HUNTINGTON — All season long, Musselman pitcher Sabrina Shroades was virtually unable to be touched by those in the state of West Virginia.
Heading into the state tournament, Shroades had allowed just five earned runs in 91 innings of work on the season while striking out 204 batters — an average of more than two per inning — en route to a 13-1 record.
While the Applemen weren’t able to secure the Class AAA state championship after running into trouble against eventual champion Hurricane and runner-up South Charleston, Shroades was able to secure her place as captain of the Class AAA All-State First Team, as voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
“She’s one of the best pitchers we saw,” Hurricane coach Josh Caldwell said of Shroades. “She definitely had a lot of movement and throws the ball hard. She also had a good team around her.”
Shroades was joined on the first team pitching staff by fellow pitcher Taylor Stocks, who combined with Shroades to lead Musselman to a 31-3 record on the season. Both are juniors who will return next season.
Hurricane, who finished 37-2 with its only two losses coming to Musselman in the regular season, placed four players on the first team: senior pitcher Courtney Rogers, senior infielders Madi Casto and Cassi Sargent, and freshman outfielder Jayme Bailey.
The strength of the Redskins, who ended the season with 26 consecutive wins, was a lineup that consistently put pressure on opposing pitching from the leadoff spot to the No. 9 batter, as was seen in the state tournament when they were able to put up 26 runs in three wins to earn the Class AAA Championship.
“It’s as deep a team as I’ve seen,” Caldwell said. “Our 7-8-9 hitters had 13 home runs. That says a lot about what you have in the order. When our first few didn’t get on, the others picked it up and produced when they needed to.”
While the offensive numbers were there, the real strength of the team was a defense led by solid starting pitching and one of the strongest middle infields seen in the state in quite some time.
Rogers became a three-time all-state selection while boasting of a 15-2 record on the season with an earned run average of 1.71 while Casto hit .495 and scored 50 runs and Sargent batted .414 with 40 RBIs on the year.
Sargent (shortstop) and Casto (second base) also formed a wall that rarely allowed daylight to opposing batters looking to reach by putting the ball on the ground.
“You look at the Spring Valley and Logan games and onto the state tournament, we made plays up the middle that you’d see college teams making,” Caldwell said. “There’s no better shortstop-2nd base combo that I’ve seen.”
Bailey was a freshman outfielder who jumped into the fray of a veteran lineup and meshed well while making several acrobatic catches in center field. She ended the year hitting .424 with eight home runs, 42 RBIs and 51 runs scored to earn the first-team mention in her first year.
Bailey wasn’t the only freshman to make her presence known in 2015.
South Charleston freshman Kiersten Landers also was a first-team utility selection and one of two Black Eagles selected, joining junior outfielder Olivia Orcutt-Lazo on the team. Behind Landers and Orcutt-Lazo, the Black Eagles finished as the Class AAA runner-up, falling to Hurricane, 6-2, in the championship. Landers finished 10-3 on the season while batting .583 with five triples and seven home runs. Orcutt-Lazo hit .471 with seven doubles, 11 triples and two home runs for the Black Eagles under head coach Annette Olenchick.
Logan, who finished as a Region IV finalist, placed a pair of players on the first team in pitcher Aarron Ward and outfielder Summer Collins, who will play softball at Marshall next season.
In addition to Casto and Sargent, other first-team infielders included Lincoln County junior Sarah Barrett (.432 avg., 3 HRs, 16 RBI, 31 runs), Huntington High sophomore Syd Sipple (.554 avg., .973 fielding percentage) and Shady Spring freshman infielder Brooke Clark (.466 avg., 16 2Bs, 2 HRs).
Joining Landers as utility selections were Spring Valley’s Brooke Jackson, University’s Rachel Rousseau (91.2 IP, 70 Ks; .465 avg., 5 HRs, 39 RBI, 36 runs) and Point Pleasant’s Karissa Cochran (121 IP, 1.67 ERA, 187 Ks; .402 avg., 4 HRs, 28 RBI).
Catchers were Wheeling Park’s Kat Donzella and Parkersburg’s Brittany Allison (.494 avg., 16 2Bs, 3 HRs, 30 RBI), who was a three-time First-Team All-State member.
Captain of the Class AAA All-State Second Team was Lincoln County utility player Faith Huffman.
Second-team pitchers included South Charleston junior Amanda McDonald, Hurricane senior Emily Davis, Elkins junior Alyssa Harper and Cabell Midland sophomore Olivia Canterbury.
Infielders on the second team were Ripley freshman Paige Swisher, Greenbrier East sophomore Haylee Shires, Musselman junior Ashley Bentley and Lewis County junior Tori White.
Second-team outfielders are South Charleston senior Jazmine Martin, John Marshall senior Abbi Namath and Wheeling Park senior Morgan Karnell.
Joining Huffman as utility players on second team are Huntington High freshman Erika Williams, Morgantown sophomore Heidi Hormell and Hedgesville junior Jordyn Munson.
Second-team catchers were Lincoln County senior Brandi Isaacs and Hurricane sophomore Katie Adams.
All-State Softball Team
HUNTINGTON – The 2015 Class AAA All-State Softball Team, as voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
P – Taylor Stocks, Musselman, Jr.
P – Sabrina Shroades, Musselman, Jr. (Captain)
P – Courtney Rogers, Hurricane, Sr.
P – Aarron Ward, Logan, Sr.
IF – Madi Casto, Hurricane, Sr.
IF – Sarah Barrett, Lincoln County, Jr.
IF – Cassi Sargent, Hurricane, Sr.
IF – Brooke Clark, Shady Spring, Fr.
IF – Syd Sipple, Huntington High, So.
OF – Summer Collins, Logan, Sr.
OF – Jayme Bailey, Hurricane, Fr.
OF – Olivia Orcutt-Lazo, South Charleston, Jr.
UTIL – Kiersten Landers, South Charlestoon, Fr.
UTIL – Rachel Rousseau, University, So.
UTIL – Karissa Cochran, Point Pleasant, Jr.
UTIL – Brooke Jackson, Spring Valley, Jr.
C – Kat Donzella, Wheeling Park, So.
C – Brittany Allison, Parkersburg, Sr.
P – Amanda McDonald, South Charleston, Jr.
P – Emily Davis, Hurricane, Sr.
P – Alyssa Harper, Elkins, Jr.
P – Olivia Canterbury, Cabell Midland, So.
IF – Paige Swisher, Ripley, Fr.
IF – Haylee Shirres, Greenbrier East, So.
IF – Ashley Bentley, Musselman, Jr.
IF – Tori White, Lewis County, Jr.
IF – Gracie Donato, Riverside, Fr.
OF – Morgan Karnell, Wheeling Park, Sr.
OF – Jazmine Martin, South Charleston, Sr.
OF – Abbi Namath, John Marshall, Sr.
UTIL – Erika Williams, Huntington High, Fr.
UTIL – Faith Huffman, Lincoln County, Sr. (Captain)
UTIL – Heidi Hormell, Morgantown, So.
UTIL – Jordyn Munson, Hedgesville, Jr.
C – Brandi Isaacs, Lincoln County, SrC – Katie Adams, Hurricane, So.
Special Honorable Mention
Lindsay Bolyard, Morgantown; Haleigh Christopher, Spring Valley; Jackie Gellner, John Marshall ; Tommi Lunsford, Cabell Midland; Kelly Knuckles, South Charleston; Kelby Hall, University; Darby Petersen, Ripley; Alyssa Blake, John Marshall; Emily Moore, Winfield; Alexis Coalson, Shady Spring; Jenna Marsh, Cabell Midland; Haley Caldwell, Spring Valley; Amber Null, Hurricane; Camryn Michallas, Huntington High; Maddie Hebb, Hurricane; Megan Tully, Lincoln County; Jordan Hart, Elkins; Alexis Rumbach, Lewis County; Nichole Brown, Nitro; Katie Legg, Winfield; Kendal Marshall, Riverside; Kati Kelley, Cabell Midland; Jenna Witt, Jefferson; Kelcie Jenkins, Musselman; Mikayla Willingham, Washington; Cierra Funke, Hampshire; Morgan Hylton, Shady Spring; Hannah Johnson, Oak Hill.
Jade Spurlock, Spring Valley; Kelley Bare, South Charleston; Tori Adkins, Cabell Midland; Bre Clark, Huntington High; Cassidy Newbrough, Parkersburg; Jocelyn Amburgy, St. Albans; Conner Assif, University;Taylor Scott, Spring Valley; Hannah Pullen, Riverside; Madi Howell, Huntington High; Baylee Hilling, Parkersburg; Lindsey Cox, Parkersburg South Sara Burky, Elkins; Ashley Burger, Spring Mills; Morgan Knicely, Buckhannon-Upshur; Taylor Pingley, Elkins; Torie Riffle, Lewis County; Shadie Suder, Buckhannon-Upshur; Paige Scruggs, Hurricane; Whitney McKay, Lincoln County; Emily Bostic, South Charleston; KennaMarkham, Winfield; Lauren Pauley, Riverside; Haley Fischer, Musselman; Courtney Gordon, Spring Mills; Lauren Lanham, Hedgesville; Darian Vines, Shady Spring; Tif’fany Gray, Oak Hill; Kendall Marshall, Riverside; Bella Coles, Greenbrier East; Sha’lyn Lawson, Woodrow Wilson.