2022 All-Area Athletes & Teams

All-Area Athletes and Teams

All-Area Athletes & Teams

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Page 30 www.yoursun.com By VINNIE PORTELL SPORTS WRITER From a bird's-eye view, there wasn't much worth mentioning about this prep softball season in our area. None of our local teams won a district title. Just two of those non-district champs — Venice and Charlotte — advanced to regionals. Both were promptly eliminated in the regional quarterfinals. Look closer, though, and it's clear to see there's more to the story than teams not bringing home any hardware. Venice, which went an ar- ea-best 19-4, was undefeated for most of the season and ranked among the state's top 10 before losing a couple of regular season games, and twice more in the postseason. The Lady Indians were led by seventh-year coach Steve Constantino, who returned just three starters, but tinkered with the rotation, lineup and defense until he found what worked. He is the Sun Preps Softball Coach of the Year. Among those players who helped Constantino and the Indians dominate the area all season were senior outfielder Micaela Hartman and sopho- more pitcher Layne Preece — two finalists for the Sun Preps Softball Player of the Year award, along with Charlotte junior catcher Faith Wharton. Charlotte faced a similar fate as Venice. A young Lady Tarpons team played the area's most dicult schedule, but still won enough games to advance to regionals without winning a district championship. They were led by several strong hitters, like Wharton, junior third baseman Lexi Fitzgerald, sophomore infielder Amber Chumley, senior second baseman Kassidy Hopper and sophomore pitcher Mia Flores. Though the other teams in our area didn't make it to re- gionals, they still had standout performers, too. North Port's Jewelie Vanderkous, a junior, hit .478 while also owning a 2.04 ERA across 126 2/3 innings in the circle. Port Charlotte junior short- stop Mickey Coslor led our area with 36 stolen bases while also batting .468 with 27 runs in 23 games. Emery Skinner broke onto the scene for DeSoto County this season as a freshman shortstop/third baseman, batting a blistering .596 with 25 runs in 17 games. Lemon Bay, which came up just short in a district final at Bishop Verot, had an explosive oense, including five players who hit near .400 or better for the season — Ella Kraszewski (.394), Haley Gulsby (.403), Izzy Brickle (.404), Madison Kinkade (.413) and Abby Matheny (.443). Here's the best of our area this season: FIRST TEAM C: TAYLOR HALBACK VENICE, SENIOR Batting out of the No. 2 spot this season, Halback hit .333 with six doubles, two homers, 13 runs and 16 RBI in 23 games. 1B: DAVA HOFFER PORT CHARLOTTE, FRESHMAN The corner infielder/pitcher hit .344 through 20 games with 11 runs, 14 RBI, six doubles and a triple. She also record- ed a 4.49 ERA across 71 2/3 innings. 2B: KASSIDY HOPPER CHARLOTTE, SENIOR Hopper made 80 consecutive starts for Charlotte at second base and hit an even .300, scoring 20 runs and knocking in 15 across. SS: MICKEY COSLOR PORT CHARLOTTE, JUNIOR A .468 hitter, she typically used her blazing speed (ar- ea-best 36 stolen bases) to get into scoring position — scoring 27 times in 23 games. 3B: LEXI FITZGERALD CHARLOTTE, SOPHOMORE The sophomore played all 24 games for Charlotte, hitting .468 with 19 runs, 21 RBI and 10 extra-base hits, including a pair of homers. OF: RAIONNA SMITH VENICE, FRESHMAN Smith finished the year hitting .435 with 17 runs, 16 RBI, two home runs and four walks to just six strikeouts. OF: MICAELA HARTMAN VENICE, SENIOR The team's No. 3 hitter, Hartman led in several of- fensive categories for Venice — hitting .461 across 80 plate appearances with eight dou- bles, two home runs, 17 RBI, 21 runs and just eight strikeouts. In center she proved essentio- al, committing just one error (97.1 fielding percentage) with 32 putouts in 35 chances. OF: HALEY GULSBY LEMON BAY, SENIOR The Mantas' leado hitter re- corded a .403 average, 24 runs, 19 RBI and eight extra-base hits, including four triples and a homer. UTIL: JASMINE JONES CHARLOTTE, JUNIOR One of the Tarpons' top hitters, Jones hit well over .300 all season, finishing with a .386 batting average with 22 runs and 16 RBI in 22 games. DH: FAITH WHARTON CHARLOTTE, JUNIOR The junior hit .403 with six runs, 24 RBI, six doubles, two triples and three home runs while also committing no errors behind the plate — earning her team's Defensive MVP award. Wharton's game-changing ability was on display when she crushed two home runs against North Port in a 12-2 mercy-rule win on April 25. TWO-WAY: JEWELIE VANDERKOUS NORTH PORT, JUNIOR The junior hit .478 with 16 runs, 21 RBI and 15 extra-base hits, including four triples and four homers. She also finished with a 9-4 record, a 2.04 ERA and 163 strikeouts. P: LAYNE PREECE VENICE, SOPHOMORE The sophomore right-hander quickly elevated herself to ace-status in the opening weeks of the season. She finished with dominant num- bers, leading the team with: a 13-2 record, a 1.12 ERA, 99 strikeouts to 11 walks across 81 innings pitched and was 3-for-3 in save opportunities. P: MIA FLORES CHARLOTTE, SOPHOMORE The Tarpons' sole pitcher for the first few weeks of the sea- son, Flores finished 10-4 with a 2.41 ERA, pitching 101 2/3 of 140 innings for Charlotte. P: KARSYN RUTHERFORD VENICE, SENIOR The left-handed pitcher went 6-0 with a pair of saves, owning a 1.85 ERA with 42 strikeouts to 11 walks. SECOND TEAM MADISON KINKADE, LEMON BAY, JUNIOR ZOEY LYNN, VENICE, SOPHOMORE KAYLIN SMITH, VENICE, FRESHMAN JASMINE RACHAL, NORTH PORT, SENIOR KAEDYN STOLTZFUS, NORTH PORT, SENIOR KELSEY RADUCCI, NORTH PORT, SENIOR KALI PATTON, DESOTO COUNTY, JUNIOR KAITLIN KOHLENBERG, NORTH PORT, FRESHMAN EMERY SKINNER, DESOTO COUNTY, FRESHMAN ABBY MATHENY, LEMON BAY, FRESHMAN AMBER CHUMLEY, CHARLOTTE, SOPHOMORE KAYLI RODEN, DESOTO COUNTY, JUNIOR MACKENZIE VAUGHAN, LEMON BAY, SOPHOMORE ELLA KRASZEWSKI, LEMON BAY, SENIOR SUN PREPS ALLAREA SOFTBALL Gaudy numbers highlight area softball SUN FILE PHOTO BY JUSTIN FENNELL Venice senior Micaela Hartman smiles during pre-game festivities for senior night earlier this spring at the Venice High softball eld.

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