WHEELING - Three members of Hurricane's state champions and three members of John Marshall's season-long top-ranked team highlight the West Virginia Class AAA all-state softball squad, announced today by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
The Redskins, who won 33 games, blitzed through the season and the state tournament behind the pinpoint control and powerful stroke of sophomore pitcher/infielder Courtney Rogers, who was named captain of the squad as a utility pick.
While plenty of teams fell victim to Rogers and the Redskins in 2013, Wheeling Park did so when the stakes were highest, as Hurricane twice defeated the Patriots during the tournament in Vienna.
Color Park coach Dee Davis impressed.
"She's very good," Davis said of Rogers. "She's not overpowering, but she hits her spots. If she wants it down and away, that's where it's going. If she wants it up and in, that's where she throws it. Her location is great. Plus she can hit."
The ultimate two-way player, Rogers was 21-3 with 100 strikeouts and a 2.23 ERA in the circle and a robust .492 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs at the plate.
Also making the first-team grade for the Redskins were strong-armed catcher Linzie Reynolds, who batted .466 with 54 hits and 44 RBIs, and speedy outfielder Addie Fullen (.425, two homers, 42 RBIs). Fullen was a second-teamer a season ago.
"They've got a lot of hitters," Davis said, "and they're all quick. They had team speed. That's a big thing. You can lay it down, your singles can go to doubles and your doubles can go to triples. That makes a difference."
It certainly did for Hurricane, which not only won its first softball title but was also competing in its first state tourney.
For John Marshall, the 2012 champion that was eliminated by Wheeling Park in a regional final, infielder Kylie Howard caps her career with a fourth consecutive first-team nod.
"She's probably the most talented and most athletic player we've ever had," JM coach Ed West said. "She's been very good, very consistent, and she can beat you in a lot of ways. If she's not getting hits and driving in runs, she's making plays on defense and getting people out. She does a lot of good things."