Rifle’s Harris wins 4A WSL Player of the Year award
Although the Rifle Bears’ softball season ended in disappointing fashion last weekend in Frederickson against Pueblo East and Ponderosa, the Bears received some positive news this week as a league-high seven players were named to the 4A Western Slope League first-team all-conference list and honorable mention teams, including junior catcher Kaitlyn Harris, who won the league’s Player of the Year award.
Harris hit .469 on the season for the Bears in 21 games, recording 30 hits, 34 runs scored, 36 runs batted in, 12 doubles, three triples and five home runs on the season, adding 11 steals on the season, good for second on the team. Behind the plate, Harris recorded 11 assists and just three errors while throwing out 25 percent of base stealers on the season.
Joining Harris on the first-team all-conference list for Rifle was junior third baseman Shaeley Arneson, junior pitcher Kaitlyn Jackson, sophomore second baseman Delaney Phillips and seniors Peyton Caldwell and Claudia Abbott. Junior outfielder Amanda Green earned honorable mention accolades for the Bears.
Arneson led the Bears with a .521 batting average, tying for the team lead with five home runs, driving in a team-high 37 runs, while Phillips set a new school record with 42 stolen bases on the year while recording a .441 batting average and scoring a team-high 39 runs.
Jackson stood out on the mound for the Bears, going 15-6 on the season with 20 complete games in 21 starts. The junior finished with a 3.12 ERA, striking out 142 hitters in just 128 innings on the season. At the plate, Jackson finished with a .365 average, driving in 21 runs on the year. For her efforts on the mound, Jackson was named the 4A WSL Pitcher of the Year.
Abbott recorded a .350 average on the season, hitting three doubles, one triple and one home run on the season, driving in 17 runs, while Caldwell hit .448 on the season with five doubles and four triples, driving in 19 runs. Defensively, Caldwell recorded 24 putouts and 23 assists on the season. The senior shortstop is an automatic selection for the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All-State Game.
Green, an honorable mention, tied for second on the team with 11 steals, driving in four runs and scoring 10 runs of her own on the season.