June 1, 2013 

Therese Byrne, sr., OF, Manatee

To her credit: The queen of area base stealers, Byrne put up astonishing numbers the past two years with 53 stolen bases in 55 attempts, including last season when she swiped a school single-season record 31 in 32 attempts. The repeat first-team selection led the Canes with a .427 batting average and 17 RBIs and was second with 21 runs scored. She was a near-flawless center fielder, committing only one error in 56 chances.

Fast fact: Her favorite subject is English, and she is considering becoming a journalism major. Despite her heroics on the bases, Byrne says she enjoys defense and running down fly balls.

Up next: The native of Daytona will play next season for NAIA University of Auburn in Montgomery (Ala.), which is a member of the Southern States Athletic Conference.

Hailey Dearlove, sr., OF/P, Bradenton Christian

To her credit: Dearlove led the Panthers with a .609 batting average, going 28-for-46 with three doubles, three triples and one home run. She drew 16 walks while striking out only three times and stole 14 bases without getting caught and had 12 RBIs. On the mound, she compiled a 9-3 record with a 0.98 ERA.

Fast fact: One of the most versatile athletes in the history of Bradenton Christian, Dearlove has been following in the footsteps of her mother, Julie, who was a standout basketball player and was awarded a scholarship to play college softball.

Up next: Dearlove plans to take a respite from school and do missionary work for about a year. Then she may attend the University of North Florida and return to playing basketball.

Shea Fisher, sr., OF, Lakewood Ranch

To her credit: The two-year starter was flawless in left field, going through the entire season without committing an error while covering a lot of ground and keeping runners from taking extra bases with her arm. She led the Mustangs with 35 hits and 11 doubles, she was second with 26 RBIs, and her .402 batting average was tops among Mustangs who played the entire season.

Fast fact: In her spare time, Fisher likes to write songs and go fishing. She hopes to be a zoologist or a marine biologist because she loves animals and the water. In what perhaps epitomizes the reason for her success, she lists her favorite quote as "the first one to stop competing is the first one to lose."

Up next: Fisher accepted a scholarship to play at State College of Florida.

Bethany Keen, frosh., INF, Braden River

To her credit: The first baseman burst onto the scene with a big bat that stayed hot all season. She finished with a team-leading .471 batting average despite hitting against some of the state's best pitchers. She had a .559 on-base percentage, thanks to 16 walks, double that collected by any of her teammates. She drove in 18 runs and scored 11. Keen had at least one hit in 15 of her last 16 games and had 12 multiple-hit games out of 27.

Fast fact: Keen grew up around baseball. Her brother, Vincent, played for Lakewood Ranch and Braden River high schools and St. Pete College and Florida Southern. Her dad, James, played high school baseball in Miami, and his father worked for the Cincinnati Reds during the Pete Rose/Johnny Bench era. Her two uncles played minor-league baseball, and mom Tracey played softball at Riverview.

Up next: A lefty all the way, Keen hopes to play Division I softball someday and work in sports management.

Kiley King, sr., INF, Manatee

To her credit: The sure-handed second baseman led the Canes with a .473 on-base percentage and was second with a .409 batting average. She tied for the team lead with four doubles, scored 15 runs and had 10 RBIs. Her forte was defense, where she was incredible in the field, handling 126 chances with only two errors.

Fast fact: King comes from a baseball family; her father, Eric, played baseball and wrestled for Bayshore and was drafted by Seattle before tearing his rotator cuff. His brother, Darren King, also played for Bayshore and was drafted. Her favorite subject is math and favorite player is the Rays' Sean Rodriguez. Her career highlight was getting a game-winning catch and hit against Lakewood Ranch.

Up next: King plans to walk on at UCF and major in pre-med.

Shara James, frosh., OF, Bayshore

To her credit: The switch-hitting left fielder was an offensive juggernaut while sparking the Bruins to a region final berth. A tireless worker, she hits more than 500 live pitches and 1,000 off the tee per week, which is a reason, her father said, she forged a team-high .697 batting average, 38 RBIs, 48 runs scored, 46 hits and seven home runs.

Fast fact: James' father, Ronald, played football, basketball and baseball at Bayshore. Her older sister, Lawanda, played softball at Manatee, and first cousin Kieron James played football at Southeast and Western Illinois. James started playing softball at age 8 and says her father taught her everything about the game. Her favorite subject is math.

Up next: She hopes to be a physical therapist someday and play softball at a Division I school. She already has drawn interest from USF and Florida.

Auria Mounts, soph., INF/P, Palmetto

To her credit: One of the area's most versatile players, Mounts is most prolific with her bat and led the Tigers in hitting for the second straight season, this time with a .410 batting average and .744 slugging percentage. She also topped the Tigers with 30 RBIs and slammed five homers. On the mound, Mounts struck out 116 in 124 2/3 innings with a 3.31 ERA.

Fast fact: Mounts started playing softball at age 6. She comes from an athletic family that includes her father, Rocky, who played high school baseball in Kentucky. She enjoys working with youth. Her favorite subject is language arts.

Up next: Mounts is leaning toward majoring in criminology in college. She expects to be busy this summer with travel ball.

Taylor Newton, sr., OF, Lakewood Ranch

To her credit: Arguably area's top position player, the center fielder earns her second straight all-area first team selection. A four-year starter, she was instrumental in the Mustangs winning four straight district titles and two region championships and earning two straight trips to the state final four. She hit a solid .378, knocked in 35 runs and led Ranch with six homers. The last two years, she drove in 61 runs and hit nine homers with 35 extra base hits.

Fast fact: She is a varsity-letter scholar-athlete, an honor given to student-athletes with a 4.0 or better grade-point average. Lakewood Ranch head coach Tony Cummins called her the rock of his team because of her ability to come through in the clutch. She was of three area players named to Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-Star game.

Up next: Newton has an athletic scholarship to Division I James Madison (Va.), wants to major in pre-med and hopes to become a dentist.

Amanda Rak, soph., P, Lakewood Ranch

To her credit: Rak came into her own as the season progressed. She became the Mustangs' top pitcher, compiling a 0.94 ERA over 132 2/3 innings while recording 170 strikeouts and surrendering 92 hits and only 25 earned runs. Pitched the Mustangs through their district and region tournament games, going 4-0 to carry them into the state tournament.

Fast fact: Rak is described as a carefree, lighted-hearted person who always seems to have a smile on her face and never gets stressed out during a game. She has a maturity level that is well beyond her years, according to coaches. Her teammates dubbed her the team jokester because she is the best at telling jokes and playing pranks on others.

Up next: Rak plans to pitch for the Sarasota Heat club team this summer.

Sarah Stevens, sr., C, Southeast

To her credit: A stalwart behind the plate, Stevens did not commit an error all season and had only one passed ball. She finished with a .345 batting average and had five doubles, three triples and a .531 slugging percentage. A four-year varsity veteran, Stevens played every position and was the starting, full-time catcher the past two years.

Fast fact: Stevens had a 4.8 weighted GPA. She played a key role in helping to start a GED satellite program and was selected to be a speaker at Southeast graduation and is a Golden Feather award winner. An avid reader, she lists Harry Potter's fourth book as her favorite.

Up next: Stevens is one of only 50 students in the country to receive a President's Scholarship, which she will use to attend Georgia Tech and major in industrial design.

Jenn Trotter, sr., INF, Lakewood Ranch

To her credit: A three-time first-team selection, the second baseman personified what winning is all about. As a four-year starter, she helped the Mustangs win four district titles and two region championships and advance to two state final fours. Despite missing the first half of last season with an injury, she led the Mustangs with a .405 batting average and produced timely hitting down the stretch.

Fast fact: Trotter comes from a baseball family and is considered a student of the game. Her father, Lee, played baseball for Sarasota. Known for her unorthodox style of hitting and throwing, Trotter had a knack for getting on base and was solid on defense. She rarely struck out and drew a lot of walks.

Up next: Trotter will play for State College of Florida and hopes to be an athletic trainer.

Kenya Yancy, jr., INF,Braden River

To her credit: The switch-hitting shortstop finished second on the team with a .381 batting average and eight extra base hits. She had a team-leading two homers and two triples and a .424 on-base percentage. Yancy led the Pirates with eight stolen bases (nine attempts) and 19 runs scored and was tied for third with 13 RBIs.

Fast fact: Yancy comes from family of elite athletes. Her father, Carlos, played football at Georgia and was drafted by the New England Patriots. Her grandfather, Hugh Yancy, was the longtime Riverview head baseball coach and played in the Chicago White Sox organization. She was a first-team selection as a freshman when she batted .484 with four homers.

Up next: Yancy committed to USF during the fall of her sophomore year and says she won't change her mind.

Honorable mention

Bayshore -- Marina Clark, Jo Jo Muldoon, Kristen Staley

Braden River -- Brittany Cole, Hannah Loyer, Jessica Cadorette

Bradenton Christian -- Madison Dreier

Lakewood Ranch -- McKaleigh Goodale, Amber Wimmer, Talli Sharp

Manatee -- Hailey Hopkins, Amber Schaad

Palmetto -- Britton Stancil, Jordan Whittaker

Southeast -- Rebecca Boesen.

-- Capsules compiled by Alan Dell, Herald sports writer

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