Ashley Kazimer, a pitcher and shortstop for Bitburg, was selected to the All-Europe team for the third straight year.

Ashley Kazimer, a pitcher and shortstop for Bitburg, was selected to the All-Europe team for the third straight year. (Raymond T. Conway / S&S)

How skilled is the 2006 DODDS-Europe All-Europe high school softball team?

“This is a good, all-round team,” said Dan Velazquez, coach of the Division II champion Bitburg Barons.

“I’d like to take them on tour.”

While Velazquez, as one of the selectors of this year’s all-star squad, might be accused of prejudice, the numbers back him up.

“The team has very strong pitching,” he said of a staff topped by Patch junior Kasy’e Lalau, who made the team for the third straight year. She struck out 74 batters this season.

Also on the staff are Bitburg’s Ashley Kazimer, who made the first team in 2005, the second team in 2004 and posted a gaudy 5:1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 2006, and Jasmine Velazquez of Baumholder.

Velazquez, who routinely struck out 10 or more every time out, pitched a perfect game in the European Division III tournament against Rota to help the Lady Bucs roll to the title.

Other strong arms on the staff belong to Lauren Sanchez of Patch, a first-team repeater from 2005 who struck out 32 batters; Brynn Lipor, an All-Europe second-teamer last season for regular season D-1 champion Lakenheath; fireballing Jessica Smith of Wiesbaden, who struck out 72 batters; Micana Gallaway of London Central; and senior Lindsey Dunn from Division I champion Ramstein.

If the pitching can’t get it done, the 2006 All-Europe sticks can. Kazimer led the way with an astounding .800 batting average, and teammate Jessica Renaud batted .705. Gallaway hit at a .640 clip, and Dunn batted .560 and drove in 24 runs for Ramstein.

Others driving in 20 or more runs included Patch’s Lalau and Sanchez, a third baseman, while Lalau was on the mound; Ramstein left fielder Alexa Brokaw; and Lakenheath shortstop-center fielder Ashley Mansfield, who posted an .814 slugging average.

But Velazquez and his fellow selectors, Kent Grosshuesch of Ramstein and Spencer Bean of Baumholder, took full notice of the system’s defensive stars, especially Lakenheath freshman catcher Lisa McBride.

“She has a laser arm (16 of 24 thrown out attempting to steal), and great lateral movement behind the plate,” Velazquez said of the only player younger than a junior to make the first team.

Other defensive stalwarts include Heidelberg first baseman Brittany Bailey, a .533 batter whom coach Alan Simoncic called the “best defensive first baseman I’ve ever coached at Heidelberg.”

Renaud of Bitburg made just one error all season and threw out four runners at the plate from center field, while Dunn, moved to first base for defensive reasons, Grosshuesch said, and Kazimer, a shortstop when she wasn’t pitching, made none at all.

Shortstop is in excellent hands with Sharena Cabrera of Baumholder, who, according to Bean, “could start at any position for any team in Europe,” and .575-batting Jamie Beach of Ramstein, whose unassisted double play in the European D-1 tournament, according to Grosshuesch, turned the tide against Lakenheath’s regular-season champs.

“Strong defensively is the way I like a team,” Velazquez said. “This year there was that kind of strength across the board.”

All-Europe softball

All-Europe softball

First team

Player, School Class Pos. Stats and coaches’ comment

Brittany Bailey, Heidelberg Sr 1B .533, 16 RBI. "Best 1B glove ever."

Jamie Beach, Ramstein Sr SS .575 BA, .775 OBP, unassisted DP

Alexa Brokaw, Ramstein Jr LF .570 BA, .630 OBP, 22 RBI

Sharena Cabrera, Baumholder Jr SS Two errors all season.

Lindsey Dunn, Ramstein Sr 1B-P .560 BA, .610 OBP, 24 RBI, 0 E

Micana Gallaway, London Cent. Sr P-1B .641 BA, 3 home runs

Ashley Kazimer, Bitburg Sr P-SS 5:1 K-BB ratio; .800 BA, 0 E

Kasy'e Lalau, Patch Jr P-C .625 BA, 20 RBI; 74 Ks

Brynn Lipor, Lakenheath Sr P-SS .537 BA, .824 OBP; 8-2 record

Ashley Mansfield, Lakenheath Sr CF-SS .484 BA, .632 OBP, .841 slug pct.

Lisa McBride, Lakenheath Fr C .423 BA, OBP .515, .739 slug pct.

Jessica Renaud, Bitburg Sr CF .705 BA, 4 OF assists at plate, 1 E

Lauren Sanchez, Patch Sr P-IF .550 BA, 23 RBI; 32 Ks

Jessica Smith, Wiesbaden Jr P 72Ks; .605 BA, 16 RBI, .680 OBP

Jasmine Velazquez, Baumholder Sr P Perfect game in European tourney

Second team

Jessica Anderson, junior IF, and Gabrielle Alexander, sophomore P-SS, Heidelberg; Jessica Fox, senior 1B, Patch; Grecia Gonzalez junior P-C, Baumholder; Kayla Haven, sophomore P-2B, Ramstein; Kordia Holmes, senior P-SS, Wuerzburg; Elisa Nieves, junior 3B-SS, Wiesbaden; Aisha Shapiro, senior C-P, Rota; Kili Smith, sophomore P, Kaiserslautern, and Amber Zgonina, junior 1B, Bitburg.

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