Pitcher of the Year: Alyssa Queen, Jr., Countryside
Why we picked her: Queen’s fastball isn’t all that fast. Her curveball barely curves. She rarely throws one-hitters. All she does is win games. How? She finds a batter’s weak spot and throws at it nearly every time, which is probably why she had 13 wins and helped lead the Cougars to a Class 7A, District 10 title. Queen doesn’t get tons of strikeouts. She doesn’t pitch a lot of shutouts. In other words, she doesn’t starve batters — she just serves them table scraps, stuff they can’t really smack. Lots of her pitches dribble into the infield. Almost none fly out of the park. She recorded just 38 strikeouts but had the backing of a solid defense and finished with an ERA of 1.34.
Most impressive accomplishment: Queen split time on the mound with Nicolette Wunderly until midway through the season when Wunderly left the team. Queen became the workhorse the rest of the way and won some big games, including a victory over Class 8A region finalist Palm Harbor University toward the end of the regular season.
Did you know? Queen has aspirations of becoming an interior designer. She watches as many home decorating shows as possible. “You can take me to a furniture store and I’d spend hours there just for fun,” she said.
What’s next: This summer, Queen will play travel ball with the Clearwater Bullets 18-under squad. She said she will not take much of a break playing before the start of her senior season in high school.
Player of the Year: Moriah Connolly, Sr., Palm Harbor University
Why we picked her: One of the fastest players in the county, Connolly’s job was to get on base from her leadoff spot and put pressure on defenses by swiping bases. She did that with aplomb, hitting .535, stealing 51 bases and scoring 49 runs. She was just as talented in the field, tracking down nearly every ball hit her way at third base. And she provided leadership for a team that lost the player of the year (Samantha McCloskey), pitcher of the year (Taylor Sabol) and longtime coach (Chuck Poetter) from 2012. Connolly helped lead the Hurricanes to conference and district titles and berth in the Class 8A region final. “Moriah was gifted in so many ways,” first-year coach Kerry Katchuk said. “She was the backbone of this team.”
Most impressive accomplishment: Connolly took a lot of chances with her baserunning, most of which paid off. She was caught stealing only once in 52 attempts and that came in her final game against Timber Creek in a region final. She also had numerous balls hit her way at third base and committed just four errors.
Did you know? Connolly said she is afraid of the dark and is frightened by horror films. “I’m scared pretty easy, so I don’t do Halloween Horror Nights or anything like that. Stuff like that freaks me out,” she said.
What’s next: Connolly has signed to play softball with Boston University. She will play with the Clearwater Bombers 18-under team this summer before reporting to Boston on Aug. 27.
P Bre Setree, Sr., St. Petersburg: Tampa recruit went 14-2 and struck out 139 batters.
P Jennie Sittloh, Sr., Seminole: Recorded more than 100 strikeouts for team that just missed a postseason berth.
P Mariah Watts, Jr., Lakewood: Went 13-5 with 166 Ks and 0.66 ERA.
P Kama Woodall, 8th, Canterbury: County’s only 20-game winner had 169 Ks and pitched in 2A state title game.
IF Jess Adams, Sr., Palm Harbor University: FACA all-star hit. 500 with five home runs and 50 RBIs.
IF Brittany Creamer, Jr., Countryside: Top-notch fielder hit .284 with 21 RBIs.
IF Logyn Lilley, So., Palm Harbor University: Hit .586 and was among state leaders in RBIs with 50.
IF Keeley Mayers, So., Countryside: Hit .397 with 22 RBIs and had a .960 fielding percentage as a first baseman.
C Hailee Keisling, Sr., Countryside: Rollins signee hit .500 with 19 RBIs and 22 stolen bases this season.
OF Katie Flanagan, So., Palm Harbor University: Hit .486 with 16 RBIs.
OF Kelsie Sanchez, Sr., Countryside: Clutch hitter had .354 average with 24 RBIs and three HRs.
OF Aliya Andrews, Fr., East Lake: Speedy leadoff hitter batted .426 while stealing 17 bases.
DH Danielle Romanello, 8th, Canterbury: Florida commit hit. 451 with a county-best 10 home runs.
UTIL Hannah Roberts, Jr., East Lake: Versatile infielder hit .413 and led team with 35 RBIs and five homers.
P Aubrey Ehlers, So., Dunedin
P Raquel Galinski, So., Shorecrest
P Lindsey White, So., Tarpon Springs
P Rachel Taylor, Jr., Palm Harbor University
IF Taylor Bump, 8th, Canterbury
IF Ashley Bonalewicz, Jr., East Lake
IF Mackenzie Jahn, So., Seminole
IF Carly Danner, Jr., St. Petersburg
C Brooke Ours, Sr., Seminole
OF Torey Scott, Sr., Palm Harbor University
OF Sam Sharpe, Jr., Countryside
OF Emma Hvozdovich, Sr., East Lake
DH Hannah Smith, Sr., Shorecrest
UTIL Kelsey Humphrey, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic
Admiral Farragut: Corynn Miner; Boca Ciega: Alexis Blasingane, Amanda Douglas, Asmara Goodwin; Canterbury: Lindsay Graves, Kelsey Hill, Savvy Mitchell, Maddie Posey; Clearwater: Allysa Johnson; Clearwater Central Catholic: Kayla Lewandowski, Cassie Shukitis, Analise Walker; Countryside: Alyssa Householder, Erin Jankiewicz, Sommer Pollard; Dixie Hollins: Kierstie Becker, Allison Keen, Carlee Lucas, Amanda Ross, Brittnie Vandonge; Dunedin: Abbie Sexton, Tiona Hill, Lacey Sanford, Olivia Silver, Allie Williams, East Lake: Maddie Bertisch, Audrey Gangloff, Katie Shoulta, Nicole Szelest; Gibbs: Brianna Perez; Lakeside Christian: Brittany Bailey, Michelle Reagh, Madyson Brown; Lakewood: Mara Brody, Angelina Carney, Haley Michalski, Sarah Snell, Andrea Vargas; Largo: Darbie Napieralski, Sierra Leggett; Northeast: Riley Randolph, Kayla Stellwag, Aja Eglton, Micayla Wallace, Courtney Wood, Elizabeth Bench, Kaeli Farnsworth, Relynn Pritchard; Northside Christian: Jessica Anderson; Osceola: Rebecca Bunday, Rae Piscitello, Mackenna Willis; Palm Harbor University: Alayna Gallagher, Claire Hamilton; Pinellas Park: Makayla Beck, Vannessa Cleary, Zoey Ledford, Conner Harris, Rachel Morton, Haley Nygren, Alexis Pereiro, Stephanie Wyant; Seminole: Katy Shankle, Lauren Brucker; Shorecrest: Lindsey Eaton, Jaque Galinski, Molly Webber; St. Petersburg: Kaylee Greene, Kaitlin Fannin, Ashley McNally, Katie Reith; St. Petersburg Catholic: Kristen Zinge, Brooke Zoffer, Madison Zoffer; Tarpon Springs: Kelsey Linn, Hali Marshall, Jessica Ferrone, Tori Crumbley, Andrea Faison, Sara Ruoss
Coach of the Year
Jody Moore, Canterbury: After graduating four starters from last year’s team, the Crusaders were left with a young starting lineup that included four eighth-graders and freshmen. Because the team was so young, many expected it would take a year for Canterbury to make another deep playoff run. But Moore led her team through a brutal regular-season schedule and guided the Crusaders to their second Class 2A state title in three years.