All-State Softball: First Team

Among those chosen first team overall for the 33rd annual all-state teams for softball are (l-r, top) Falepolima Aviu, Jamie Wren and Amanda Lorenz along with (l-r, bottom) Caitlyn Brooks, Taylor Pack and Danielle Williams. Photos: FloSoftball.com, Miguel Pola, FloSoftball.com, FloSoftball.com, courtesy family & Harold Abend.

Among those chosen first team overall for the 33rd annual all-state teams for softball are (l-r, top) Falepolima Aviu, Jamie Wren and Amanda Lorenz along with (l-r, bottom) Caitlyn Brooks, Taylor Pack and Danielle Williams. Photos: FloSoftball.com, Miguel Pola, FloSoftball.com, FloSoftball.com, courtesy family & Harold Abend.

In some years, we have had to scramble to list the mininum of three outfielders. A great crop of outfielders this year (seven in all made it), however, forced us to go with lower totals in other positions. Here’s finally our own prep version of a super 30 all-star squad of the top California girls softball players from the 2015 season. This is the 33rd consecutive year of the Cal-Hi Sports all-state teams and we wish all graduating seniors the best of luck.

For the all-state second and third teams, CLICK HERE.
For the all-state underclass teams, CLICK HERE.
For the all-state small & medium school teams, CLICK HERE.
For Gold Club post of our all-time all-state first team softball archive back to 1992 (with second team back to 2003), CLICK HERE.

Note: We’ll have an inside look at this year’s all-state softball teams after all of the teams are chosen, including names of players we really wanted to pick but couldn’t. That post plus a brand new archive of all-state first team picks back to 1992 (which also has been added to the site today) is for Gold Club members only. To join our team today, CLICK HERE.

Congratulations to these players who’ve been named first team overall for the 33rd annual Cal-Hi Sports all-state softball honors program:
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CATCHERS

Paige Halstead
(Los Osos, Rancho Cucamonga) Sr.

Hitting .568 with 36 runs batted in and 38 runs scored, she was considered to be one of the top catchers not just in the state but in the nation. In 98 games played in her high school career over three seasons, Paige hit for a .519 average with 87 RBI, 91 runs and 14 home runs. She recently played with the Junior Women’s National Softball Team at the World Cup of Softball and is signed to play in college at UCLA.

Abby Lockman (Norco) Sr.
The sister of former State Player of the Year Emily Lockman led the CIF Southern Section Division I champion Cougars with a .457 average, a program-record 14 homers and 38 RBI. She hit three home runs against Saugus’ Mariah Lopez, one of the nation’s top pitchers in the 2016 class. Headed to Tennessee, Lockman already has been chosen as the Riverside Press-Enterprise Position Player of the Year.

Taylor Pack (Sutter) Sr.
She was basically runner-up to Zoe Casas of San Bernardino Aquinas as the State Small Schools Player of the Year and also to Mia Camuso of Shasta as the Player of the Year in the Northern Section (at least that’s how we pegged it). Both of those players are first team overall and so is Pack. An infielder last season, Pack was primarily a catcher this season and the UCLA-bound standout helped deliver a third straight section title for the Huskies. She batted .551 with eight homers, 45 RBI and 57 runs scored. For her career, Pack racked up a .552 average with 25 homers, 164 RBI and 154 runs scored. She also makes the Cal-Hi Sports state record book with 223 career hits.

Cameryn Reichle (Clovis) Sr.
The Fresno Bee Player of the Year helped lift Clovis to the CIF Central Section Division I title with her hitting and her presence behind the plate, especially with freshman pitcher Danielle Lung (who by the end of the season was dominant). Reichle set a school record with 54 RBI and also joined former State Player of the Year Amanda Scott as the only players in school history with at least 30 runs scored and 30 RBI for one season. Riechle, headed to Fresno State, also batted .468 with seven doubles, three triples and two homers.

PITCHERS

Holly Azevedo (Pioneer, San Jose) Soph.
“One of the most dominating seasons in the annals of Central Coast Section softball” is how the San Jose Mercury-News described Holly’s sophomore season as it named her its player of the year before she was also named as our State Sophomore of the Year. Going 28-1 in the circle with a 0.04 ERA for the Mustangs, she only allowed just one earned run all season and that came during a 1-0 loss to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in the CCS Division II finals. Committed to UCLA, she struck out 256 batters in 177 innings while also hitting .383 at the plate.

Westlake's Meehra Nelson averaged nearly two strikeouts per game the last two seasons. Photo: Courtesy school.

Westlake’s Meehra Nelson averaged nearly two strikeouts per game the last two seasons. Photo: Courtesy school.


Brooke Bolinger (Yucaipa) Sr.
Another obvious choice for this team as a finalist for Ms. Softball State Player of the Year, Bolinger 31-3 in the circle, tying the Inland record for victories in a single season. She also posted a 0.26 ERA and led the Inland area with 306 strikeouts. In the CIFSS D2 playoffs alone, Bolinger went 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA. She also batted .368 with 19 RBI. Headed to Reno to play at the University of Nevada, Bolinger also was the Riverside Press-Enterprise Pitcher of the Year and San Bernardino Sun Player of the Year.

Taylor McQuillin (Mission Viejo) Sr.
We could have listed Taylor in the multi-purpose category since her hitting was much improved this season, but she’s obviously a pitcher first and foremost as her 55-2 record shows. Our Ms. Softball State Player of the Year actually had an even better season this year than she did last season when she was named as our State Junior of the Year and the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Prior to the loss to Yucaipa in the final game of the season, she had won 35 straight decisions and ended her career with 103 wins and 1,251 strikeouts. Her season totals this year also saw her go 30-1 in the circle with a 0.31 ERA and 389 strikeouts in 206 innings while also hitting .352.

Meehra Nelson (Westlake, Westlake Village) Sr.
Named as the Marmonte League Pitcher of the Year, Nelson went 21-9 with a 1.21 ERA for the Warriors. Pitching 182.3 innings, she recorded 337 strikeouts while walking just 35 batters all season and shined in the postseason with 54 strikeouts in 34 innings. The L.A. Daily News All-Area pick will be headed to play next year at Oregon State.

Kourtney Shaw (Poway) Sr.
With the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship on the line, it was this Cal-bound standout who led her team to victory like she had all season long. Shaw finished 22-5 with a 1.43 ERA on the year. During the season, she also had 170 strikeouts and had three no hitters including one in the postseason. Committed to Cal since her sophomore season, she was named last year to our All-State Underclass second team. She was also named the CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year.

INFIELD

Cherish Burks (East Union, Manteca) Sr.
Before she heads to the University of Oregon next season, Burks adds another honor to her bio list. Already named the Modesto Bee’s Player of the Year, she was a big part of the Lancers capturing the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship. A run scoring machine, she scored 52 runs in 31 games while hitting .550 with four home runs, three triples, 15 doubles and 31 runs batted in. She also walked 14 times and was a perfect 10 for 10 on stolen base attempts.

Joelle Krist of Petaluma will play next at the University of Arizona. Photo: Harold Abend.

Joelle Krist of Petaluma will play next at the University of Arizona. Photo: Harold Abend.


Mia Camuso (Shasta, Redding) Jr.
Setting a CIF Northern Section record for home runs in a season with 16 while hitting .604 with 61 runs batted in, she was named at the end of June as our State Junior Player of the Year and now adds an All-State first team selection to her list of honors. Winning the triple crown among large schools in the Northern Section, this University of Oregon commit led her team to the Division III section finals and was the first player ever from the Northern Section to be named as our State Junior of the Year.

Nichole Fry (Santiago, Corona) Sr.
It was too hard not to have yet another Corona Santiago player get first team honors. Fry batted .529 and led the team with 55 hits, 40 runs and 13 home runs. She also tied for the Riverside County lead with 51 RBI and led Riverside County with 16 doubles. The Long Beach State recruit also was the Big VIII League’s co-MVP.

Shay Knighten (Sunny Hills, Fullerton) Sr.
Called “one of the slickest fielding middle infielders in the area” by the Orange County Register, Knighten was an All-County pick who hit .494 with 30 runs batted in and 34 runs scored. Striking out just twice in 102 bats, this shortstop made a habit to not only get on base but drive in runs with power all season long with 12 doubles and seven home runs. The nationally ranked recruit also will be headed to play next season with the powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners.

Joelle Krist (Petaluma) Sr.
All-Americans Taylor McQuillin and Alyssa Palomino of Mission Viejo aren’t the only California girls headed to play next at the University of Arizona. Krist also is bound for the desert and does so as the Redwood Empire Player of the Year and Redwood Empire Athlete of the Year. The four-year standout batted .529 for the second straight season and had just as many RBI (46 to 47) as last year. She struck out just three times all year and committed only one error.

Morgan Lamb (Elk Grove) Sr.
The Sacramento Bee Softball Player of the Year hit .562 with seven doubles, four home runs and 42 runs batted in for the Thundering Herd, who reached the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship game. With career highs in every offensive category this season, she also had seven triples and scored 30 runs to finish her high school career with 127 hits, 89 runs scored, 70 runs batted in, 19 doubles, 11 triples and seven home runs. She will be headed to play next year at Boise State.

Kylie Lundberg (Lakewood) Sr.
The Long Beach Press-Telegram Player of the Year has had one of the most feared bats in Southern California for three seasons. Lundberg, who has signed with Oklahoma, ripped 11 homers with a .471 batting average and 50 RBI. The Moore League MVP also had 49 hits and 38 runs scored.

Tannon Snow (Chino Hills) Sr.
One of three who were strongly considered for State Player of the Year along with Taylor McQuillin and Rachel Garcia, Snow heads to the University of Washington with a bushel of state records, including season home runs (28) and career home runs (60). Snow, who almost was joined on the first team by her sister, second team overall pick and super soph Taylon Snow, also batted .573 with 89 RBI. For her career, she also had 212 RBI and a .501 average. She already has been named Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Player of the Year and MaxPreps National Player of the Year.

Ali Wester (Edison, Huntington Beach) Sr.
Named as Co-MVP in the Sunset League and first team All-County by the Orange County Register, Wester showed off her speed all season long, including going a perfect 27 for 27 on stolen base attempts. Getting herself on base and in position to steal a base, she also hit .520 and scored 30 runs. She is also headed to play at Notre Dame next season along with fellow All-State honoree Caitlyn Brooks.

OUTFIELD

Falepolima Aviu (Rancho Buena Vista, Vista) Sr.
While she didn’t capture the CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year honor for the second year in a row, losing out to fellow All-State selection Kourtney Shaw, she had another outstanding season. Aviu hit .596 with 13 home runs and 26 runs batted in. It was her second straight season with double digit home runs as she hit 14 home runs and drove in 32 runs last season and finished her high school career with 43 doubles, 9 triples, 31 home runs and 80 runs batted in. She will be headed to play next season at the University of Oklahoma.

Danielle Bowers is the latest Mitty player who's been chosen first team all-state and then is headed to Cal. Photo: Louis Lopez/Prep2Prep.com.

Danielle Bowers is the latest Mitty player who’s been chosen first team all-state and then is headed to Cal. Photo: Louis Lopez/Prep2Prep.com.


Danielle Bowers
(Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) Sr.
As the No. 1 honors candidate from one of the state’s final top-ranked teams, Bowers gets the nod for first team. She followed up last year’s big-time Monarchs’ player, shortstop Jazmyn Jackson, and will join Jackson and another former Mitty player, Vanessa Alvarez, at Cal next season. Bowers batted .426 and had four homers, 30 RBI and 31 runs scored. The four-year varsity started also had a career on-base percentage of .447 with 149 career hits and 121 career RBI.

Zoe Casas (Aquinas, San Bernardino) Sr.
After being named as our Small Schools State Player of the Year for the second time in her career, Casas now earns a first team all-state slot after finishing her career as the all time state record holder for career hits with 251. Previously named the small schools state player of the year back in 2013, she had her best season this year at.736 with 15 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 39 runs batted in. Headed to Florida State, she was also named the San Bernardino Sun Player of the Year as a junior before finishing behind Brooke Bolinger of Yucaipa this year.

Kennedy Clark (Ayala, Chino Hills) Sr.
According to her nomination, Clark hit in the lead off position this season with a very young team around her so she might see just a few more good pitches to hit. The plan didn’t help the team much in the very tough Baseline League standing, but Clark shined. She ended with a .620 average with 50 hits, 16 doubles, six triples, five homers and 29 RBI. Clark, a four-year starter headed to South Carolina of the SEC, also set career school records for home runs, average, doubles, triples and runs scored. She did all of that while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Marissa Given (Notre Dame, Salinas) Sr.
The Monterey Herald Athlete of the Year (she also was a standout in basketball) makes this year’s all-state first team after leading Notre Dame to its third straight CIF Central Coast Section Division II title. Given, who is headed to the University of Oregon, had a game-winning RBI triple in the title game and had two homers and a double in the playoffs as well. She finished batting .577 with 45 hits, 35 RBI, 28 runs scored and fielded her position in centerfield with no errors.

Amanda Lorenz (Moorpark) Sr.
With three California seniors this year who’ve all been given national player of the year recognition, it’s easy to forget that Lorenz is right there with them as a nationally known big-time prospect. Before heading to Florida to join the NCAA champion Gators, her bat left an impact here in California for four years as she hit .525 with seven home runs, 25 runs batted in and 31 runs scored this season. If she saw regular pitching, we wonder what kind of records might have fallen. Back in 2012, she was named as our softball state freshmen of the year after hitting .553 with 31 runs batted in and for her career she ends with 126 runs batted in and 39 home runs.

Alyssa Palomino (Mission Viejo) Sr.
Joining her teammate, and eventual winner, Taylor McQuillin as a finalist for our Ms. Softball State Player of the Year, Palomino ended her high school career with 58 home runs to break the previous state record entering the season but is now good for second best of all time. Along with her 16 home runs this season, she hit .532 with a .619 on base percentage to also earn O.C. Player of the Year honors. A member of the USA Junior National team, she will rejoin McQuillin in college as the two will play at the University of Arizona.

MULTI-PURPOSE

Caitlyn Brooks (Burbank) Sr.
Headed to Notre Dame next season, the four-year standout captured the Pacific League’s MVP honor for the third year in a row along with being named first-team All-CIF and to the Daily News All-Area first team. Brooks went 18-5 with a 0.66 ERA and allowed just 18 walks while striking out 264. At the plate, she hit .451 with six home runs and 26 runs batted in. For her career, she also ended up with 82 career wins (makes the state record book) and had more than 1,000 strikeouts.

Hailey Hilburn of Anaheim Canyon connects for a home run in team's CIFSS D1 playoff win over Los Alamitos. Photo: Cliff Robbins/OCSidelines.com.

Hailey Hilburn of Anaheim Canyon connects for a home run in team’s CIFSS D1 playoff win over Los Alamitos. Photo: Cliff Robbins/OCSidelines.com.


Rachel Garcia (Highland, Palmdale) Sr.
Finalist for Ms. Softball State Player of the Year was also named as our Medium Schools State Player of the Year for the second time in her high school career. Gatorade’s National Player of the Year also was our Medium Schools state honoree as a sophomore back in 2013. This season, she hit .667 with 20 home runs and 57 runs batted in while also going 26-2 in the circle with a 0.20 ERA and 418 strikeouts. Headed to UCLA, she finished her high school career with impressive totals at the plate and in the circle: .593 batting average with 44 home runs and 152 RBI while going 87-13 in the circle with a 0.48 ERA and 1,315 strikeouts.

Hailey Hilburn (Canyon, Anaheim) Sr.
Winning a career-high 23 games this season for the Comanches in helping them reach the CIFSS Division I semifinals, the All-Orange County and All-CIFSS D1 selection can now add a first team overall All-State selection before she heads to Utah. This year, Hilburn struck out 205 batters in 205 innings and finished her high school career with 76 wins in the circle along with 104 career complete games. She also had her best season at the plate as she hit .407 with nine doubles, seven home runs and 23 runs batted in.

Danielle Williams (Amador Valley, Pleasanton) Fr.
Being our State Freshman of the Year didn’t automatically put Williams this high on our board, but being the Contra Coast Times Player of the Year over all players was the clincher. Williams led the Dons in the circle and at the plate during their CIF North Coast Section Division I championship season. In the circle, she went 24-3 with a 0.79 ERA while at the plate she hit .532. She pitched seven shutouts and one no-hitter and is the younger sister of Krista Williams, who is now at Northwestern.

Jamie Wren (La Serna, Whittier) Sr.
The Lancers captured their fourth CIF Southern Section championship this season with her a force in the circle and at the plate. The Whittier Daily News Player of the Year, who is headed to play at Ohio University, it was in the circle where she made the biggest impact as she went 25-3 wtih a 1.13 ERA while striking out 176 in 192 innings. At the plate, she hit .455 with 34 runs batted in and blasted seven home runs.

Thanks to Stockton office assistant Paul Muyskens for great work on many of the blurbs. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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