Thirteen high school players were selected for this year’s Arizona Republic All-Arizona Softball Team. But just eight schools were represented on the squad.
That shows the concentration of talent this year, as five schools placed more than one player on the team.
Teams in the southern part of the state enjoyed good representation this year, as Kayla Bonstrom and Samantha Noland were honored from Canyon del Oro High School and Erin Satterfield and Robin Landrith from Ironwood Ridge High School made the cut. Both schools are in the Tucson area.
Three other schools placed two each: Taylor Nowlin and McKenzie St. Clair are representing Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Breanna Macha and Siera Phillips from Red Moutain High School in Mesa, and Kailey Regester and Kylie Shull from Basha High in Chandler.
Each of those five schools either won a state title in their division, finished runner-up, or made it to the semi-finals.
Rounding out the 2012 squad were Ashley Palmer from Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Shea Palmer from Pinnacle High in Phoenix, and Abby Beasley from Centennial High in Peoria.
Bonstrom was named the Big Schools Player of the Year and Jackie Aguilar is the new Small Schools POY.
Bonstrom, who was converted from outfield to the pitching mound for her senior year, used her pitching talents and power at the plate to help Canyon del Oro to the Division II Championship. She broke a tie in the eighth inning of the championship game with a two-run homer and then retired the side for the win.
She posted a .603 batting average for her last prep season before heading off to play for Stanford. Her final stats included 16 home runs – seven of those in the state tournament – and 63 RBIs.
Aguilar led Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix to the Division III state title, its first-ever in softball, capping an outstanding pitching career by striking out 12 batters in the championship game.
On the mound, the senior posted a 0.52 ERA, threw 360 strikeouts, and notched four perfect games. And then she contributed at the plate, as well, recording 47 hits and 39 RBIs on her way to a .547 batting average.
On the boys’ side, Nathan Bannister was named the Big Schools Baseball Player of the Year and Josh Advocate earned the distinction in the small-school category.
Bannister was also a dual threat this year in helping Liberty High School in Peoria to the Division II championship game. He hit .451, with 35 RBIs, and posted a 1.88 ERA with 104 strikeouts in 74 2/3 innings. He will be playing next year at the University of Arizona.
Advocate handled the bulk of the pitching chores as he led River Valley High School to the Division III state title. He closed out the year with an 0.89 ERA, but also chipped in at the plate, where he hit .527 with 49 RBIs. The baseball title was the first for the little school in Mohave Valley.
Just two schools had more than one representative on the All-Arizona baseball team. Chaparral High in Scottsdale placed two with the selections of Tyger Talley and Dylan Cozens, while Calvin LeBrun and Casey Bowman got the nod from Sunnyslope High School.
In addition to Bannister, the others selected to the All-Arizona squad include: Keaton Cenatiempo (Desert Ridge HS, Mesa), Tyler Boxwell (Verrado HS, Buckeye) Scott Kingery (Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix), Mitch Nay (Hamilton HS, Chandler), Jamie Westbrook (Basha HS, Chandler), Zach Gibbons (Saguaro HS, Scottsdale), Garrett Jeffries (Mesquite HS, Gilbert), and David Graybill (Brophy Prep, Phoenix).