Video: Taylor McQuillin highlights
See Mission Viejo's Player of the Year candidate in action
The MaxPreps Softball Player of the Year watch list features 16 players and there are two pairs of teammates.
Not surprisingly, those two teams – Mission Viejo (Calif.) and Alexander Central (Taylorsville, N.C.) – are ranked at the top of the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Softball Rankings.
Heading the 2015 POY watch list are Mission Viejo's Taylor McQuillin and Alyssa Palomino, and ACHS's Vada Sherrill and Kiana Millsaps.
McQuillin, who pitches in Orange County (arguably one of the toughest regions on either side of the Mississippi), and Palomino (California's all-time home run leader with 53), have led Mission Viejo to 19 straight wins and 45 of its last 46.
Sherrill, who is hitting over .600 and averaging two runs scored per game, and Millsaps (who has won 60 games in a row), have been a key part of Alexander Central's state-record 85 straight wins and 19-0 season in 2015.
Not to be outdone, Samantha Show (East Bernard, Texas) has 23 wins, 306 strikeouts and has collected more hits than hits (55) she has allowed (34). Show's 17 home runs are tops in the nation this season.
MaxPreps midseason Softball Player of the Year watch list
P - Taylor McQuillin, Mission Viejo (Calif.), SR
McQuillin, who was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2014, has picked up where she left off a year ago and is 19-0 with 225 strikeouts in 119 innings. She has a 0.29 ERA and 14 games with double-digit strikeouts (11 with 14 or more). In addition to having 13 shutouts, she is also batting .365. She has signed with Arizona.OF - Alyssa Palomino, Mission Viejo (Calif.), SR
Palomino is batting .535 with 11 HRs, 28 RBIs, .625 on-base percentage, 25 runs and has walked 15 times. She is tied at 53 for first place all-time in California Interscholastic Federation softball competition. With McQuillin and Palomino, it's easy to understand why Mission Viejo has been ranked No. 1 the entire season. She has signed with Arizona.P - Samantha Show, East Bernard (Texas), SR
Show has led East Bernard to a 27-1 record hitting and pitching. In the circle, she is 23-1 with a 0.64 ERA and has 306 strikeouts in 142 innings. Opponents are hitting just .071 against her. Meanwhile, she is batting .743 with a national-high 17 homers. She also has 53 RBIs, has scored 47 runs and has 36 extra base hits in 28 games. She has seven no-hitters, 13 shutouts and has allowed just two hits since late March. She has signed with Texas A&M. P/UTIL – Samantha Worrell, Hagerty (Oviedo, Fla.), SR
There is a reason why the Huskies are 25-3, and a big part of that is their pitcher-third baseman who has a dozen home runs and 33 RBIs to go with her .493 batting average. In the circle, she is 9-1 with a 1.08 ERA and has 121 strikeouts in 71 Innings. Worrell has signed with the University of South Florida.SS - Alyssa DiCarlo, Mountain Ridge (Glendale, Ariz.), SR
DiCarlo is batting .701 and has 34 runs, 39 RBIs, 25 XBH, 7 HRs, .756 OBP and a 1.359 slugging percentage. DiCarlo, who has signed with Georgia, has not struck out this season and has a base hit in every game. In her last 61 games, she has gone hitless just three times.P-UTIL - Brittany Finney, Bishop Carroll (Wichita, Kan.), SR
Finney, who has signed with Oklahoma, hit three home runs in a recent game and is Kansas' all-time leader with 24 round-trippers. She is hitting .767, has scored 15 runs and has driven in 26 RBIs. Along with her six homers, she has a 6-0 record with 0.25 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 28 innings.SS - Aubrey Leach, The Woodlands (Texas), SR
Leach is the catalyst for the Highlanders, having scored 44 runs, driven in 22 and batting .652. In 22 games, she has 43 hits and 39 stolen bases. She has signed with Tennessee.SS - Hailey Lunderman, Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.), SR
Lunderman, who signed with Old Miss, is batting .656 with an on base percentage of .703. In leading the Rockets to a 22-1 season, she has 42 hits, 34 runs, 27 RBIs and has stolen 17 bases. She has struck out twice this season and committed just one error in 54 chances. She has a base hit in all but one game this season.
P - Tamara Statman, Horizon (Scottsdale, Ariz.), SR
pitching with leg stress, Statman has posted a 21-6 record and 13
shutouts with a 1.45 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 154 innings. She recently
became the first Arizona pitcher to surpass 1,000 strikeouts in a
career. The Arizona-bound senior is also hitting .547 with 20 extra base
hits and 23 RBIs. She has a base hit in all but one game this season
and is 17 for her last 24 in a six-game streak.IF - Vada Sherrill, Alexander Central (Taylorsville, N.C.), SR
Take a look at Sherrill's stats - .627 batting average, 26 stolen bases without being caught, 37 runs scored, .682 on base percentage and a .981 slugging percentage – and it's easy to see why the Cougars have won 85 games in a row. She has signed with Pfeiffer University.P - Kiana Millsaps, Alexander Central (Taylorsville, N.C.), SR
Another main reason the Cougars keep winning is Millsaps. She has yet to lose in high school (61-0 in the circle) and this year is 19-0 with a 0.07 ERA. In 89 innings she has 110 strikeouts, and just five walks. At the plate, she is batting .575 and has driven in 40 teammates. She has signed with Pfeiffer University.P - Taran Alvelo, Bloom-Carroll (Carroll, Ohio), SR
Alvelo, who has signed with Washington, is 4-1 with 114 strikeouts in 57 innings as BCHS has won eight of 10 to start the season. She has allowed 20 hits, three earned runs, and is hitting .583 with eight RBIs and has three homers. Her only loss was a three-hit, 11 strikeout performance and a 1-0 outcome. Twice she has struck out 17 in a game this season, once in a six-inning game.P - Rachel Garcia, Highland (Palmdale, Calif.), SR
The Bulldogs are off to a 16-1 start and mainly because Garcia is getting it done in the circle and at bat. In 91 innings, she has 198 strikeouts and a 0.31 ERA. She is batting .615 and has 32 hits, 26 RBIs with eight homers and a slugging percentage of 1.291. She has 13 games with 11 or more strikeouts, including 19 in 5-0 win over Oxnard. Garcia, who has signed with UCLA, is averaging over two strikeouts per inning during her four years at Highland.P - Tara Trainer, Lebanon (Ohio), SR
Trainer is 7-0 with six shutouts and has allowed one earned run (0.15 ERA) this season. In 47 innings, she has allowed nine hits and struck out 99. She also has 13 RBIs in 13 games and has .684 slugging percentage to go with a .421 batting average. She has signed with Indiana.P - Ragan Green, Laurel (Del.), SR
In recent no-hit win, Green struck out 18. She has allowed 18 hits in 57 innings pitched and just three earned runs (0.37 ERA). She has eight complete games, 119 strikeouts and just six walks. Green, who has signed with Mississippi State, has six shutouts and is 6-1. Laurel's cleanup hitter, she is batting .333 and slugging .667.P - Mary Williams, Cape Fear (Fayetteville, N.C.), SR
Williams, who is batting .550, hit three home runs in one game and is averaging two RBIs per game. However, it is her pitching that gains notice – she is 14-0 and in 69 innings, has 132 strikeouts and has not allowed a run. She has allowed just 13 hits on the season. Williams has combined to score or drive in 57 runs.