The 2018 All West Valley Preps softball team

Cactus' Alynah Torres fields a ground ball against Mohave on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at Cactus High School in Glendale. For the third straight season, Torres is the West Valley Preps softball player of the year. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]

West Valley Preps

This is the sixth year West Valley Preps has announced honors for the best softball players it covers in the Northwest Valley.

Here is the 2018 All West Valley Preps softball team:

First team

C – Grace Schmidt (Senior) Sunrise Mountain

1B – Emilie Guerra (Senior) Cactus

2B – Dren Meginnis (Junior) Centennial

SS – Alynah Torres (Junior) Cactus

3B – Sophia Carroll (Sophomore) Shadow Ridge

OF – Mickaela Covarrubio (Junior) Shadow Ridge

OF – Mackenzie Federico (Senior) Willow Canyon

OF – Madison Gomez (Junior) Ironwood

UT – Katie Hatcher (Senior) Paradise Honors

P – Sydnie Sahhar (Junior) Centennial

P – Bub Feringa (Freshman) Cactus

P – Sara Norton (Junior) Ironwood

Ironwood pitcher Sara Norton delivers a pitch against Sunnyslope during the second inning of their girl’s 5A state playoff-in game on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. [Ralph Freso/For West Valley Preps]

Second team

C – Makenzie Celaya (Junior) Centennial

1B – Fianna Aird (Senior) Imagine Prep Surprise

2B – Mashayla Beltran (Junior) Willow Canyon

SS – Sydney Bickel (Sophomore) Sunrise Mountain

3B – Natalie Del Ponte (Senior) Centennial

OF – Tatum Chestnut (Sophomore) Liberty

OF – Kristin Deal (Junior) Valley Vista

OF – Hannah DiFabio (Freshman) Cactus

UT – Carrigan Foster (Junior) Willow Canyon

P – Kylee Messmer (Sophomore) Sunrise Mountain

P – Tiffany Williams (Junior) Mountain Ridge

P – Morgan Greene (Freshman) Shadow Ridge

Willow Canyon’s Carrigan Foster hits for a RBI single against Marana in a 5A softball play-in games Wednesday, April 25 at Willow Canyon High School in Surprise. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]
Underclassmen to watch: Cactus – Aubrey Chavez 3B, (Soph.), Kaitlyn Leyvas, C (Soph.); Centennial – Meghan Golden P/1B (Fr.), Aubrey Maya OF, (Soph.); Deer Valley – Lauren DePalma OF (Soph.); Dysart – Monika Rodriguez C, (Fr.); Kellis – Ashley Sandoval 2B, (Soph.); Liberty – Madison Lung 2B, (Fr.), Madyson Devers 3B, (Soph.); Mountain Ridge – Megan Lake 2B, (Fr.), Odessa Treese 3B (Fr.); Northwest Christian – Miranda Albright C, (Fr.), Kaylie Flysin OF/P, (Fr.); Paradise Honors – Brylee Bilger C (Fr.), Ledezma Romero OF, (Fr.); Peoria – Andraya Romero 1B/P (Soph.); Shadow Ridge – Aris Carroll IF (Soph.), Emari Evans P/1B, (Soph.); Sunrise Mountain – Bailee Cordova IF (Soph.), Summer Pells 3B (Soph.); Valley Vista – Moira Mesola OF, (Soph.); Willow Canyon – Rachel Broussard P, (Soph.), Mo Foster 1B/OF, (Soph.).

Player of the year:

Alynah Torres, Cactus – Torres goes three for three, but she faced the strongest challenge for the honor this season — from a teammate no less. Feringa had a more protective regular season at the plate and grew into a dominant pitcher. Meanwhile, most regular season opponents avoided both like the plague. Yet Torres, when she was not being walked outright, saw fewer pitches to hit. At least until the playoffs, when Torres reminded the rest of 4A why she made a verbal commitment to ASU before playing an inning for Cactus. In five postseason games, she hit five home runs and a double, driving in eight. That caps a season where she finished with a 1.120 slugging percentage. And she’s a top defensive shortstop to boot.

Runner-up:

McKenna “Bub” Feringa, Cactus – Turns out, the Cobras have another softball prodigy. Feringa immediately showed she was another elite bat along with Torres and Guerra. As the season went on, she also proved to be the Cobras’ ace despite the abilities of returning pitchers Guerra and Cassie Elliott. Feringa pitched more than planned because of Elliott’s April ACL injury, including all of the playoffs. In the finals she dueled through a scoreless tie with fellow frosh phenom Alyssa Aguilar until a highly disputed call knocked Cactus off kilter. It is very, very early, but Feringa started on a path of dual-threat domination similar to Dallas Escobedo, Lauren Haeger and Mo Montemayor. Yet, if this was a postseason-only award, it would go to Sydnie Sahhar for her masterful extra inning complete game performances against Marana Mountain View and Vail Cienega.

Coach of the year:

Randy Kaye, Centennial – Certainly, the Coyotes looked likely to be the most improved team in the West Valley before the season started. Yet few, if any, people could have foreseen a third-place finish in 5A — let alone that Centennial would push eventual repeat state champion Vail Cienega to 12 innings in a game that determined a state finalist. The Arizona Firecrackers coach, in his second year at Centennial, got Sahhar back but wisely deployed a sound defensive team around her, and juggled his lineup to scrape by enough runs against quality opposition. In a short time, Kaye has restored Centennial to a top 15 program in Arizona.

Runner-up:

Donnie Tizzano, Willow Canyon – When the No. 12 seed Wildcats upset Shadow Ridge and joined the Coyotes in the final eight, the order of the coach of the year race was probably reversed. Centennial’s spectacular finish should not completely overshadow Tizzano’s triumphant return. The coach built the program into a regular playoff team, then left for a Minnesota after the 2015 season. Willow Canyon softball slowly eroded in the three years he was gone. This year’s restoration job was capped by the Wildcats’ first trip to Mofford.



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