Balint heads All-Southeastern Pa. softball

Avon Grove pitcher Maggie Balint. (RON TARVER / Staff Photographer)
Avon Grove pitcher Maggie Balint. (RON TARVER / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 18, 2014

PITCHER / PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Maggie

Balint

AVON GROVE

The sophomore ace led the Avon Grove softball team to the best season in program history, as the Red Devils amassed a 20-6 record, their first District 1 Class AAAA championship, their first Ches-Mont National title, and an appearance in the state quarterfinals.

Absolutely dominant in the circle, the righthander struck out 358 in 25 games, allowing only 11 earned runs and walking 47 in 1712/3 innings. With an ERA of just 0.45, Balint proved to be on the top of her game consistently and was just as lethal against righthanded batters as lefthanded batters.

Balint was impressive at the plate, too. Hitting third in the Avon Grove lineup, she batted .390, earning 30 hits (nine for extra bases) and knocking in 11 runs.

PITCHER

Alex

Viscusi

EPISCOPAL ACADEMY

There weren't many more imposing aces this season than Viscusi, who compiled a 0.35 ERA. The Princeton recruit won 15 games for the Churchwomen, nine by shutout, and struck out 135. The junior was just as impressive at the plate, too, batting .600 with 15 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs. Her efforts helped Episcopal earn its first Inter-Ac League and Independent Schools state titles.

PITCHER

Nikki Alden

WILLIAM TENNENT

The backbone of a Tennent squad that earned a piece of the Suburban One National title, the senior was great all season for the Panthers, helping them earn the top seed in the District 1 Class AAAA tournament. The St. Joseph's-bound Alden batted .500, getting 24 hits and 48 RBIs. Six of those hits were homers, and she also scored 20 times. In the circle, Alden won 13 games, recorded a save, and threw two no-hitters.

CATCHER

Anna

Steinmetz

WEST CHESTER RUSTIN

One of the most feared hitters in the Ches-Mont League, the junior batted .547 with 16 extra-base hits, including seven home runs. She scored 29 runs and knocked in 31 from the leadoff spot. The Delaware recruit starred behind the plate, as well, allowing only two stolen bases and picking six runners off first or third base. With Steinmetz behind the plate, Rustin hurlers threw just eight wild pitches.

INFIELD

Lauren

DelRomano

CARDINAL O'HARA

The most valuable player of the very competitive Catholic League, DelRomano was a model of consistency in the field and at the plate. A senior second baseman, she hit .544 and had an on-base percentage of .667. Never one to swing at bad pitches, she battled at the plate and was always a threat with runners in scoring position. DelRomano finished the season with 16 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs, and 19 runs. She will play field hockey for Widener.

INFIELD

Haley

DeLany

SOUDERTON

DeLany contributed to a turnaround at Souderton in which the Indians improved on last season's fifth-place finish in the Suburban One Continental and 11-9 record by winning the PIAA Class AAAA state championship. DeLany constantly ran on all cylinders for Souderton, making big plays at first base and coming up clutch at the plate from the cleanup spot. The senior cocaptain batted .322, knocked in 21 runs, and hit four home runs.

INFIELD

Paige Shelly

SOUDERTON

There's a reason that coaches call this third baseman a vacuum: Nothing gets by the senior. Consistently stopping balls that come her way and making throws with her rocket arm, Shelly sparked the Indians to the Suburban One Continental title and the Class AAAA state championship. At the plate, Shelly hit .368, knocking in 29 runs on 34 hits from the second spot in the order. She also had a team-leading on-base percentage of .471.

INFIELD

Caroline Schoenewald

CENTRAL BUCKS EAST

One of only two seniors for the Patriots, the Virginia Tech recruit moved from second base to shortstop this season and took on a much bigger leadership role. Schoenewald hit .400, leading the team in RBIs (16), on-base percentage (.522), slugging percentage (.727), and stolen bases (seven). Her discipline at the plate helped her to compile the fewest strikeouts on the team, and opposing teams often pitched around her, resulting in a team-leading 11 walks.

OUTFIELD

Amanda

Brush

SOUDERTON

Not many softball players in the area were more athletic than this senior centerfielder. Brush routinely tracked down balls all over the outfield, robbed opponents of hits, and cut balls off to keep opponents from getting extra bases. In the PIAA Class AAAA semifinals, she made two remarkable plays that kept her team in the game. At the plate, the senior, headed to Merrimack, hit .300 with 24 hits, 13 for extra bases.

OUTFIELD

Taylor

Winkelman

SPRINGFIELD (DELCO)

This season, the junior centerfielder proved herself to be not just one of the better outfielders but one of the best all-around players in the Central League for the conference-champion Cougars. Winkelman hit .472 with 30 RBIs and garnered 35 hits. Fifteen of those hits went for extra bases, including 10 home runs. Her consistency both at the plate and in the field helped Springfield win its first PIAA Class AAA state crown.

OUTFIELD

Erin Maher

NORTH PENN

The Maidens were 13-5 with Maher in the lineup and 4-3 while the senior was out injured. That says a lot about the cocaptain's value. An extremely athletic centerfielder, the Philadelphia University recruit hit better than .435 with an on-base percentage of more than .530 this season. Dangerous on the base paths and having an arm so strong that not many runners dared to test it, Maher was pivotal to North Penn's appearance in the District 1 Class AAAA final and berth in the state tournament.

MULTIPURPOSE

Nikki

Michalowski

ARCHBISHOP RYAN

The Hofstra recruit helped lead the Ragdolls to the Catholic League championship, the District 12 Class AAAA title, and the quarterfinals of the state tournament. The senior went 10-1 with a 1.45 ERA and a no-hitter as a pitcher and played shortstop when she wasn't in the circle. At the plate, she hit .482 with 11 extra-base hits, including four home runs. Michalowski knocked in 14 runs and scored 22, sparking Ryan to a 22-3 record.

MULTIPURPOSE

Mary Wallick

BRISTOL

A dynamo for the Warriors, the senior, headed to East Stroudsburg, batted .446 in 23 games, getting 33 hits and 34 RBIs. The three-time MVP of the Bicentennial Athletic League Independence Division, Wallick had five homers among her 19 extra-base hits. In the circle, the righthander won 16 games, helping her team win a fourth consecutive District 1 Class A title and reach the state semifinals for the first time in her high school career.

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