Whittell softball players awarded all-conference honors | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell softball players awarded all-conference honors

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

Anna Kingman is the first player who Whittell High softball coach Lindsay Wines can remember was ever intentionally walked — that’s how afraid some teams were of the sophomore slugger with a bat in her hands.

Following the regular league season, several Warriors’ players were selected to the Northern Nevada 2A All-Division Team, including Kingman, who finished just one vote shy of at least tying for player of the year honors.

Kingman was named to the all-division second team last year. She credits her improvement this season to the help of Warriors’ assistant coach Dick Gardner.

“He made a huge difference in everything: hitting, fielding, even the basics like throwing and stuff,” Kingman said.

“It was really exciting the way the season went, (even though) it was disappointing we didn’t go to state,” said her dad, Dave Kingman, who played 16 seasons of Major League Baseball and amassed 442 home runs. “She’s looking forward (to two more seasons) and she’s been working very hard at it.”

Kingman made the first team with a .700 batting average, .837 fielding average, 16 extra-base hits, a two-homer game, a grand slam homer, 27 RBIs and 22 runs scored on the season. She lost out to Tana Gurule of Hawthorne for player of the year.

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“She was very well respected. In fact, the Battle Mountain coach is one who voted for her for MVP and his team won the league,” Wines said. “The best thing about her, and you can ask any girls or coaches on the team, is that she is just a great kid to have around. When it’s time for the game she’s got her game face on and she’s serious. She is as much a team player as we’ve ever had and I’m excited about working with her for two more years.”

Junior Sara Piccola also was a first-team selection. She had a .520 batting average, scored 18 runs, .857 fielding average, .880 on-base percentage and five RBIs.

“I felt she was the best third baseman in the league,” Wines said. “She was a huge part of our team, not only because of her physical skills, but she’s there having fun and making the kids laugh. She is very positive and was a real part of our success this year.”

Sophomore Whitney Gielow, who played catcher, also made the first team with a .571 batting average, .771 on-base percentage, .900 fielding average and was second on the team with 21 runs scored.

“She would have been a first-teamer last year if she hadn’t gotten hurt,” Wines said. “Her .900 fielding percentage is phenomenal and she was also our leadoff batter.”

Senior Ashley Wines earned first-team honors as the team’s pitcher in every inning of every league game this year for a 9-3 record. She had a .500 batting average, .818 on-base percentage, .769 fielding average, a 4.15 earned run averae and she struck out 41 batters over 34 innings while walking 21.

“Being named as a first-team pitcher two years in a row is something I don’t think has ever been done at Whittell,” coach Wines said. “I think it helped her out a lot this year, knowing she had a good defense behind her. She was a real workhorse, pitching every inning of every league game. Her bat really came alive this year, too.”

Ashley Wines was also named NIAA High Performance Athlete of the Week for the week of April 13-19, following wins over Smith Valley and Incline.

On the second team was senior Jessica Rickman, a center fielder who had a .333 batting average, 12 RBIs, eight runs scored and had a .800 fielding average.

“This was her first year of playing softball for us and she came in and did a great job,” Wines said. “She was a great leader out there in center field.”

Junior Kaitlin Willens, who played second base, made honorable mention with a .385 batting average, .692 on-base percentage and .656 fielding average.

“Her experience and knowledge of the game has helped us out in crucial times and she knows where to make the play,” Wines said. “She hit a home run and a couple of triples during the season, so her bat was helpful, too.”