Ahead of the game

Prep soft­ball: Va­len­cia duo takes league’s top hon­ors once again

The Signal - - SPORTS - By Ha­ley Sawyer Sig­nal Sports Ed­i­tor

Va­len­cia soft­ball’s Ally Ship­man and Shea O’Leary both played their se­nior sea­sons with a fo­cus on their men­tal game.

But the Foothill League Player of the Year and the Foothill League Pitcher of the Year, re­spec­tively, did so in very dif­fer­ent ways.

Ship­man was a men­ace at the plate and, as a re­sult, was in­ten­tion­ally walked 34 times.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to get into a rhythm, but it was good for me to work on my men­tal game,” Ship­man, who was also the league’s 2017 player of the year said.

“…I know that it’s meant as a com­pli­ment, but I do just want to get out there and hit.”

Ship­man, a Ten­nessee com­mit, still man­aged to hit .356 with seven home runs, 25 RBIs and a .528 on-base per­cent­age in her se­nior cam­paign.

O’Leary’s men­tal

ad­just­ments were a lit­tle more light­hearted. As the Vik­ings’ go-to girl in the cir­cle, stay­ing calm and not suc­cumb­ing to pres­sure were al­ways on the agenda.

“I al­ways just try, when I’m pitch­ing in a les­son or when I’m on the field, I make sure that I’m men­tally pre­pared or I go out there and I’m just hav­ing fun,” she said. “I just try and go out there and have fun and not get stressed out.”

O’Leary, who is headed to Texas to con­tinue her play­ing ca­reer, lis­tens to coun­try mu­sic be­fore games as a means of re­lax­ing and writes “Be­lieve, breathe, achieve, bal­ance,” on her wrist, in ad­di­tion to her jersey num­ber.

The re­sult a per­fected changeup and an im­proved rise ball. The back-to-back league pitcher of the year fin­ished the se­nior sea­son with a 1.30 ERA and 288 strike­outs across 214.67 in­nings.

The duo di­aled in to help Va­len­cia to its third con­sec­u­tive Foothill League ti­tle an ap­pear­ance in the sec­ond round of the CIF-South­ern Sec­tion Di­vi­sion 1 tour­na­ment.

“It was so much fun and I loved play­ing with (coach) Donna (Lee) be­cause she was so com­pet­i­tive,” O’Leary said. “And hav­ing that com­pet­i­tive spirit helped us achieve win­ning the Foothill League and some tour­na­ments over the years.”

All-Foothill League First Team

Noel Dominguez, se­nior, Va­len­cia Emma Bram­son, fresh­man, Va­len­cia Kelia Para­gas, se­nior, Va­len­cia Cas­sidy Cangemi, se­nior, Golden Val­ley Jas­mine Car­ba­jal, se­nior, Golden Val­ley Sophia Medellin, ju­nior, Golden Val­ley Lib­bie McMa­han, sopho­more, Sau­gus Hay­ley Mi­hut, fresh­man, Sau­gus Brooke Mar­quez, ju­nior, Hart Gianna Lom­bardi, ju­nior, West Ranch

All-Foothill League Sec­ond Team

Alexis Gen­ovese, se­nior, Va­len­cia Amarys Miller God­sey, se­nior, Va­len­cia Vanessa Felix, ju­nior, Golden Val­ley Jes­sica Cor­dola, se­nior, Sau­gus Dal­las An­drews, sopho­more, Sau­gus Jor­dyn Gasper, se­nior, Hart Aly Kaneshiro, sopho­more, Hart Sara Ol­son, ju­nior, West Ranch Kailee Pow­ell, se­nior, Canyon Melissa Spencer, se­nior, Canyon

Hon­or­able Men­tion

Meisha Murray, se­nior, Canyon Marissa Al­caraz, se­nior, Golden Val­ley Meghan Dragoloski, se­nior, Hart Makayla Lopez, se­nior, Sau­gus Lani Para­gas, fresh­man, Va­len­cia Jenna Rorick, ju­nior, West Ranch

File photo

(Left) Va­len­cia’s Shea O’Leary throws a pitch in a game against Hart this sea­son. (Above) Ally Ship­man skies one to right in a 1-0 vic­tory over Golden Val­ley. O’Leary was named the Foothill League Pitcher of the Year and Ship­man the Player of the Year.

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