A pair of freshman pitchers took their place alongside more experienced stars on the 2016 All-Europe softball first team, announced this week by DODEA-Europe athletic director Karen Seadore. Ninth-graders Leah Fries of the Division I champion Stuttgart Panthers and Avery Hicks of the Vilseck Falcons threw their way onto the 12-player first team alongside five seniors and five juniors. Each was joined by a teammate as Stuttgart’s Tenley Getschman and Vilseck’s Isabella Brasi made the squad. They weren’t the only tandems to account for a pair of spots on the first team. Kaiserslautern landed Tori Liggins, the 2016 Stars and Stripes softball Athlete of the Year, and Nina Knight on the squad; Division II/III program Sigonella placed juniors Hanna Barnes and Kisiah Chandler among the 12. Ramstein’s Brea Mangham, Naples’ Sarah Kemp, Wiesbaden’s Olivia Stecker and McKenzie Milligan of Division II/III champion Aviano rounded out the first team. Ramstein secured three second-team selections, including a freshman phenom of its own in Victoria Rady, to wind up as DODEA-Europe’s most-recognized program among the 23 All-Europe selections. Kaiserslautern, Naples and Stuttgart earned three nods apiece. The second team was limited to 11 players rather than the usual 12 due to “low numbers of nominations,” Seadore said.First team SS Isabella Brasi, Vilseck (Jr.) P Avery Hicks, Vilseck (Fr.) P/INF Tori Liggins, Kaiserslautern (Sr.) UTIL Nina Knight, Kaiserslautern (Sr.) C Olivia Stecker, Wiesbaden (Sr.) SS Sarah Kemp, Naples (Sr.) C Brea Mangham, Ramstein (Jr.) C Tenley Getschman, Stuttgart (Sr.) P Leah Fries, Stuttgart (Fr.) UTIL Hanna Barnes, Sigonella (Jr.) 1B Kisiah Chandler, Sigonella (Jr.) P McKenzie Milligan, Aviano (Jr.)Second team C Jaylin Clyde, Hohenfels (Sr.) UTIL Nikka Jiao, Bitburg (Sr.) 3B De’Ja Knight, Aviano (Sr.) CF Jinhee Oh, Stuttgart (Jr.) SS/P Victoria Rady, Ramstein (Fr.) C Sarah Wilhite, Ramstein (Jr.) INF Sierra Nelson, Ramstein (Jr.) SS/P Hailey Van Valkenburg, SHAPE (Sr.) P Juliana Betancourt, Naples (Fr.) C Emily Coulter, Naples (Sr.) SS/P Phoenix Whisennand, Kaiserslautern (Soph.)
Selection committee: Karen Seadore, DODEA-Europe; Jim Hall, Vilseck; Rachel Makle, Stuttgart; John Culbreth, Kaiserslautern; Sherri Milligan, Aviano; Steve Larson, Sigonella, Mike Cottrell, Bitburg.