Surfer" because she found it very inspirational.

What's next: Maglich is taking this summer off from travel ball, but wants to play in college and has her eye set on Furman University.

Courtney Mirabella, Pjunior, Braden River

By the numbers: Mirabella led area pitchers with 241 strikeouts in 123.2 innings, which ranked her first in the state in MaxPreps stats, averaging 1.96 strikeouts per inning. She finished last season with a 16-3 record and 1.08 ERA with an astonishing 0.70 WHIP. She had her best season offensively with a .373 batting average.

Fast facts: a repeat Herald All-Area Player of The Year award winner, Mirabella learned the game from her dad, Tony, who was a multi-sport standout at Manatee High during the 1970s. She says the highlight of her season was beating Sarasota three times and throwing a perfect game against McDowell High (Erie, Pa.) in which she struck out every batter in the six-inning contest.

What's next: Mirabella will be traveling the country this summer as the ace for the nationally touted Gold Coast Hurricanes. She has verbally committed to North Carolina State, but a recent coaching change there could open up possibilities at other schools.

Auria Mounts, INF/Pfreshman, Palmetto

By the numbers: Mounts led the Tigers with a .486 batting average and a .750 slugging percentage and was second with a .526 on-base percentage and had 42 RBIs. On the mound, she finished with a 1.90 ERA and had 95 strikeouts in 130 innings.

Fast facts: The 14-year-old started playing softball at the age of 6 and has been playing travel ball since she was 8. A slick fielder and solid hitter, Mounts prefers to pitch. Her father, Rocky, played high school baseball in Kentucky. In her spare time she enjoys working as a youth counselor. Mounts enjoys scary movies and comedies, and her favorite subject is language arts. Her favorite car is a Camaro.

What's next: Mounts still has three years of high school, but she has her sights set on playing for Alabama someday and wants to major in criminology. This summer, she will play for Florida Elite travel team.

Taylor Newton, OFjunior, Lakewood Ranch

By the numbers: The offensive fireplug of a potent offense, Newton led the Mustangs in RBIs (26), runs (35) and slugging percentage (.660). She finished with a .371 BA and 18 extra-base hits, including three homers. The centerfielder covered a lot of ground in the outfield and did not commit an error in 35 chances.

Fast facts: Despite her offensive talents, Newton enjoys playing the outfield the most and making diving catches. Says her most memorable moments last season were the home run she hit in the district title game and winning region to qualify for state. She likes tacos and Camaros, and her favorite movie is "A League of Their Own."

What's next: Newton verbally committed to James Madison University and wants to major in pre-dental and become a dentist.

Taylor O'Quinn, Psenior, Manatee

By the numbers: O'Quinn was the instrumental force in the Hurricanes' successful season, finishing with a 1.41 ERA. She racked up 176 strikeouts in 144 innings en route to a 17-6 record. She also showed her mettle offensively with a .302 batting average and tied for the team lead with six doubles.

Fast facts: A native of Bradenton, her grandfather, Dan O'Quinn, played football for Manatee ('65 graduate) and at the University of Miami. She is a National Honor Society member and served on the Senior Class Board. O'Quinn says her most memorable moments were throwing a no-hitter against Port Charlotte and beating Braden River last season for the first time in her career. She enjoys pitching because she likes to have the game on her shoulders.

What's next: She has accepted a scholarship to play at State College of Florida and plans to attend the University of Central Florida and major in business.

Jenn Trotter, INFjunior, Lakewood Ranch

By the numbers: A repeat first-team selection, the second baseman has been one of the area's toughest outs during the past two years. She finished last season with a .391 batting average and tied for second on the team with 24 RBIs. She struck out four times (104 at-bats), which was lowest among the regulars on the team.

Fast facts: Very versatile, Trotter switched to infield after playing outfield for the Mustangs. She says her most memorable moment last season was winning a region title and advancing to the state final four. Her favorite subject is math, her favorite movie is "21 Jump Street," and her favorite car is a Charger.

What's next: Trotter will play travel ball this summer. She hopes to land a scholarship with the University of Florida or Florida Gulf Coast. She would like to be an athletic trainer for a baseball or football team.

Honorable mention

Bayshore -- Agnes Raczkowski.

Bradenton Christian -- Hailey Dearlove.

Braden River -- Jessica Cadorette, Kenya Yancy, Hannah Ryan, Elena Lopez.

Cardinal Mooney -- Rachel Misch.

Lakewood Ranch -- McKaleigh Goodale, Shea Fisher, Jackie Schoff.

Manatee -- Molly McDonough, Mariah Wise, Haily Hopkins.

Palmetto -- Kendall Vedder, Jordan Whitaker.

Southeast -- Sarah Stevens.

-- Capsules by Alan Dell

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