High school softball player of the year: Ritchie’s DeLancey a unanimous pick
PARKERSBURG - It is hard to repeat at anything. Just ask the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Mavericks if you have a doubt.
That wasn't the case, however, when it came to selecting the player of the year in softball this season as Ritchie County's Allison DeLancey was a unanimous pick by the W.Va. Sports Writers Association to take the award back to Ellenboro for the second straight year.
"Awesome," said DeLancey. "I have always practiced to make myself the best. I never really thought about [winning the award]. But now that I have won it for the second time, it's cool."
Not exactly the words opponents of the Rebels' DeLancey would utilize to describe the senior standout.
"There is no better player in the state than her," explained Ritchie County coach Dave Mossor. "She deserves it. I don't know what I'll do without her next season."
DeLancey, who will attend West Virginia University in the fall and major in pharmacy, captured the award over a star-studded cast of nominees that included Class AAA first-team all-state captain Morgan Aguirre from Logan, Class A first-team captain Tara Paczewski from Cameron, Lincoln's Aleks Lawson, Robert C. Byrd's Mecca Henderson and John Marshall's Kylie Howard - the winner of the state's Gatorade Player of the Year award.
Aguirre hit .449 with five home runs, 15 doubles and 32 runs batted in while amassing a 15-5 mark on the mound with 158 strikeouts and a 1.53 earned run average. Henderson posted a 22-13 record with 225 strikeouts and Howard finished with a .504 batting average with five homeruns, 13 doubles, eight triples and 49 RBIs.
Just as impressive were Lawson, who hit .460 with 16 doubles, and Paczewski, who hurled two perfect games and finished with a 15-6 record with 135 strikouts and a 1.23 ERA.
"There are just so many wonderful and talented ball players in this state," said DeLancey. "It is an honor to be selected over players like those."
DeLancey concluded her four-year stay in high school with a .622 batting average. Among her 56 hits were 12 home runs, nine doubles and six triples. She drove in 46 runs and stole 39 bases while scoring 57 runs.
The Rebels catcher, who was moved to shortstop late in the season in order to strengthen the team's defense, struck out only once in 90 plate appearances and drew 26 walks.
"I always knew she could hit," said Mossor. "But what always amazed me was her defense. There wasn't a runner in the state that could steal off of her when she was behind the plate. And when we moved her to short, she played shortstop like a catcher."
DeLancey's decision to attend WVU, however, may spell the end to her softball career as the Mountaineers presently do not field a team. The two-sport all-state performer will attempt to walk-on to the volleyball team.
"I've been invited to try out for the volleyball team and I'm hoping that WVU joining the Big 12 conference will end up with them putting together a softball team in the next year or two," she said.
During her tenure at Ritchie County, the Rebels captured the Class AA state crown in 2011 and finished second twice - including this past season when the title was won by Wayne.
"I'm proud of what my teammates and I were able to accomplish during our time at Ritchie County High School," DeLancey said. "If you come to our facility you will read a plaque that says 'Play like champions' and that is what I always tried to do."
Mossor and the Rebels won't be without a DeLancey completely next season as younger sister Kenna begins her freshman year in 2012-13.