MaxPreps 2018 Preseason All-American Softball Team

tom mauldin | Tuesday, February 20, 2018 2:00pm

Junior, sophomore and freshman Players of the Year highlight super squad of 38 from 17 states.

Video: Softball pitcher strikes out all 21 in perfect game
Preseason All-American Mia Fiaeta of Cedar Grove, N.J., tosses a "perfect" perfect game last season.

Three members of the U.S. Junior National Girls team highlight the 2018 MaxPreps Preseason All-American softball squad.

The three include MaxPreps 2017 National Junior Player of the Year Kat Sandercock, along with Bailey Klinger and junior Alexis Kilfoyl.

Fiona Girardot, the MaxPreps 2017 National Sophomore of the Year, and Jayda Coleman, the 2017 National Freshman of the Year, also were selected to the preseason team. Coleman is one of three sophomores included for preseason honors.

The team has 38 players representing all sizes of schools — from 4,350 enrollment West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.) to 195 enrollment for Greenwood Junior-Senior (Wisc.).

California leads the way with eight selections, followed by Texas and Arizona with five each and Illinois with four. The team has players from 17 states, including three sophomores, six juniors and 29 seniors.

Oak Park-River Forest (Oak Park, Ill.) has two selections in senior Maeve Nelson and Girardot. The infielders combined for 119 RBIs and 117 runs scored in 2017 as OakPark-River Forest won the state large school title.

The dozen pitchers selected combined to strike out more than two batters per inning and won 300 games while losing just 33. Their combined ERA was under 1.00 and they totaled more than 60 no-hitters pitched in 2017.

The five catchers chosen averaged 15 homers, combined to hit over .600 and drove in more than 250 runs.

Defending national NCAA champion Oklahoma has signed or has commitments from five of the preseason All-Americans.

MaxPreps 2018 Preseason All-American Softball Team
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
P — Katheryn Sandercock, Bishop O'Connell (Arlington, Va.), Sr.
Sandercock, a member of the U.S. Junior National Girls Team, was 26-0 with a 0.09 ERA and 330 strikeouts in 151 innings for the Knights (27-0), who won the 2017 Virginia Independent School Athletic Association DI title. She tossed eight no-hitters, five one-hitters and allowed 35 hits on the season. At the plate, Sandercock hit .471 with eight home runs, 25 extra-base hits, 57 RBIs and a 1.023 slugging percentage. Sandercock has signed with James Madison.

P — Montana Fouts, East Carter (Grayson, Ky.), Sr.
Fouts, who has signed with Alabama, led the Raiders to a 36-5 season and a 3-2 state showing. She totaled 448 strikeouts in 212 innings to go with a 0.43 ERA and 29 wins. Fouts is a two-time state Gatorade Player of the Year winner. She also was a force in the batter's box, hitting .567 with a 1.017 slugging percentage, 12 home runs, 16 doubles and 66 RBIs.

P — Megan Faraimo, Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), Sr.
Faraimo finished the season 27-1, including a 3-0, 10-inning win over Ramona in the California Interscholastic Federation's San Diego Section Open Division title game. She had 251 strikeouts and walked only 12 in 175 innings with 14 shutouts, 22 complete games and a 0.60 ERA. The UCLA commit also hit .402 with 26 RBIs.

P — Danielle Williams, Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.), Sr.
The Missouri signee led the Dons to a deep playoff run by batting .456. But it was her pitching that boosted Amador Valley most. She won 21 games and struck out 245 in 144 innings with a 0.53 ERA. Williams allowed 11 runs, 46 base hits and one home run.

P — Tristan Bridges, Krum (Texas), Sr.
Bridges led Krum to a 4A title and 40-5 record. The Tarleton State signee won 35 games and posted a 0.47 ERA. with 305 strikeouts in 225 innings. She also batted .419 with 15 doubles. She was first team All-State and MVP of the state 4A tournament.

P — Nicole May, Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.), So.
An Oklahoma commit, May lead Foothill to the CIF North Coast Section DI championship. Along the way, she struck out 293 batters and finished with a 0.84 ERA. She was selected to the first team All-Star team by the All-Bay Area News Group.

P — Ashley Rogers, Meigs County (Decatur, Tenn.), Sr.
Signed by Tennessee, Rogers was 33-3 with a 0.27 ERA (441 strikeouts, 10 walks in 208 innings) leading Meigs County to a Class A state title last year. She also hit .406 with seven homers and 45 RBIs. She was the state softball Gatorade honoree.

P — Mia Faieta, Cedar Grove (N.J.), Jr.
In 2017, Faieta pitched the "perfect" perfect game as she struck out every batter she faced. It was one of four no-hitters she threw on the season. She had a state-best 384 strikeouts and 18 earned runs allowed in 176 innings to lead Cedar Grove to Small Group 1 state title. Faieta finished the season with three no-hitters at the state tournament. The St. John's commit also threw out the first pitch prior to a New York Yankees game.

P — Alexis Kilfoyl, Academy at the Lakes (Land O' Lakes, Fla.), Jr.
The 6-foot-2, power-hitting pitcher should be better than ever after spending the summer playing for the U.S. Junior National Girls Team. In leading the Wildcats to a 20-3 record in 2017, Kilfoyl was 16-3 with a 0.85 ERA and recorded 201 strikeouts in 115 innings. She had almost as many runs batted in, 36, as base hits she allowed. Kilfoyl, who batted .517, has committed to Alabama.

P — Kelly Nelson, Norton (Mass.), Sr.
Nelson led Norton to state semifinal game where she lost despite striking out 28 in 12 innings. She finished the season 21-2 with a 0.21 ERA and struck out 398 in 166 innings. In her other loss (1-0), she allowed one hit and struck out 17. She allowed 31 hits and tossed 18 shutouts and seven no-hitters in 2017. She also hit .372 with 24 RBIs. She struck out 20 or more in a game seven times. She was named state Gatorade Player of the Year and has committed to Massachusetts-Lowell.

P — Brooke Vestal, Canyon (New Braunfels, Texas), Sr.
In 2017, Vestal posted a 1.31 ERA with 244 strikeouts and an 18-6 record in 144.0 innings. She hit .381 with 33 RBIs and eight home runs. In 2016, Vestal went 25-8 with a 1.73 ERA and 346 strikeouts in 210.0 innings pitched and hit .432 with 41 RBIs and 10 home runs. She has signed with Oklahoma.

P — Camryn Dolby, Woodgrove (Purcellville, Va.), Sr.
Chosen the state 4A Player of the Year, Dolby led Woodgrove to an unbeaten season (23-0) and the state 4A championship. Dolby, who has signed with Boston College, allowed one earned run in her first 120 innings. She went 8-0 in the postseason and finished the year with 287 strikeouts in 134 innings.

C — Allysa Shipman, Valencia (Calif.), Sr.
The Tennessee recruit batted .613 with a .726 on-base percentage and a 1.363 slugging percentage. She hit 15 home runs and walked 33 times with no strikeouts in 113 at-bats as the Vikings went 24-8.

C — Kinzie Hansen, Norco (Calif.), Jr.
Hansen was the battery-mate for the MaxPreps 2017 National Player of the Year Taylor Dockins when Norco won 33 of 34 games. Hansen batted .456 with 15 extra base hits and had team highs with 43 RBIs and 47 hits. Hanson has committed to Oklahoma.

C — Jordyn Rudd, Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), Sr.
Rudd hit .667 with 58 RBIs and collected 62 hits, including 15 home runs. The Northwestern University signee led the Trojans to their second regional title in three years. Rudd was named first team All-State and the Daily Journal's Player of the Year.

C — Erin Bengston, Grant (Fox Lake, Ill.), Sr.
Bengston, a Holy Cross recruit, ripped 22 home runs with 70 RBIs and batted .596 with a 1.431 slugging percentage. She was named Class 4A Illinois Coaches Association first team All-State.

C — Riley Cantrell, Berkner (Richardson, Texas), Sr.
The Oklahoma State signee hit .687 with 15 homers, 58 RBIs, 48 runs and 19 steals in leading Berkner to 19 wins. Cantrell, named All-State, had 30 extra-base hits in 25 games.

IF — Jayda Coleman, The Colony (Texas), So.
Coleman — the only freshman named to the 2017 at-large All-American team last year — led the Dallas-Fort Worth area in runs scored (74) and stolen bases (53), tied for first in hits (81) and ranked second in batting average (.653). The District 14-5A MVP also ranked among area leaders with 12 home runs, and she had 17 doubles, six triples and 32 RBIs in 40 games. She has committed to Oklahoma.

IF — Silent Rain Espinoza, Christian (El Cajon, Calif.), Sr.
Espinoza had another big year with 62 hits, 64 runs, 34 RBIs, 19 doubles and nine homers. She batted .569, had an on-base percentage of .647 and slugged 1.045. She also stole 15 bases as the Patriots went 26-9-1 and won the CIF San Diego Section D3 title. She has signed with Washington.

IF — Maeve Nelson, Oak Park-River Forest (Oak Park, Ill.), Sr.
Even though teams pitched around Nelson, she put up big numbers for the Huskies — .514 batting average, 12 homers, 61 RBIs and 60 runs as the Huskies won the state large school state title. A first team All-State pick, Nelson has signed with Northwestern.

IF — Fiona Girardot, Oak Park-River Forest (Oak Park, Ill.), Jr.
Girardot finished 2017 with a .603 average (70 hits), 22 doubles and 59 RBIs. She also scored 56 times and played a key role in leading the Huskies to a 37-1 season and the class 4A title. Girardot, who was the only sophomore to be named to the 2017 at-large MaxPreps All-American team, has committed to Wisconsin.

IF — Kaylee Learman, Greenwood (Wis.), Sr.
Learman, who was named the D5 Player of the Year by the Wisconsin Fastpitch Coaches Association, went 48-for-64 last spring for a .750 batting average. She hit as many home runs — 16 — as she made outs. She also drove in 53 RBIs in 17 games.

IF — Lauren Esman, Gull Lake (Richland, Mich.), Jr.
Esman posted a .692 batting average with 21 home runs, 91 RBIs, 24 doubles, 81 hits and 74 runs scored. Her home-run total was one shy of the state record. She also was 15-11 record with 178 strikeouts and a 2.02 ERA as a pitcher. Esman has committed to Central Michigan.

IF — Baylee Klingler, Dickinson (Texas), Sr.
Another member of the U.S. Junior National Girls Team, Klinger batted .584 and had a 1.217 slugging percentage in leading Dickinson to a 27-7 season. The future Texas A&M Aggie had 33 extra base hits in as many games, including 14 doubles and a dozen homers. She accounted for 97 runs (54 RBIs).

IF — Ashley Prange, New Palestine (Ind.), Sr.
The Dragons All-State selection hit a state-leading 21 home runs and batted .552 in leading New Palestine to the 3A state title in 2017. She also led the state in RBIs (67) and runs (59) while collecting 71 hits, 36 of which went for extra-bases. She has signed with Ohio State.

IF — Lauren Mills, Seaman (Topeka, Kan.), Sr.
The All-State Mills hit .771 with 16 home runs and 39 RBIs. Mills was walked 36 times and had an on-base percentage of .860 and a 2.041 slugging percentage. Despite the walks, she had 16 multi-hit games. She was 8-2 as a pitcher with a 3.88 ERA. She has signed with Wichita State.

IF — Rachel Cid, Tracy (Calif.), Sr.
Cid won her league's triple crown (and more) with a batting average (.593), home runs (eight), slugging percentage (1.065), RBIs (55) and on-base percentage (.639). She also committed just two errors in 100 field chances. Cid has signed with Oregon.

IF — Carly Wagers, Williamsburg (Ohio), Sr.
Wagers hit and pitched the Wildcats to the state D4 title game. She set state records with 23 home runs and 86 RBIs while batting .646 with a 1.531 slugging percentage. As a pitcher, Wagers produced an 18-1 record with a 0.40 ERA and 268 strikeouts in 122 innings. She was Ohio's Gatorade softball Player of the Year.

IF — Bailey Dowling, St. Joseph-Ogden (St. Joseph, Ill.), So.
As a freshman in 2017, Dowling made a major impact on state softball when she hit .655 with 22 home runs (second best in state history), 14 doubles, five triples, 70 runs, 78 hits and 66 RBIs. A unanimous first team 2A All-State performer, Dowling has committed to Alabama.

IF — Grace Lyons, O'Connor (Phoenix), Sr.
Signed with Oklahoma, Lyons hit .526 in 2017 with 47 runs scored, 35 runs batted in, seven home runs, 14 doubles, three triples and nine stolen bases as a junior. In three varsity seasons, she has accounted for 254 runs in 114 games.

OF — Lexie Blair, West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.), Sr.
Blair had 17 multi-hit games for back-to-back Class 9A state champions. In the final three games of the 2017 postseason, she was 7-for-11 with six RBIs, three doubles, one triple and an inside-the-park home run. She led the Warriors in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.515), hits (53), runs scored (43), RBIs (39) and doubles (15). She has signed with Michigan.

OF — Kiersten Landers, Hurricane (W. Va.), Sr.
Landers, who has signed with Florida, set the table for the high-ranking Indians with a .573 batting average, five triples, 39 stolen bases and 63 runs scored. Landers played a key role in Hurricane's 2017 No. 6 national ranking and large school state title. She was first team All-State.

OF — Madison Huskey, Gahr (Cerritos, Calif.), Sr.
Huskey led Gahr to a 26-1 season as she hit .549 with 53 RBIs and 43 runs scored. She homered 16 times and doubled 15 times to finish with a 1.263 slugging percentage. She did not commit an error and was honored by being named all-California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section's D2 top player. She has signed with Washington.

OF — Taylor Gindlesperger, Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), Sr.
Gindlesperger played key role in leading Hamilton to large school state title as she batted .555 with nine home runs 71 hits, 50 RBIs, 51 runs scored, 21 doubles and stole 18 bases. Signed by Stanford, she was named first team All-Arizona.

OF — Rachel Hammons, Bourgade Catholic (Phoenix), Sr.
Hammons had another big season as she batted .658, scored 76 runs, drove in 32 and stole 68 bases. She was the catalyst that led the 28-6 Golden Eagles to the state 2A silver trophy as she earned All-State honors. Hammons, who has signed with Grand Canyon, has 230 hits in 96 games and has stolen 186 bases and scored 210 runs.

UTIL — Rylan Austin, North Medford (Ore.), Sr.
Austin was 24-1 in the circle as the Black Tornado went 30-1 and won the state large school title. She also batted better than .500 and drove in 48 runs. A first team All-State choice, Austin has signed with Montana State-Billings.

UTIL — Marissa Schuld, Pinnacle (Phoenix), Sr.
Schuld, who has signed with Arizona, led the Pioneers (34-2), to the runner-up in the Arizona Conference 6A state tournament. She was 22-1 with a 0.80 ERA, striking out 248 batters in 131 innings. Schuld also hit .505 with 15 home runs, 57 RBIs and a 1.064 slugging percentage. She was Arizona's 2017 Gatorade winner.

UTIL — Alynah Torres, Cactus (Glendale, Ariz.), Jr.
In just two seasons, the two-time All-State pick Torres has amassed 140 hits, a .603 batting average, scored 113 times and driven in 134. Last season, she hit .617 with 71 hits, 71 RBIs, 56 runs and had a base hit in all but one game. Committed to Arizona State, Torres was the 2016 MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year.