Northwestern’s Kori Wancheck is The Herald’s 2015 All-Area softball player of the year.
Even considering the wealth of softball talent in York, Chester and Lancaster counties, Wancheck wasn’t a difficult choice. The USC Upstate-bound pitcher won a closet’s-worth of awards, while mowing down well over 200 batters with her humming fastball (she finished with exactly 800 for her career). The state player of the year was also dangerous with her bat and an all-around catalyst for Bryan Smith’s Northwestern team, which reached the 4A Upper State finals. It was possibly the school’s best softball season ever, spurred by its player ever.
The Trojans were undone by Clover, led by coach Shea Hall. She guided the Blue Eagles past Northwestern, and then past Summerville for the 4A state title, the school’s first.
Clover had been the local “almost team” when it came to the state playoffs, but the Blue Eagles broke through this year. Hall’s patience was rewarded as the team overcame the injuries and disappointing May losses of the past few years to drop the Green Wave 2-1 in the best-of-three championship series. That left Clover softball as the last team standing, and earned its coach All-Area coach of the year honors.
Player of the year: Kori Wancheck, Northwestern
Coach of the year: Shea Hall, Clover
Kori Wancheck, Northwestern: Senior USC Upstate signee will need a new trophy case for all the awards she reaped after a dominant season. Wancheck was named a North-South all-star, 4A player of the year by South Carolina Coaches Association of Women’s Sports, state player of the year by High School Sports Report, and All-State by both groups. The Region 3-4A player of the year hit .512 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs, and was nearly untouchable on the mound, producing a 22-6 record, a 0.92 ERA and 241 strikeouts in 183 2/3 innings.
Rachel Marion, Northwestern: Sweet-swinging junior catcher hit .483 with seven home runs, 14 doubles, and 34 RBIs. Marion, an All-Region 3-4A pick and an All-State selection by the HSSR, picked off five of 12 base-stealers and also picked off three more runners.
Chloe Thomas, Lewisville: Freshman was named All-State and Region 3-A player of the year after batting .512 with 36 RBIs and .551 on-base and .721 slugging percentages. Thomas also pitched 97 innings, striking out 99 batters with just 14 walks and a 1.44 ERA.
Ta’Mya Davis, Lewisville: Senior middle infielder was named All-State after an offensively productive spring. Davis hit .420 with four home runs, 38 RBIs and a .670 slugging percentage. She also stole 14 bases.
Marisa Harkey, Clover: Senior shortstop headed to Furman batted .439 for the state championship-winning Blue Eagles. Harkey, a North-South all-star, hit two home runs, drove in 24 runs and had 17 extra-base hits. All-Region 3-4A and HSSR All-State selection finished the season with a .683 on-base percentage.
Blake Wallert, Clover: Harkey’s middle infield partner at second base, Wallert was named All-State by the HSSR and S.C. Coaches Association of Women’s Sports after batting .442 with four home runs and 15 RBIs. Wallert, who signed with Winthrop and is a North-South all-star, also stole 14 bases and had a .952 fielding percentage.
Elizabeth Edmunds, Clover: Senior pitcher seemed to get better as the Blue Eagles’ championship season wore on. Edmunds was 19-9 on the mound with a 1.60 ERA and 123 strikeouts with just 42 walks. The All-Region and HSSR All-State selection also drove in 14 runs with her bat.
Kayla Price, Indian Land: A 2A All-State selection by the SCCAWS and HSSR, Price finished the season with a 0.92 ERA in 158 innings of work. She struck out 175 batters, walked just 23 and pitched seven shutouts. She also batted .342 for the Warriors.
Bella Roy, Fort Mill: Freshman pitcher made the HSSR and SCCAWS All-State teams after striking out 216 batters in 143 innings. Roy, an All-Region 3-4A choice, finished the season 12-9 with a 1.62 ERA. She walked just 47 of the 564 batters she faced.
Lauren Collie, Fort Mill: Freshman batted .409 with a home run and 21 RBIs. Collie was an All-Region 3-4A choice and also made the HSSR 4A All-State team.
Darby Trull, Nation Ford: Sophomore Virginia Tech commitment batted .460, was named All-Region 3-4A. The centerfielder finished with a .997 fielding percentage.
Chanel Turner, Nation Ford: Another talented sophomore at Nation Ford, Turner, a shortstop, also made All-Region after hitting .487 with 22 RBIs.
Autumn Jordan, Lewisville: All-Region senior batted .414 for the Lions with 17 stolen bases and 12 RBIs. Batting in the No. 2 spot for Lewisville, Jordan – a North-South all-star – finished the season with 13 sacrifices, helping push runners into scoring position for the powerful bats behind her in the order.
Alli Yarbrough, Indian Land: North-South all-star senior centerfielder batted. 474 and made All-Region 4-2A for the fourth straight season.
Elise Carter, Chester: All-Region Spartanburg Methodist signee batted .470 this spring with three home runs and 19 RBIs.
Ariana Ealy, Lancaster: All-Region sophomore first baseman/pitcher hit .333 with two home runs, nine doubles and 22 RBIs for the Bruins, who reached the 3A Upper State championship series.
Jada Ames, Lancaster: Another sophomore All-Region 3-3A pick, Ames led the Bruins with three home runs and 33 RBIs, and batted .337.
Gracie Revels, Lancaster: Freshman All-Region selection hit .406 for Lancaster, with 18 RBIs and just five strikeouts in 79 at-bats.
Missy Mavrogian, Clover; Cassie Wancheck and Annie Green, Northwestern; Daniella Wilson and Adrianna Wilson, Indian Land; Madeline Davis, York; Peyton Lemire and Kennedy Wolf, Fort Mill; Codi Horne and Amber Bass, Lewisville; Bayley Hinson, Rock Hill; Kaela Robinson, Lancaster.
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T