It didn't matter where her focus was — hitting or pitching — Lake City's Casey Stangel was in the spotlight.
When the season ended for Stangel and her state champion teammates, the spotlight brightened as she was named MaxPreps National Softball Player of the Year
In leading Lake City (Couer d'Alene, Idaho) to its second state title in three seasons, Stangel batted .640, drove in 64 runs and had 33 extra base hits, including 15 home runs. Despite walking 21 times, her slugging percentage was an off-the-chart 1.348.
As a pitcher, Stangel was 28-0, struck out 208 batters in 143 innings and for the fourth time in four years, was named the Inland Empire League's Most Valuable Player. Her ERA was 0.73.
Stangel, who has signed with Missouri, heads up the 2013 MaxPreps All-American softball team.
She is joined by T'Wolves teammates Vanessa Shippy (first team infielder) and Lindsey Willmon (second team catcher).
Shippy, a second baseman who has committed to Arkansas, batted .774 on the season and was a perfect in 54-for-54 in steals. She is one of 13 juniors named among the 60 players chosen.
Not to be outdone, four sophomores, have been named All-Americans this year, including Samantha Show of Pearland (Texas). Show batted and pitched her way onto the first unit when she posted a 36-4 record, struck out 357 batters and allowed just 47 hits and 16 walks in 183 innings pitched. At the plate, she batted .447 and drove in 68 runs.MaxPreps 2013 Softball All-American TeamPlayer of the Year - Casey Stangel, Lake City / StoryCoach of the Year - Penny Reece, Greenwood / Story
First TeamP - Casey Stangel, Lake City (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho), Senior
MaxPreps 2013 National Softball Player of the Year. Stangel was 28-0 in the circle and recorded 208 strikeouts in 144 innings. She also batted .640, drove in 64 runs and had 33 extra base hits, including 15 home runs. Despite walking 21 times, her slugging percentage was an off-the-chart 1.348. She has signed with Missouri.P - Jess Cummings, Northern (Owings, Md.), Junior
The junior right-hander led the Patriots to MaxPreps' mythical national title and a third straight unbeaten season. She was 22-0 with 21 shutouts and allowed only one unearned run. Cummings posted a 0.00 ERA and 298 strikeouts in 135 innings pitched. She threw nine no-hitters, including two perfect games, and held opponents to a .041 batting average. She has committed to Penn State.P - Tori Finucane, Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.), Senior
A two-time Gatorade State Player of the Year, the 5-foot-7 senior right-handed pitcher led the Knights (30-1) to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament title and the Virginia Independent Schools state championship this past season, both for a second straight year. Finucane posted a 26-1 record with one save, a 0.21 ERA and 341 strikeouts in 164 innings pitched. She allowed 40 hits and walked 31 batters with nine no-hitters, including five perfect games. At the plate, the two-time WCAC Player of the Year batted .554 with six home runs, seven triples, 45 RBIs and a 1.054 slugging percentage. She has signed with Missouri.
P - Johanna Grauer, Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.), Junior
She ended up 22-2 with a 0.08 ERA and only two earned runs given up and 39 hits allowed in 152 innings pitched, and she also struck out 274 batters. Besides pitching the one perfect game this season, Grauer pitched three no-hitters and eight one-hitters. As a batter, after struggling with a batting average below .200 until midway through league, she ended up at .328 on the season. She has committed to Arizona State.P - Carley Hoover, Daniel (Central, S.C.), Senior
The 6-foot-2 senior right-handed pitcher led the Lions (24-4) to the Class 3A state championship this past season. The National Gatorade Player of the Year, Hoover posted a 16-4 record in the circle with a 0.15 ERA and 338 strikeouts in 138 innings this past season. A four-time All-State selection and the High School Sports Report Class 3A Player of the Year, Hoover batted .500 with four home runs and 45 runs scored. She holds the national record for being walked at 157. She will attend Stanford.Read Tom Mauldin's feature on Carley Hoover
P - Valerie Kaff, Mountain View (Mesa, Ariz.), Senior
The 5-foot-7 senior right-handed pitcher posted a 27-7 record in the circle along with a 0.84 ERA this past season, leading the Toros (27-8) to the Division I state tournament loser's bracket final. Kaff struck out 431 batters and walked just 65 in 216.2 innings pitched to go with 16 shutouts and two no-hitters. At the plate, Kaff batted .310 with two home runs, 18 RBIs and a .406 on-base percentage.
P - Erica Romero , Santiago (Corona, Calif.), Senior
30-5 in the circle with a 0.74 ERA and 274 strikeouts for a Santiago team that beat Kylie Reed's Norco team 8-2 in this year's CIF SS Division I final. The Sharks, in fact, beat Norco three times during the season. Romero, who is headed to San Diego State, was also the winning pitcher as a sophomore in 2011 in the CIF SS Division I final.P - Ashley Thompson, Connell (Wash.), Senior
The 6-foot-2 senior right-handed pitcher led the Eagles (27-0) to a third straight Class 1A state championship this past season. Thompson posted a 27-0 record with a 0.19 ERA and 345 strikeouts in 144 innings pitched. Thompson notched 11 no-hitters — including seven in a row — and allowed just 22 hits. At the plate, Thompson batted .667 with 13 home runs, 63 runs scored, 53 RBIs and 48 walks, compiling an on-base percentage of .789 and a slugging percentage of 1.550. She concluded her prep career with a state-record 1,117 strikeouts and a state-record 51 home runs at the plate. A BYU signee, Thompson was Washington's Gatorade Player of the Year. P - Samantha Show, Pearland (Texas), Sophomore
The 6-foot-1 sophomore right-handed pitcher posted a 36-4 record in the circle along with a 0.65 ERA this past season, leading the Oilers (36-4) to the Class 5A, Region 3 quarterfinals. Show struck out 357 batters and allowed just 47 hits and 61 walks in 183 innings pitched. At the plate, the District 22-5A MVP batted .447 with nine home runs, 16 doubles, 68 RBIs and an .877 slugging percentage. Texas A&M commit.
P - Shannon Smith, Milford (Mass.), Senior
A three-time Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, Smith led the Scarlet Hawks to a 21-1 record. The 5-foot-7 senior right-handed pitcher owned a 20-1 record with a 0.05 ERA and 293 strikeouts against only six walks in 138 innings pitched entering the sectional round of eight. The three-time returning Mid-Wach A League MVP batted .486 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs through 22 games. Smith led Milford to the 2012 Division 1 state title as a junior. Her 1,154 career strikeouts are a state record. Kentucky bound.C - Jillian Ferraro, Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.), Senior
Ferraro teamed with Finucane to lead the Knights to another state title as she batted .540, drove in 51 runs and had a slugging percentage of .714. Her on-base percentage was nearly .600 and she committed just two errors and sported a .994 fielding average. She will attend North Carolina.C - Ally Vergona, Immaculate Heart Academy (Washington Township, N.J.), Senior
Batted .446, drove in 29 runs and handled All-American Steph Thomas. Of Vergona's 45 hits, 24 went for extra bases. She committed just two errors in 280 chances. During Vergona's four-year varsity career, IHA won 115 games and lost only 15. She will attend UNC-Greensboro.C - Sahvanna Jaquish, Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.), Senior
She'll be at Louisiana State next year, but she dented many a softball in the process. She batted .548 with 11 home runs, 48 RBIs and 25 runs scored. The first-team all CIF-SS Division 2 player also drew 16 walks and had a 1.786 OPS.1B - Cassie McClure, Kingwood (Texas), Senior
McClure, who will play at Texas Tech next season, earned a 25-3 record in the circle for the Lady Mustangs while also being named the District 13-5A Most Valuable Player award as well as earning all-state honors and was named top Texas 2013 Softball Player. She totaled 128 strikeouts in 149 1/3 innings of work. She also performed at the plate, where she smacked 10 home runs with 48 RBIs and a .477 batting average.1B - Allison Stewart, Olathe East (Kan.), Junior
A two-time Gatorade State Player of the Year, the 5-foot-11 junior right-handed pitcher and first baseman led the Hawks (24-1) to a second straight Class 6A state championship. Stewart batted .487 with two home runs, 42 RBIs and a .713 slugging percentage. In the circle, the Sunflower League Player of the Year posted a 13-1 record with a 0.39 ERA and 164 strikeouts against just two walks in 90.1 innings pitched. She struck out 17 batters and had a walk-off single in Olathe East's 2-1, nine-inning win over Derby High in the state semifinals. She has committed to Arkansas. IF - Marisa Runyon, Carolina Forest (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), Senior
Hit .703 with 42 RBIs, 11 home runs and 16 doubles this spring. Named to the Class AAAA All-State team and the North-South All-Star game roster. Was also named the Region VI-AAAA player of the year. She has signed with Alabama.IF - Kylie Reed, Norco (Calif.), Senior
Reed finished with a .563 batting average, a new CIF Southern Section record of 72 hits and a top five all-time state total of 210 career hits. The Cal-bound shortstop had 66 hits last season as a junior when Norco was the No. 1 team in the nation and also scored 40 runs for the second straight year.
IF - Vanessa Shippy, Lake City (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho), Junior
The second baseman put up numbers that made her a finalist for Junior Player of the Year as she batted .733 with an on base pct. of .774 in 28 games. She had 70 hits, scored 69 runs, drove in 30 teammates and was not caught stealing in 54 tries. She had 21 extra base hits and played a key role in Lake City winning its second state title in three years. She has committed to Arkansas.IF - Jenna Lilley, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), Junior
The 5-foot-4 junior shortstop led the Crimson Tide to a 32-0 record and the Division I semifinals. Lilley batted .697 with seven home runs, 53 RBIs and 46 runs scored in 32 games. A 2012 First Team All-State selection, she has produced an .804 on-base percentage and a 1.303 slugging percentage. She has committed to Oregon.IF - Savannah Horvath, Centennial (Las Vegas), Junior
The 5-foot-8 junior third baseman led the Bulldogs (36-6) to the Class 4A state championship this past season. Horvath batted .585 with 17 home runs, 64 runs scored and a state record-tying 87 RBIs. She is a first team All-State selection and the Las Vegas Review-Journal Player of the Year.
IF - Abby Ramirez, Trinity (River Forest, Ill.), Senior
The 5-foot-4 senior shortstop batted .596 with 20 home runs and 48 RBIs this past season, leading the Blazers (28-5) to the Class 4A sectional finals. A two-time returning First Team All-State selection as named by the Chicago Tribune, Ramirez scored 60 runs in addition to collecting 20 stolen bases, 12 doubles and five triples. A Preseason MaxPreps Second Team All-American, she produced a .644 on-base percentage and a 1.519 slugging percentage in 2013. Her 20 home runs set a new single-season Class 4A record. Next stop: Michigan.
IF - Morgan Zerkle, Cabell Midland (Ona, W. Va.), Senior
The 5-foot-7 senior third baseman led the Knights (26-6) to the Class AAA regional semifinals this past season. Zerkle batted .651 with 61 runs scored, four home runs, eight triples and 23 RBIs. She is the Mountain State Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a two-time First Team All-State selection. She will attend Marshall.IF - Ali Aguilar, Casa Roble (Orangevale, Calif.), Senior
Aguilar batted .500, with 12 doubles, eight home runs and 30 RBIs. She had the game-winning hit or scored the winning run in each game as the Rams went 4-0 in the section Division II playoffs. In her final high school game, Aguilar hit two home runs in the Optimist All-Star game. Aguilar led Casa Roble to three Sac-Joaquin Section softball championships. She was the only high school player selected for the Under-19 USA Team that competes this summer. She will attend Washington.
IF - Peyton Grantham, Daphne (Ala.), Senior
Grantham homered 25 times and drove in 85 runs while batting .550 and slugging 1.264. She also scored 75 times and homered twice in five games. She walked 44 times. A shortstop, Grantham was named Alabama's Top 6A Hitter. She will attend Alabama.
OF - Maeve McGuire, Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.), Senior
McGuire wrapped up her senior season with 51 RBIs, 20 extra base hits, 45 runs scored, 26 base on balls and a .513 batting average. Her on-base was .625 and slugging .937. She is headed to Georgia. OF - Jazmyn Jackson, Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.), Junior
Led Mitty with big numbers — .532 batting average, 41 runs, 50 hits, 28 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. She went hitless in only two games for the 27-1 Monarchs. She has committed to Cal.
OF - Sarah Bencivenga, Toms River East (Toms River, N.J.), Senior
Perennial honoree with .500 average, 44 hits, 29 RBIs, 41 runs scored and defensive wizard. Baserunners quit challenging her arm in 2013 after she recorded 26 assists as a junior. She homered eight times, belted 14 doubles and slugging pct. was .932. She will attend Delaware.
OF - Alyssa Palomino, Mission Viejo (Calif.), Sophomore
Palomino's 18 home runs, which tied for the state lead this season, and will get her a place in the state record books, came against some of the state's best pitchers. Besides the 18 homers, she hit .522 with nine doubles, two triples, 33 RBIs and 50 runs scored. The Orange County Register's Player of the Year has committed to Arizona.OF - Amanda Lorenz, Moorpark (Calif.), Sophomore
The 5-foot-5 sophomore center fielder was a pitcher's nightmare from the leadoff spot. Lorenz batted .625 with 50 hits, 17 home runs, nine doubles, 45 runs scored and 40 RBIs. She had a slugging percentage of 1.375 and made no errors on defense to help Moorpark capture its first outright Marmonte League title. Lorenz was named the league's Most Valuable Player and was a first team All-CIF selection. Lorenz has committed to the University of Florida.UT - Kasey Cooper, Dothan (Ala.), Senior
The 5-foot-4 senior right-handed pitcher and shortstop led the Tigers (45-17) to the Class 6A state tournament this past season. Cooper posted a 28-11 record and a 1.23 ERA in the circle, compiling 382 strikeouts in 233.1 innings pitched. She also hit .583 with 22 home runs, 24 doubles, seven triples, 77 RBIs, 87 runs scored and 22 stolen bases. Cooper is a two-time member of the Super All-State Team and was selected Class 6A Player of the Year as a junior. Auburn bound.
UT - Sierra Hyland, El Diamante (Visalia, Calif.), Senior
A four-time Tulare County Player of the Year, Hyland posted a 24-1 record in the circle, raising her career win total to 101, three shy of the Central Section record. She ranked No. 3 in the Valley with 221 strikeouts in 169.2 innings and No. 9 with a 1.16 ERA. In the batter's box she hit seven home runs, raising her career total to 28, two shy of the Central Section record. The Cal-Poly commit ranked No. 20 in the Valley with 37 RBIs while batting .490/.528/.917 with 37 runs scored.