Naples leads with four selections
In reviewing stats and nomination forms for the 2011 All-Europe softball team, there are some noteworthy tidbits to toss around now that the season is in the books and all the bats have been set aside.
Four of the 24 players named to the first or second teams wore the green uniforms of Naples, the school with the most players selected.
“This team is young and the majority (of players) are coming back next year,” manager Stacey Scott said after her team won a third straight D- II title.
Naples secured two spots on the 12-member first team: senior Caitlin Eckert, a shortstop and pitcher who was selected to the first team for a third time; and Melody Fears. A third baseman, Fears hit .586 during the regular season and collected three hits and five RBIs in the title game against AFNORTH.
One of the five teams with three players on the All-Europe squads is Division III champ Sigonella. The others are AFNORTH, Ramstein, Vilseck and Patch, the D-I winner.
Significant is the selection of Sigonella senior Courtney Albert to the first team, the first D-III player so honored. She was a second-team pick in 2010. Albert, an infielder and pitcher, took the mound in the title game with her team trailing. She kept the game close and Sigonella rallied to beat Incirlik.
Besides Naples, the other D-II school that fared well in the All-Europe selection process was AFNORTH, which lost the title game to Naples.
Named to the first team was Brenda Broadwater, a second-team pick in 2009.
During the season, Broadwater batted .540, drove in 36 runs, slugged seven home runs and stole 40 bases for AFNORTH. The senior played pitcher, catcher and shortstop.
“She has provided valuable insight to lineups and batting order whenever I had questions,” AFNORTH manager Tiffany Bell wrote in the nomination form for Broadwater. “The team will definitely miss having her skill and dedication.”
Rounding out the D-II all-stars was Bitburg first baseman Shannon Dougherty, who made the second team last year.
Vilseck, Ramstein and Patch each had three players selected to the first and second teams.
Heading that list is senior Bianca Lopez, named to the All-Europe squad for a fourth year, three times on the first team. Lopez, a shortstop and pitcher, tossed a two-hitter in the title game against Ramstein.
Teammate Shannon Wright joins Lopez on the first team. The junior batted .591 and scored 25 runs.
When Wright, Lopez and the rest of the Patch Panthers wrestled the title away from Ramstein, they beat sophomore Kelsey Freeman, one of the best hurlers in the league. Freeman, a first-team selection this year and last, finished the season with an 8-1 record.
Also named to first-team roster was Ramstein freshman Kathryn Enyeart. The first baseman and pitcher batted .559 with 24 RBIs and four homers. On the mound, she notched a 7-1 record.
A pair of Vilseck juniors made the first team: Deraj’ McClinton and Taylor Hall. McClinton batted .675, drove in 25 runs and hit seven homers. Hall hit .528 and scored 24 runs.
The final player selected to the first team was Kaiserslautern shortstop Karah Helm. The senior made the second team last year.