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Sports writers honor best of the diamond

Phil SandovalGrand Junction CorrespondentGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Buddybeardigitaleventsonline.comThe 2008 Western Colorado Sports writers/KJCT Channel 8 All-Western Slope prep softball team gathers together for a rare photo. The team includes, from left: first row Whittney Stone, Central; Danielle Romine, Central; Karen Hayter, Central; Ashley Goletz, Central; Rachel Romine, Central; Jessica Romine, Central; and Tayler Else, Central; second row Elena Arrieta, Grand Junction; Andrea Rascon, Grand Junction; Mikayla Duffy, Central; Shelby Kubick, Fruita Monument; Brooke Williams, Fruita Monument; Erika Chirdon, Fruita Monument; Alexa Aitken, Basalt; and Jamie Matherly, Basalt: third row Laura Shurden, Palisade; Alisha Rodebaugh, Rifle; Tiffany Schaaf, Delta; Brittany Conger, Delta; Paula Lage, Grand Junction; Ashleigh Wissel, Fruita Monument; Jenna Schaak, Montezuma-Cortez; Jessie Likes, Montezuma-Cortez; and Kelsey Pyle, Rifle.
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Imagine this.A softball team roster whose members hit .348 or higher individually. With a combined 40 home runs. Along with 385 RBIs. Plus 121 stolen bases.Impossible?Not for this gaggle of girls.And those were only the hitting statistics among the 24 players who were selected to the 2008 Western Colorado Sports writers/KJCT Channel 8 All-Western Slope prep softball team.The staff of six pitchers chosen by the panel of voters is just as impressive.Want proof? Check the stats.For starters, four of the six chosen hurlers won 10 or more games in the regular season. Two pitchers finished the 2008 campaign reaching the three-digit plateau in strikeouts. Two others had six no-hitters between them. Central’s Mikayla Duffy took pitching excellently to the highest level when the Warrior sophomore twirled a perfect game.Add in the stellar defensive play they displayed individually during the recently completed year and it’s a team that would be hard to beat.Central, which complied a 17-2 regular season win-loss record in 2008, tops the list of honorees with eight. Fruita Monument, which finished second to Central in the Southwestern League, had four players chosen.Grand Junction, which ended the campaign at 14-5, is represented by three players. Montezuma-Cortez, Rifle and state-tournament qualifiers Basalt and Delta had two players selected each.Palisade is represented by sophomore Laura Shurden.Seven members of this year’s honorees were chosen to the ’07 team. Among that list, outfielder Karen Hayter and designated player Jessica Romine are repeat first-team choices. Duffy, Ashley Goletz, Paula Lage and Brooke Williams, all second-team picks last year, move up to the first team in ’08.Fruita Monument pitcher Erika Chirdon earned second-team recognition for the second straight time.Central High School senior Rachel Romine got the nod as the 2008 player of the year. This past season, the Warrior third baseman hit an eye-popping .538 (35 hits in 65 at bats), with 36 RBIs while setting a new individual school seasonal home run record with nine.A panel of regional sportswriters who cover softball regularly selected the softball team. Representatives included staff members from the Aspen Times, Cortez Journal, Glenwood Springs Post Independent and the Grand Junction Free Press.


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