As beloved broadcaster Dick Vitale would say, “The Diaper Dandies are super scintillating sensational” this year.
In English, what I’m trying to say is the young talent around here is good — really good.
Area softball teams didn’t fully impress in 2009 as far as team achievements go, save a memorable run from the Jonesville girls and another SCAA and district title from Camden-Frontier — but the local pot is boiling over with potential.
For starters, only three All Area players graduated and four of them have reached just the midway point of their careers.
The SCAA is loaded with girls who are only going to get better and the finest example of this is Camden-Frontier’s duo of Morgan Warfield and Megan Schwartzengraber.
As much as people around here have heard Lantis and Gabriele on the baseball side of things for three years, they might hear about these hotshots even more.
Warfield hit .473 with 28 RBIs and her .95 ERA with 175 strikeouts in 94 1/3 innings on the mound is downright nasty.
The only player who really compares in both categories is, you guessed it, the girl with the really long last name that is hard to spell and even harder to forget.
Schwartzengraber had a miniscule 1.09 ERA this year, with 153 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings and she drove in a team-high 35 runs to go with her .429 average.
Being partners in crime can only help their cause as they push each other to the next level in what they hope can be a regional championship team in the near future.
Taking a bit of a back seat to them as a freshman, but bursting onto the scene this year was Waldron sophomore Kelsy White.
She hit an eye-popping .555 with an on-base percentage of .659 and 28 RBIs. She is also an extremely good defensive catcher for being so young and only time will tell what types of ridiculous career numbers she could end up with.
In Hillsdale they have a super sophomore of their own in Tiki Malone.
She’s the kind of athlete you’d want to have in a fox hole with you, as she has no regard for her body and she expects the same pedal-to-the-metal effort from her teammates.
She continues to improve at the plate and is the kind of leader that could help turn the Hornets program around.
Several area juniors will be difference making seniors next year, most of them as ace pitchers.
Jenna Crawford had trouble filling Bree Harmon’s shoes off the bat, but the Hillsdale junior grew exponentially over the course of the year and she went toe-to-toe with Jonesville senior Kelsey Aemisegger in the district semifinals this year.
Similarly, Pittsford’s Nicole Culbert had many a fine outing on the mound and when she was on, it gave her teammates something to feed off of.
With the aforementioned Aemisegger calling it a career, the Comets will count on Kelly White more than ever next season.
As a junior she won five games pitching, with a 4.30 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 83 innings. She also hit .323 and had 20 RBIs.
The final junior pitcher to watch as a senior is Kasie Owens of Reading.
As Owens went so went the Rangers. She was a workhorse who continues to improve her control and Kelly Mulnix will need all she can get from her next year if Reading wants to take the next step.
The final junior on the All Area squad is Quincy’s Brogan Veysey-White, who hit .424, had an on-base percentage of .600 and melded perfectly with Bree Harmon.
Harmon was one of three seniors on the team, all of who made profound differences at their schools.
Going back to the school she started at, Harmon went 25-3 and broke the Orioles’ career strikeout record in 2009.
Another unfailing force in the area was Aemiesegger. The Comets rode her all the way to a regional semifinals appearance and she will be dearly missed.
She drove in 25 runs and struck out 104 batters in 113 innings.
Last but not least is C-F senior leader Kara Bryner. Melissa Warfield said she has no clue how she’ll replace her and rightfully so. She made teammates laugh, made them work harder and was the quintessential first-rate high school athlete. It doesn’t hurt either that she hit .367 with 27 RBIs.